The Mob, the Vatican and a cynical karaoke plot come together in the darkly comic debut novel from a longtime Playboy.com editor.
Karaoke, the Catholic Church and the Chicago mob come together in Karaoke of Blood, the darkly comic debut novel from former Playboy.com editor-in-chief and current Playboy.com and The Smoking Jacket contributor John D. Thomas. Over-the-hill lounge singer Frank Mancuso concocts a scam to revive his flagging career: He starts faking the stigmata (the bloody wounds of Jesus that spontaneously appear on hands and feet of subjects) at the end of his crooning karaoke act and becomes an overnight sensation. But Frank has no idea what forces he’s unleashed by dabbling with such powerful religious symbols. Suddenly swept up in an international conspiracy, Frank becomes a pawn in a money-making scheme that involves the Vatican (hell-bent on paying off the growing legal bill for an epidemic of sex scandals involving the church), the mob (hell-bent on cashing in), staged assassination attempts, a Vatican-sponsored Vegas casino and just about every cynical scam to exploit true believers. It’s a plot that would have Dan Brown’s head spinning. Is there any way out for Frank? It turns out, with the church involved, even death may not be the best option. With buzz building—New York Times book critic Dwight Garner called Karaoke of Blood one of the best book titles of 2011, and the Black Crowes recently tweeted a good mention—Thomas’s book is well worth the read, especially considering you can pick it up on your Kindle for a buck. Now that’s a bloody good deal.