It's 1975. Don Vittorio Tucci, head of the Detroit mob, lies on his deathbed as his family and associates secretly jockey for power. Meanwhile, his grandson Bobby Tucci--just an ordinary college student and rock musi-cian, who until now has steered clear of the family business--is drawn into the middle of a power play among the don's hotheaded first lieutenant, his consigliere, and Bobby's own mother, who has designs on being the first woman to lead a major crime family.
It seems simple: His grandfather promises him a $40 million payday if he'll just stay around for a while, lending some stability as the next rightful heir to the Family. But there's a little complication: He's going to have to "make his bones"--prove himself to the Family. His assignment? Kill Jimmy Hoffa.
Whacking Jimmy is a seventies flashback, mafia-style--a classic caper built around one of the greatest unsolved crimes in history. It is a hip, hilarious thriller for those who love writers like Elmore Leonard and for anyone who wants to know one possible, though a bit implausible, solution to the Jimmy Hoffa mystery.
Vittorio Tucci sat with Bobby on the Tillmans' screened porch and watched the little sailboat bob on the water. The sight of it sent a wave of nausea through him. He wanted to lie down with a wet towel on his head, but he wasn't finished with Bobby yet. He summoned the will to keep his voice strong and said, "In a few weeks, things are gonna pop around here. Maybe I'll be dead by then, but it don't matter, they're gonna pop with or without me. When they do, you're gonna be in the middle of it. People are gonna come to you--your mother and her old man, Catello, Relli, the New York Families, and I dunno who else. They're gonna promise you big money, tell you about your responsibilities, warn you about each other. You understand what I'm sayin'?"
"Why would anyone bother with me?" asked Bobby. "They know I've got nothing to do with the Family."
Don Vittorio paused. "You're the last Tucci," he said. "You got the name, and whoever gets you on their side has the strongest claim. In a battle royale the name's gonna carry weight. Now do you understand?"
"Fine," said Don Vittorio. He reached into the pocket of his suit coat and took out an envelope. "This is for you."
"What is it?"
"Swiss bank-account numbers and the name of a guy in Zurich. The dough in the accounts is yours. Forty million bucks."
"Holy shit," said Bobby. "I never knew you had that much."
Don Vittorio's ravaged eyes flashed. "Kid, forty million ain't even the interest on what I got," he said. "But it's all you get."
Bobby wanted to tell his grandfather that he'd miss him. Instead he took the envelope and said, "Thanks for this."
"That's okay, kid," said Don Vittorio, rolling up the window. "I hope you live long enough to spend it."
From the Hardcover edition.