Publication Date: May 15, 2014
Giorgio Cattoretti was presumed dead when kicked off a cliff and forced into hiding while he healed. Now hiding out on the Island of Cypress, he must decide if he should stay hidden and live his life out as a comfortable man or make his mark on the world. A man like Giorgio was not born to live under the radar so why not take a risk and plan the biggest art heist the world as seen.
The author, Mike Wells, gave me a copy of this novel as an A.R.C. in exchange for my review. As always, content may have changed between the copy I received and the date of publication.
I have not read the three novels that come before this one in the “Lust, Money & Murder” series. A friend has been urging me to read them extolling their suspenseful virtue, but I’m simply haven’t had time so came into Cattoretti’s Return without that background into the character. Wells in [easyazon-link asin=”B00KDM0S02″ locale=”us”]Lust, Money & Murder, Book 4 – Cattoretti’s Return[/easyazon-link] gives us a good base as to who Giorgio Cattoretti is and how dangerous he is when he falls from a cliff, nurses himself back to health and removes his own eye.
The main plot of [easyazon-link asin=”B00KDM0S02″ locale=”us”]Lust, Money & Murder, Book 4 – Cattoretti’s Return[/easyazon-link] revolves around Giorgio’s sense of loss of his own lifestyle. He’s not a man to sit comfortably. He could stay dead or he could contemplate a return to society and in order to do that, he must take a chance to do some bridge repair. He chooses the Russian mafia for that work. Letting them know he survived may not be the risk that pays off for Giorgio, but in this multifaceted work it remains a sub-plot and not the driving force of the work. Giorgio has been betrayed by those he thought he could trust and a life without living on the edge of danger seems to bore him. He is well aware, as a man of 57, that if he doesn’t make his mark now, he’ll be on the wrong side of the ‘you’re someone or no one’ coin.
Giorgio is joined by Lexy, a 21-year-old Greek girl with a sick mother and a druggie brother who is desperate for work. She agrees to clean, cook and satisfy him sexually at will, and agrees in part, because she needs the money and because she also loves this powerful, one-eyed, man on sight. [easyazon-link asin=”B00KDM0S02″ locale=”us”]Lust, Money & Murder, Book 4 – Cattoretti’s Return[/easyazon-link] is by no means a romance, but shows both how manipulative Giorgio is and the depths of his brutality and narcissism. Lexy, as a character, fell somewhat flat at times for this reader. She was both really stupid and in key moments very smart. A result of the character’s inexperience? Prior to meeting Giorgio, she had never left her corner of the world and he takes her on a jet-setting research trip in order to choose the perfect museum from which to enact the biggest art heist the world has ever seen.
As happens in character-driven novels, the plotline is somewhat fragmented. We’re following Giorgio’s need to make a mark and also his desire to exact revenge. Lexy is on the road of loving Giorgio, but discovering the true nature of his past along with in person the brutality of his present—the Russian Mafia boss, Zubav, and his right hand man, Pavel. The transitions are seamless and the latter team are likely more laid out in the previous novels. In addition is an assassin known as “The Artist” who is much mentioned, but little seen and really, in this reader’s opinion, one of the elements that was too thin to be engaging.
I had extremely mixed feelings about [easyazon-link asin=”B00KDM0S02″ locale=”us”]Lust, Money & Murder, Book 4 – Cattoretti’s Return[/easyazon-link]. We end on a cliff hanger that feeds the desperation for the next installment, but there were times when the narrative really lagged and I think elements could have been cut or abbreviated and maintained their impact within the story. The truly brilliant elements were when we had Giorgio on his own hiding out after the fall at the beginning of the novel and then the moments that defined him such as the vain Internet search for himself; the pride he embraces when connected with his progeny and the way he always told people when negotiating that they weren’t asking enough for their services. This is a man who wants people invested in his success and that element while it so clearly makes a winner can also be a downfall.[easyazon-link asin=”B00KDM0S02″ locale=”us”]Lust, Money & Murder, Book 4 – Cattoretti’s Return[/easyazon-link] overall was well worth reading and I will be eagerly on board for the next. If you’re interested in the evolution of counter-culture baddies and their inner workings, pick up the tale of one of the best. The rest of the series is already locked and loaded on the Ipad for vacation and I eagerly await seeing how Giorgio got his start.
To read my review of [easyazon-link asin=”B00JAK4A2A” locale=”us”]The Drive-By Wife[/easyazon-link] by Mike Wells, click here.
For more information about Mike Wells and his work, visit his website. You can connect with him on Goodreads, Shelfari, Facebook and on Twitter@Mikewellsauthor. Series readers can track his books on Fictfact.