John Land. The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending. Forge: Tor. Jun. 2008. c.368p. ISBN 978-0-7653-1534-2. $24.95.
After his parents' death, Sicilian-born Michele Nunziato was raised by the boss of all bosses, Don Luciano Scaglione. Having grown wealthy with the Don's help and his own ruthless intellect, he now decides to go legit (or as legit as a man who doesn't mind killing for personal gain can go). Inspired by the inscription on an ancient medallion once belonging to King Midas--"To Dream, To Dare, To Win"--Michele takes the name Michael Tiranno (the "tyrant") and builds the magnificent Seven Sins casino in Las Vegas. When terrorists attack the strip, Michael and his strongman, the redoubtable Alexander, go into action. They soon learn that someone (beyond the obvious Muslim extremists) wants to destroy not only Michael and his casino but all of Sin City. Interspersing episodes from the 1970s, the 1990s, and the present day and combining high finance with ancient lore, Land (Blood Diamonds) presents a larger-than-life hero with a dark past, a risk taker accompanied by a sidekick so skilled in killing as to seem infallible. Their spectacular ride, global in its dimensions, will enthrall all thrill seekers. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections. [This is the first of a series of books starring Michael Tiranno, inspired by Italian real-estate and media mogul Fabrizio Boccardi.--Ed.]