The Confessions of Al Capone, by Loren Estleman

In an attempt to get sufficient evidence to bring charges against Al Capone, J. Edgar Hoover gets one of his agents to masquerade as a Catholic priest, become a friend of the Capone family, and trick them into spilling enough beans to build a prosecution case.

I've read a few prohibition-era novels lately and liked them, so this looked like a promising (albeit rather intimidating, at 16 CDs worth) audiobook.

To be fair, while the setup sounds pretty far-fetched, the book did a reasonable job of making it somewhat plausible. That wasn't the problem with the book.

The problem I found was that it was very slow moving. It took ages to get anywhere, and the "confessions" which take the form of transcripts taken by the "priest" of Capone's reminiscences are not a major part of the book - I think it was about 5 CDs in before you got the first one, and that wasn't very long.

The rest of the book was about the investigator's attempts to establish his credibility with the Capones, building bridges with his estranged father, and making friends with various flunkies in the Capone household. I just didn't find it very interesting.

I gave up on the 9th CD (I think there'd been about 3 "confessions" pieces by then). Didn't grip me I'm afraid, and I called it a day when I realised I was switching to listening to music instead of the book.

Gave Up : 21-Jun-2014 (audiobook)

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