Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers by Thomas Mullen

Author:  Thomas Mullen
Publish Date: January 26, 2010
ISBN: 9781400067534
List Price: $26.00
My Rating: 4 out of 5

Trailer: Firefly Brothers Trailer

I thought this was an intriguing read about mobsters in the '30s Depression era. It is a story about fictional mobsters known as the Firefly Brothers, Jason and Whit Fireson, who defy the law of "death." They are fairly well known criminals and adored by the public for their heroic deeds of tearing up past due debts of destitute Americans when robbing banks. Unfortunately, they are caught in a wild shoot out and killed, we think! Once I started this read, I could not turn the pages fast enough.

The story starts in 1934 and is action packed with robberies, shootouts, kidnappings, close calls, and wild adventures of being on the run. The Depression is looming and America glorifies mobster figures. When the brothers are caught in a fire fight and are killed, for the first time, the media is on a race to cover the story. As other mobsters like Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd are becoming "Public Enemies." The FBI is making mobsters priority #1. After the media gets a look at the bodies of the Firefly Brothers and publishes their demise, somehow they disappear from the morgue without a trace until reports of appearances crop up about the Firefly Brothers showing up in banks and speakeasies again.

The brothers cannot explain how they are still alive and law enforcement cannot explain why and where they are either, so the brothers are on the run. The FBI attempts to cover up the public blunder while searching for them and explain the growing mystery now surrounding the brothers. The brother's fear their new found apparent invincibility, but as old habits and family obligations emerge they can't help but make new plans for bank robberies.

The story gives the reader a great fictional but historical view of the Depression and the impact it had on the American worker, creating Hoovervilles, and the family strife the Fireson's endured.  The author also intertwines the FBI's true misgivings of the time into the Firefly Brothers's story along with references to real mobsters of the day (Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, etc.). The reader not only follows the escapades of the Firefly Brothers, but how their family members and sweethearts are effected throughout the story. The story weaves in the concurrent stories of the assigned agent to the Fireson's Investigation Team and even J. Edger Hoover.

Mr. Mullen's writing style is thrilling and intriguing. He keeps the reader completely engaged while sustaining the mystery and action throughout the story. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in '30's Mobster era or even just an action packed, suspenseful read.

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