The Poison Of Money

Inside The Torrio Family

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
362 Pages
Reviewed on 03/31/2021
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Author Biography

Joe Torrence is an accomplished businessman who some may say inherited the business acumen and street savvy of his great uncle, Johnny Torrio. Except that there is one major difference between the two men.

The author took the straight road as he also inherited and readily embraced the morals, honesty and integrity of his grandmother, Marietta Torrio, Johnny Torrio’s only blood sister.

Coincidentally the author, like Torrio, prefers to remain in the shadows... at least for now.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

The Poison of Money: Inside The Torrio Family is a deep, profound struggle between power and spirituality. This is why Joseph, the protagonist, is believable and sympathetic. This novel by Joe Torrence is a brilliant coming of age tale that invites you to consider how one man weighs his options upon discovering that his great-uncle is the most powerful Mafioso that ever existed. From his humble beginnings, Joseph emerges as a determined and admirable character. Like most people dreaming of a better life, he is lured into exploring the Great American Dream against the behest of his pious parents who have warned him about how power and money corrupt. But deeply hidden secrets seem to have a way of emerging, as Joseph discovers that Al Capone’s boss is his great-uncle. And so begins his quest that will take Joseph across continents to unravel his identity and bear witness to the decay that his parents have warned him about.

Reading The Poison of Money gives you the feeling of going down memory lane. Photographs of people, places, and documents accompany the pages and add further credibility to a novel that is largely based on true events. The story views the Mafia structure on its genealogical level that begins when Joseph discovers the newspaper clippings about Johnny Torrio. This is the secret to its charm, as Torrence shapes how his readers will perceive the Mafia. There is a strong interplay between the conflicting influence of power and spirituality, and you will want to know how Joseph plays it out at the end. The narrative does not follow any standard formula, except for the structure common in Mafia tales about balancing power and family loyalty. As you follow Joseph in his quest for truth and identity, you will think that he has no idea what he is getting himself into, but at the same time, you cannot blame him. The Poison of Money embodies an elusive dream that comes with a caveat.

Foluso Falaye

Is the love of money indeed the root of all evil? The Poison Of Money by Joe Torrence explores various crimes that have been committed in history by people from different countries—especially the United States and Italy—in a bid to be rich. The story centers on Johnny Torrio and his relation, Joseph. Joseph is a teen who finds out his great-uncle is the notorious Johnny Torrio from his father after stumbling on a Montréal newspaper clipping about the Mafia. To discover more about his great-uncle and satisfy his newfound interest in the Mafia, Joseph approaches an elderly aunt, Tina. As he comes of age, Joseph looks into Johnny Torrio's past, the nine curses that plagued the Torrios, the Ten Commandments, and the history of greed-based crime and corruption in different areas: alcohol trade, prostitution, sports, the movies, and more.

Packed with historical richness, a profound look into human behavior, and matching biblical references, The Poison Of Money is a book I would love to reread for its abundant information. Joe Torrence makes history fun by combining well-developed and complex characters with a strategic revealing of historical events. Also, the mixture of fiction and the more predominant historical facts is done adroitly, and the detached narrator states their opinions regarding the characters and the morality of several human acts interactively. Readers should expect some not-too-disturbing descriptions of violence displayed by the Mafia, political opinions, racial issues, and a Christian narrator. I especially enjoyed the comparisons between the 20th century and now, which reveals that many things are still very much the same. The Poison Of Money is recommended to readers who seek books about the Mafia, organized crime, and history.

Rabia Tanveer

The Poison Of Money: Inside the Torrio Family by Joe Torrence is the story of how money and power can change lives. What would you do if you found out your great-uncle was a notorious mobster that the whole country feared? Joseph got the shock of his life when he figured out that Johnny Torrio was his great-uncle. While his parents tried to hide that fact, Joseph was engaged in Torrio's story. Joseph's parents warned him about the poison of riches, but Joseph's young mind would not listen. To uncover the truth, he visited his aunt Tina, and that was when his journey began. The more he talked to the gentle old lady, the more secrets he uncovered about his family. What he was about to uncover would not only shock him but also ignite a fire in his blood. Family secrets were always going to be a burden, but to Joseph's young, impressionable mind, it was about to change his life.

The Poison Of Money is an absolute page-turner. I was hooked on the story from the very beginning and wanted to know more as Joseph uncovered his family's secrets. The narrative was riveting. I felt Joe Torrence's presence in the story and loved how he explained everything to make it even more enjoyable. The storytelling was on point in this story, especially when Aunt Tina started talking about the past. I was taken back in time along with Joseph and lived the past with him. The themes of morals, religion, riches, and family secrets run high in this story, yet the author does absolute justice to each of them. The descriptions were vivid, the dialogues were rich, and the story's overall ambiance was brilliant. I would highly recommend this suspenseful novel.