Blood of My Brother by James LePore

Book Review by Mike Nolan

James LePore’s is a semi-retired member of the Ocean County Bar. Blood of My Brother is his second published work.

Blood of My Brother is a novel of suspense and a great summer read!  The novel starts out in Newark at the beginning of the 1967 riots that devastated the city.  The main character, Jay Cassio, who is five years old, meets his soon to be best friend, Dan Del Colliano, another neighborhood boy, and so starts a relationship which is understandable to a great many of us.  Jay and Dan are true pals. They grow together physically, mentally and perhaps most importantly, emotionally.  Their friendship has no bounds and they literally have done everything together; Dan the “motivator” and Jay the reluctant partner.  Who among us cannot relate to these roles?

Momentum leads them to careers which fit their styles and abilities, Jay the lawyer and Dan the private investigator.  Even as working adults they continue their relationship and work together on cases.

LePore thickens the plot when one of Jay’s clients is the victim of a murder/suicide.  Through this connection, Dan is approached and asked to deliver a large sum of money to Florida.  The next Jay hears of Dan is when he is told that Dan was shot twice in the head after torture in an apparent execution-style killing.

This is a pivotal point for Jay.  Because of his complex relationship with Dan he really has no choice but to “avenge” his best friend’s loss. This was Dan – his protector, his best friend, his mentor, his savior, his “brother.” LePore shows what lengths any of us would go for our brother.

Jay’s path leads him through the Florida coast and to Mexico where he discovers Isabel Perez.  Isabel, a true Mexican beauty, has been used by powerful men for their own personal and physical pleasure since her orphaned childhood

LePore writes with great clarity when he allows us inside the emotional make up of these characters.  We learn of Isabel’s passion to be free, which, in an interesting twist, is not far from what Dan ultimately needs as well.

As with the other books by LePore, there are a host of interesting, complicated and evil characters.  The Mexican authorities are literally in bed with Isabel’s handler.  The FBI is actively interfering and there are powerful forces aligned against Jay and Isabel.   Plot twist include drugs, corruption, bribery and cover ups.  The end of the story is, without a doubt, a serious page turner.  A small Mexican airstrip, a Cessna 150, a surprise pilot, a crash, rescue by Nuns.  How could you not love it!

LePore finishes with a great bang.  An excellent and fulfilling epilog where all questions are answered and the reader’s anxious interest in the main characters resolved.  Blood of My Brother is an excellent and exciting read and I recommend it without a doubt.

The novel is available at amazon.com and all bookstores. For more information visit the author’s web site at www.jamesleporefiction.com.

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