Wednesday, November 05, 2008

J. Lou McCartney's, De Marco Empire


In her novel, De Marco Empire, author J. Lou McCartney taps into various elements of a Shakespearean tragedy to deliver a modern tragic love story embroiled in the seedy mafia underworld of murder, revenge, obsession, and malicious jealousy.

The story takes place in London, England where Katie and Lucy, two recent College graduates, become employed at the lavish and luxurious Club La Pregheira. The Club is owned and managed by two brothers by the name of Antonio and Gianni de Marco. Katie is an innocent and naïve young woman who finds herself captivated by the handsome and mysterious Antonio de Marco. Lucy becomes involved with Stevo, Antonio’s employee and close friend. The de Marco brothers’ world of crime and murder become entwined with the girls’ romantic relationships resulting in dangerous and deadly events that threaten to tear their lives apart.

As a romance, the narrative can be described as a tragic love story. Antonio and Katie’s relationship is one of obsession and control. Katie, drawn into Antonio’s charming and self assured manner, is blinded to his dark and sinister life which becomes her undoing. Themes of obsession, jealousy, and revenge are revealed through a host of deadly and vicious characters. The story is rooted in a clash of two worlds where Antonio believes he can keep his relationship with Katie separate from his dangerous and deadly criminal life.

In terms of character development, some of the criminal characters introduced had somewhat of a limited role. More development could have been devoted to the central characters. As well, one the main scenes central to the plot was a bit brief. It could have been expanded to deliver a more dramatic climax.

As a tragic love story, the author successfully adapts the elements of a Shakespearean tragedy to a modern plot. The story is full of surprising twists and turns making it a very entertaining read. De Marco Empire is highly recommended to readers who enjoy plights of “star-crossed lovers” unable to stop external elements bent on heartless destruction.
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