Don Winslow has written one of those classic crime fiction novels that people will read and talk about for years. The fact that Robert De Niro is going to star in the movie based on the book will undoubtedly propel The Winter of Frankie Machine to a whole new level of exposure.
The author has already had book/movie success with a previous novel, The Life and Death of Bobby Z. That movie is currently out on DVD under the name Bobby Z.
Winslow also happens to be the real deal when it comes to crime writing. While in his twenties, Winslow helped break up a theft ring in movie theaters where he was a manager. After being put undercover again, and again succeeding and breaking up a theft ring, he was offered fulltime employment as a private investigator.
As a P.I., Winslow went international and handled cases in London and Amsterdam. Later he worked to train counterterrorist teams and became part of a forensic anthropology group that specialized in arson and fraud investigation. He used those experiences to write the novel California Fire and Life.
Winslow wrote five critically acclaimed mystery novels featuring Neal Carey before going to the stand-alone crime novels he’s known for now.
The Winter of Frankie Machine grabbed me in a hammerlock from the first few pages and refused to let go. Maybe I was influenced by the fact that I’d learned De Niro was going to play Frankie Machine in the movie version, but the character is so interesting that I think I would’ve been caught up in the story even without knowing about the movie.
The book opens in such a casual, almost genial, fashion that I at first was lulled into a casual reading. And I know that doesn’t explain the “hammerlock” statement I used at all. It’s just that the character description is so well done that I had to follow along behind Frankie and find out everything about him.