Cover Image: Gangland

Gangland

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

My introduction to Chuck Hogan was through the fantastic PRINCE OF THIEVES, which was made into the movie "The Town," starring Ben Affleck. Loved the book, enjoyed the movie. So, Hogan has been on my radar ever since. Worth pointing out that I also loved THE GODFATHER as well (book and movie), and the thought of Hogan dipping into mob territory for GANGLAND really got my interest. This one is a banger and doesn't disappoint. Hogan is one of the more underrated writers of crime fiction. Put him on your radar!
Was this review helpful?
The story started off so good and intriguing. A mafia gang and the characters are really interesting to read about. But somehow halfway through I kinda lost interest, it became too repetitive and not really much suspenseful and entertaining as i would have hoped for. 
I’m sure many readers will enjoy it but unfortunately it wasn’t a great one for me. 

Very grateful to the publisher for my review copy through NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
A look at the 70s in Chicago's mafia landscape. A captivating look into the minds of those involved.  Great characters. Riveting story. Very realistic portrayal of Chicago and the mafia that ruled the streets.
Was this review helpful?
At first the book started off excellent, but then it just went down hill from there.  I lost interest halfway through.  I am giving this 3 stars
Was this review helpful?
Gangland is a helluva good read for all of the reasons one would expect. Set in the late 70s and dealing with the Chicago Mob – the Outfit – Gangland is full of tough talk and tough tension. Strong men turned weak with betrayal. Shrewd planning upturned with crazed indecision. Gangland is an in-your-face page turner of a story that is hotter than a stolen bracelet and cooler than a Lake Michigan breeze. 

Based on the true story of Tony “Joey Batters” Accardo, Chuck Hogan breaks apart some of that Mob mystique that popularized Goodfellas and The Sopranos but he has no problem successfully playing in their shadows. Taking a nugget of Accardo truth, Hogan expands and plots on what a life of crime means, the rationalization of such a choice, and the endgame of its players. Gangland starts with a series of solo vignettes that perfectly draw together into a dramatic composite. A former capo is whacked. A perfect heist is thrown – but at the wrong jewelry store. An innocent drink is toasted at a guilty bar. And the throughline of it all is Nicky Passero, loyal soldier, low-level go-fer, and bowling lane proprietor. Using Passero, Hogan opens up a world of crazy intentions and misplaced honor that is both horrific to understand while remaining an alluring fantasy. 

While Passero fights to restore his own family, Accardo tasks him to uphold duties to the Family. And as the cops and feds get ever closer, Accardo seemingly slips into self-delusion. Or is he becoming crazy like a fox? Nicky, meanwhile, has his own secrets that are eating him alive, when all he wants to do is bowl.  

With Gangland, Chuck Hogan serves up a feast of pulpy goodness. One that deserves to be savoured with a knife in one hand and a bottle of A-1 in the other. And brother is it good.
Was this review helpful?
Compelling From Beginning To End!

I won’t spend time describing the plot of Gangland as this can be found in in the Book Description, other than to say that it pertains to the main character, on the “outer limits” of the Mafia, being summoned by real-life head of the Chicago Outfit, Tony Accardo, and charged with helping to recover items stolen from his house. From that moment until the final page, I was engrossed in every aspect of this book. That’s due to author, Chuck Hogan, creating a plot that is filled with action and surprises, developing primary and secondary characters that are three-dimensional, very realistic dialogue and a sense of time and place that makes the reader feel he/she is “right there” experiencing everything going on.

For me, Gangland is one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year, thus making it a book I’d highly recommend to anyone who likes books that will keep you turning the pages as fast as possible to see what happens next, and especially books involving the Mafia.

