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Road to Purgatory

Max Allan Collins

141 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0060540273 / ISBN 13: 9780060540272
Published by William Morrow, U.S.A., 2004
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Charles E. Pate (Owens Cross Roads, AL, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Road to Purgatory

Publisher: William Morrow, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2004

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition..

About this title


A New York Times Bestselling Author
A Shamus Award-winning Author

The powerful narrative follow-up to the acclaimed graphic novel Road to Perdition

It's 1942, and Michael O'Sullivan is fighting the Japanese with a tommy gun like his father's. He returns home to pick up his old war against the Chicago mob. In a parallel tale set in 1922, Michael O'Sullivan, Sr., chief enforcer for the Irish godfather, is about to become a father. Both men reach a crossroads as two tales converge into the purgatory of good men trapped in bad lives.


It was probably inevitable that the Oscar-winning 2002 movie adaptation of Max Allan Collins's graphic novel Road to Perdition should spawn sequels, and Road to Purgatoryis the first of those--a gams-and-gunplay historical thriller that picks up the action a decade after the original tale left off.

Michael O'Sullivan Jr., the boy who had tagged along with his gangster father on a road-trip mission of vengeance against Al Capone's Chicago mob, only to see his dad murdered, is now in his early 20s. He no longer carries his birth name, but has become Michael Satariano, the adopted son of Sicilian restaurateurs in DeKalb, Illinois, a town not far from the Windy City. It's 1942, and Michael has just returned to the States from a disastrous military campaign in the Philippines that (at the cost of his left eye) won him the first Congressional Medal of Honor awarded during World War II. Changed by the rigors of battle into an impassive killing machine, Michael finds it hard to settle back into his previous life and settle down with high-school girlfriend Patty Ann O'Hara (she of the dimples and Lana Turner figure). So when former "Untouchable" Eliot Ness, now heading a federal office charged with "safeguarding the health and morale of the armed forces," asks him to take on a perilous undercover gig--infiltrating Capone's syndicate in order to curb its criminal enterprises--Michael can't agree fast enough. He blames the ex-Alcatraz inmate for his father's slaying, and sees in this assignment the prospect for retribution. However, as Michael worms his way into the mob, gaining the trust of Capone lieutenant Frank Nitti, winning the heart of celebrity madam Estelle Carey (a woman with her own risky agenda), and planning a deadly assault on Scarface at his Miami estate, Michael discovers that ascribing blame and exacting justice aren't the easy tasks he'd imagined. He also learns that he's more like his late father than he had realized--a point emphasized in a 1922 flashback, which finds Michael O'Sullivan Sr. rescuing Irish gang boss John Looney and protecting Looney's ruthless scion.

Collins's two decades of experience writing about World War II-era Chicago crime, mostly in his Shamus Award-winning Nate Heller detective series ( Angel in Black, Chicago Confidential), shows in Purgatory's copious period atmospherics and its nuanced portrayals of Capone and company. Though the author tests the bounds of plausibility by letting Michael Satariano escape swift punishment for some of the carnage left behind in these pages, he invests this developing family saga with the sort of generational heartache, conflicted loyalties, and pragmatic betrayals that distinguish genuinely suspenseful gangster epics from the merely barbarous rabble. Road to Perdition fans will not be disappointed. Another sequel, Road to Paradise, is in the works, with a graphic novel prequel, Road to Perdition 2: On the Road, already available. --J. Kingston Pierce

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