[description from goodreads]
Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance--until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).
Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It's a quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies--a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K in cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense--hidden in its pages the secret to "ultimate power." It's why she's being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives.
Action packed, with fresh, cinematic writing, Cold Fury is a riveting and imaginative adventure readers will devour.
It is a (probably sad) fact of my life that I will read most anything that mentions the mob. The mob need not even be the main focus to capture my attention, but it's happily a large part of Cold Fury. However, just because the mob automatically captures my interest does not mean I will automatically love anything it's a part of, and sadly that's true with this book.
My main issue with Cold Fury is that it's so very slow. One would think that a plot-driven novel would not spend so much time with exposition and get to the action sooner, but that's most definitely not true in this case. It's mainly annoying because even with the extensive detail about Sara Jane's past and her family, she's the only one who doesn't seem like some cartoon. No matter how many stories she tells about her uncle, her parents, her brother, or her schoolmates, none of them manage to break free from their over-the-top personalities, especially when the action does finally begin, because by then the action takes precedence over the characterization. I can barely recall which villains are from the family, the mob, or anywhere in between-- I mainly just remember how ridiculous they are. Like, a ski mask? Really?
Although the minor characters are all rather underdeveloped, Sara Jane is happily not. Some of her actions and choices happen far too quickly and insensibly, but even with those in mind, I am rather happy with her character. She's fierce even when she's isn't always sure how to be, and she takes matters into her own hands even when it's dangerous, which makes for an compelling read once all the exposition is over. Even though much of the time I felt like the action wasn't leading up to anything, it's at the very least exciting.
Although the mob is exciting, I'm not its presence, even combined with its strong heroine, makes up for the slow beginning and underdeveloped cast.
Book details: Putnam Juvenile/Hardcover/$17.99
Source: sent by publisher for review