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Friday, June 10, 2011

Audio Book Review: Luciano's Luck by Jack Higgins

The history and story in this short audio is entertaining.
Luciano’s Luck by Jack Higgins
The version that I have is a Book of the Road two cassette book. I did not find the right image and my camera isn't handy so this is the picture for the Audio CD with the rest of the information being for the cassette book.
    Luciano's Luck
  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Book Of The Road (November 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0931969166
  • ISBN-13: 978-0931969164
Genre: Military Thriller
 My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Description from Fantastic Fiction
From the bestselling author of The Eagle Has Landed comes a heart-stopping, gripping tale set in the dark, violent storm of World War II. In 1943, a British intelligence operative, two American Rangers, an extraordinary woman, and an American Mafia overlord parachute into Nazi-occupied Sicily to convince the Sicilian Mafian king to back invading American forces.

Review: A fast, interesting listen.

General Eisenhower is willing to take advantage of any means to make the Allied invasion in Sicily a success.  The Allied leaders want to gain the intervention of the Sicilian Mafia Godfather, Don Antonio Luca, to give the word to the Sicilian people to support the American and Allied efforts.  To accomplish this British Professor/intelligence officer, Harry Carter, is sent to a New York prison to seek the help of Gangster, Mafia leader, Charles “Lucky” Luciano.  Carter pulls Luciano from prison to meet with President Roosevelt who implies that Luciano’s parole would go favorably if he helps his country in this matter.

Luciano isn’t inclined to believe the Don will be helpful but they pick up the Don’s estranged  Granddaughter, Maria, a Nun and a nurse, to help gain access and for an extra voice for convincing him. Carter, Luciano and Maria are teamed up with two American Rangers, one of whom clearly hates Luciano. They parachute into a small village in Sicily to join with resistance leaders who have to hide them from Nazi troops as they wait to meet with the Don.

I thought the characters were well developed for the roles in the story. This story contains elements of intrigue, danger, arrogance, brutality, loneliness, a touch of romance, stubbornness,  forgiveness, sacrifice and ‘luck.’ I was surprised to learn this bit of history where the American President engages the services of the Mafia. I enjoyed the few meetings described between Carter and General Eisenhower and tried to jot down what may have been quotes but I did not find them so they may be part of the fiction. That is one draw back of audio books that you cannot mark a spot to check it later, especially  when you are driving.

This particular audio book was a production for Book of the Road and was made with a male and a female reader. The male did a good job with the different accents, British, American, German, Russian, Italian.  The woman however sounded rather the same for the two important Italian female characters.

You don’t have to like war stories to enjoy this story. It involves a lot of personalities and some war strategy, good and bad, that makes it interesting. One thing that was clear in the story is that the actions of one person can have a great impact on how events play out.
This audiobook is on pick list #20 available on my Friday Pick Giveaways.

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