#Gangland.  #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
I could not put this book down.  Nicky is a gay peripheral player, an errand boy for the Man in Chicago until he is tasked with killing (with a grisley message) an old retired mobster, who trusts him.  He is catapulted into a dark world and is blackmailed into being an FBI informant.  I will look for more books by this author!
Was this review helpful?
A great story that has the Outfit boss wanting the jewels back from a heist that was done over a weekend. One of the pieces was a gift for Accardo’s wife for Christmas. The boss turns to Nicky “Pin” Passero. Along with his crew of Sally Brags and Crease Man, they are to go after the men who did the job. That is after they returned the jewels. Of course, there is always one guy who is upset that they had to give back the stolen jewels and what he does is takes it out on the boss's house. This all adds to the story.  With a little fact thrown in with fiction and you have a perfect story. Loved all of the nicknames that you don’t hear nowadays but back then always. Nick’s character is good and keeps the story moving along until the very end. For me, I enjoy stories like this which might not be for everyone but it held my attention and was worth the read. Also kept along with what was going on with the different time periods as well, well done.
Was this review helpful?
Not your typical mafia read. The author does an outstanding job of portraying a 1970's era, small-time hood hanging on the periphery of the mafia. Little did he know what he was getting into when he took the plunge and became a Don's secret weapon. Full of double-crosses, excellent descriptions of friendships between men, a great story, and a surprising ending. I could not put this one down!  Definitely will be following this author from here on.
Was this review helpful?
I made the mistake of reading this book too soon after finishing City on Fire by Don Winslow.  I thought City on Fire was one of the best "gangster" novels I've ever read and I would put it up there with The Godfather.  Gangland was good, but not as good and as such, I feel like I did this book a disservice by unfairly (but inevitably) comparing the two. 

My plan is to let some time pass, let myself forget and re-read at some point.  I think I'll enjoy it more.
Was this review helpful?
Gangland by Chuck Hogan is a 1970's gangster novel that is inspired by true events. The plot of this story feels really small but then you open up the paranoia of both the gangsters and the thieves, then heads will roll. There's scenes in both Goodfellas and Casino where a lot of people die because of what they are involved in the scene last 5-10 minutes. This novel is one of those scenes expanded into the tracking, the execution, and the planning. The novel follows Nicky "Two Pins" a man with secrets who runs a legitimate business the bowling alley, but what most other people don't know until it's too late is he is the guy that handles the executions, he's also an FBI informant, and closetly gay. The secrets are what he does and there's no one better. The climax was very worth while and exciting. The epilogue is long and many years after the climax it answers some of the questions but not all. The opening scene is a little rough and felt cliche, but the ending to that scene starts this easily readable novel going. The pace of Gangland is very fast. This is my forth Chuck Hogan book (I read Strain trilogy that he co-wrote with Guillermo del Toro about a vampire war) and Gangland my first Gangster novel since that is what he's known for with Prince of Thieves also known as The Town (to match the film title). Thanks to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for letting me read the ARC. Gangland is published on August 2 2022.

Plot Summary: Nicky "Two Pins" has just done the biggest double cross killing his mentor for a way to move up and works under Tony Accardo who is the boss of Chicago and a protégé under Al Capone. Nicky has kept it all underwraps from FBI since he is an unwilling informant that blackmails him for being gay during the 1970's. Everything is going smoothly until thieves steal form a jeweler without permissions and steal an anniversary present from Tony to his wife. The thieves get confronted and are told to return everything and maybe they can work together in the future. The guy that set this up had to return his kid and wife's Christmas present as Tony vacations in Palm Springs. He decides to break into Tony's house while he's on vacation and steal the jewels back, but they were not there, but something of value was the books of payoffs, that same thing that took Al Capone down. Tony wants the people responsible and to send a message to thieves no one steals from Tony! It's a cat and mouse game to find who is responsible before the thief realizes what he has and figures out the code of the books.

What I Liked: I love a good gangster story and this one starts off okay but gets really great as paranoia hits everyone involved, then double and triple crosses start to happen. I loved all the pop culture references, and just how hard it was to get a star wars toy at Christmas. I really liked the character of Nicky "Two Pins" and felt for his secret gay life and the way he treated others fairly in his business. I like how easily Tony could lie even when backed in the corner and the evidence is looking you him in the face. I like how I could feel the 1970's throughout the novel. I really liked the climax and how intense and chaotic it got.

