The Old Turk's Load
Gregory Gibson’s first novel The Old Turk’s Load is similar to Snatch in that it offers thorough, grimly fun profiles of lowlifes going after one, fiercely coveted valuable—in this case New Jersey crime boss Angelo DiNoto’s million-dollar Turkish heroin shipment gone missing during the Newark riots in 1967.
There are the Street Brothers, DiNoto’s muscle, who transport—and lose—their boss’ stash in a tricked-out customized Porsche. There’s Richard Mundi, a financially desperate real estate operator. There’s Gloria, Mundi’s daughter, courting aspiring revolutionaries. There’s the Mailman, a junkie. There’s Walkaway Kelly, a juiced private eye. And there are the extras tied to the main cast.
All are evil.
All want the batch of heroin.
All face each other down as DiNoto goes on a wrathful spree to punish each one of them.
What author Gregory Gibson lacks in creating a sense of place in Newark, he displays in setting the historical era through character descriptions that shine like pistols in sentences that burst like bullets.
With its sparse dialogue and nonchalant treatment of sex and violence, The Old Turk’s Load is probably the fastest neo-noir read on crime novel shelves. Exquisitely hardboiled, this crime novel is the perfect beach read for those nurtured on Tarantino and Spillane.