Christopher Manos is powerful, moneyed, and dangerous. He’s worked hard to make himself untouchable, but his one weakness is his nephew, Simon. When the eight-year old disappears, Manos threatens dire repercussions if the boy is harmed.
Snow has lived on the streets for four years so he’s used to dodging the thugs and rougher elements. He’s stayed alive by staying smart and staying out of other people’s business. But he isn’t about to let a kid get beat up, even if means Snow will suffer for it later. When Snow finds out he’s rescued the nephew of one of the most powerful crime bosses around, he realizes he’s out of his depth. Initially uneasy, Snow quickly realizes Christopher is kind and loving and positively brutal to his enemies. Both men have secrets and Snow has to decide if he can love a man who lives on the wrong side of the law.
I adored Snow Falling and while it wasn’t quite perfect, it had a wonderfully sweet couple and enough action to capture and keep my interest. The pacing is smooth and well balanced and the writing is crisp and concise. Apparently this is the author’s debut novel, but Snow Falling reads like the work of a long established writer.
Snow and Christopher are both compelling characters. They balance one another brilliantly and their romance feels believable, if somewhat quickly established. Snow isn’t a fool and he understands the nature of Christopher’s life and the lengths he will go to protect those he loves. He never tries to change Christopher and never asks him to walk away and he accepts him, warts and all. Christopher isn’t a heartless monster, but he does kill and he is brutally efficient in managing his empire. And like Snow, we find ourselves accepting Christopher as he is, because good and evil are evenly balanced within him. There is violence in Snow Falling and while I wouldn’t consider it particularly graphic, consider yourselves forewarned if you dislike that sort of thing.
Now the story is pretty absurd, but I’ve found most plots that use the mafia as a frame of reference tend to be rather silly. It’s simple and not particularly original, but Snow and Christopher save it from feeling too trite. My biggest issue with the book is a particular scene that takes place between Christopher and one of his rival crime bosses. The whole scene, down to the conversational style, feels far too Godfathery and doesn’t fit the rest of the author’s writing style. It’s too stiff and formalized and awkward. I felt like in this particular scene the author lost their voice and was trying to create something that just didn’t suit the established narrative. Had Christopher been allowed to conduct the meeting in his own style and his own “voice,” the scene would have worked fine. As it is, this particular scene sticks out like a sore thumb.
Snow Falling is an excellent read about two men who find life under violent circumstances. Strong characters and an excellent writing style made this book a pleasure to read. And except for one scene in particular that failed to ring true and a plot that isn’t particularly original, Snow Falling manages to hit the right notes. Consider this one strongly recommended