What I Disliked: The opening scene was very cliche, I was worried the whole book was going to be this way, but it was not. I wanted to see a little bit more of his struggles with being gay and a gangster. I really wanted to see the drunken fight with his wife where he confessed how prison and his cellmate changed him. The epilogue could have answered what Nicky did after the climax instead of 13 years later a little bit sooner.

Recommendations: If you're looking for a gangster novel that is brutal and features lots of betrayals then this is it. I recommend this novel for it's super quick pace and when reading this story I kept asking me what's going to happen next? It's not a great book but a very solid story. I rated Gangland by Chuck Hogan 4 out of 5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
If you are into mob stories, Gangland is for you. I really liked it and thought author Chuck Hogan did a great job in writing it. He kept my interest throughout.
Thanks NetGalley for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Grand Central and Netgalley for sharing this ARC. I enjoyed this 70s-era Chicago mob tale. I thought the beginning was slow-going, but about a 1/3 of the way in, things started to heat up and kept my interest. I’ve seen comparisons to Don Winslow and I would deem it Don Winslow lite. Not quite as violent, the characters are not quite as fleshed out. Recommend this fir anyone who likes historical crime fiction or crime stories.
Was this review helpful?
If you love Mob stories then Gangland by Chuck Hogan is a must read. The writer does a fantastic job of making you feel the pressure of needing to make the best decisions possible in order to survive. Make sure to buy yourself a copy of this wonderful book. Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for this advanced copy.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book. Classic mafia story with some unique twists. All the cloak and dagger underhanded dealings expected in a mobster story with some completely unexpected turns. Nicky Pins is a character you really learn to love a criminal that you hope can turn things around.  I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good mob read.
Was this review helpful?
Gangland is a standard story of the Chicago mob in its waning days beginning in the 1970s. While some of the characters are real people, others have been created for this book. I spent a lot of time on Wikipedia trying to separate the truth from the fiction.

Overall, I was disappointed by Gangland but perhaps I expected too much from the author of The Town. The plot is nothing new and was repetitive. Hopefully, the inevitable movie will be better. 3 stars.

Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.
Was this review helpful?
The machinations of the Chicago mob overwhelm Nicky when he's sent on an impossible quest.  This felt, at least to me, derivative of other novels about the Mafia but it did make for an immersive reading experience.  Thanks to netgalley for the ARC.  For fans of the genre.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Net Galley for the opportunity to review this novel.  Based upon the material and comparable works (both of the author and the subject matter) this fell a pale shade to other offerings

Perhaps it was my own hopes from Prince of Thieves..  I accept coming in with expectations and , like Mark Winegardner's Godfather Series, was left empty.

The book moves steadily, intertwining history and fiction pleasantly enough.  The characters are 2 dimensional though and the ending is uninspiring..

The biggest flaws will be not releasing this a few months earlier as a forgettable beach read and referencing The Town. This is setting the book akin to a movie that opens big and loses 70% audience in its second week..  This is not Puzo.  This is not Lehane.  Sadly, it feels like this is Chuck Hogan under a deadline when he lost the excitement to writing his prose.
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to like this, and I think the reasons I didn't have very little to do with the actual book. I really enjoy Chuck Hogan's writing, I like crime novels, and I love books set in Chicago. So this seemed right up my alley. But the problem with movies like Godfather and The Irishman and Goodfellas is that even the most intricately-researched and realistic mafia novel comes off feeling like a parody or homage to those classics. I gave the book a fair shot, but I was never able to get past the familiarity to see the book as its own thing.
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to give this good 5 stars because i love mafia novels, I went to law school in Chicago at the time this novel is set(late seventies) and because i have loved all of Hogan’s previous books. But this one did not send me—it seemed disjointed and lacked focus—of course the inside mafia and cops and crime stuff is there - along with lots of period references but it just didnt seem to hang together for me. Maybe you’ll feel differently. Still it was enjoyable but The Godfather it is not.
Was this review helpful?