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The Wolves of Fairmount Park

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  25 reviews
In The Wolves of Fairmount Park, Dennis Tafoya’s lyrical, intense, sometimes tragic and sometimes hopeful second novel, the details of a drive-by shooting of two teenagers in a rough Philadelphia neighborhood are filled in from four perspectives: Brendan Donovan, a cop and the father of the boy shot and left comatose; George Parkman Sr., another father, this one of the boy ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published June 15th 2010)
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William Bentrim
The Wolves Of Fairmount Park by Dennis Tafoya

This book chronicles the events that surround a drive by shooting that traumatizes two families and where collateral damages purges a portion of the Philadelphia drug scene.

Dennis Tafoya writes a complicated mystery. You may figure out the who but the why may escape you. He maintains your interest by providing in depth characterizations. Be prepared for some un-likeable characters. Cop cultural clashes with junkie culture and family values. Chris Bla
Sabrina Ogden
After two boys are brutally gunned down in front of a drug house on the wrong side of Philadelphia, two families struggle to make sense of a crime that left one boy dead, and another boy, Michael, Officer Brendan Donovan's son, in a coma and fighting for his life.

Grieving for the loss of his son, Geo, George Parkman Sr. sets out immediately to enact revenge on the person he feels is responsible for Geo's death, Orlando Donovan, the drug-addicted Uncle of the surviving boy. Concerned that Orland
I am usually not one to tarry about in the world you and I live in when it comes to my escapism. When I choose to escape, I usually find a place with magic, androids, vampires, ray guns - maybe all of these elements on very rare occasions - but, in this case, I was more than happy to go to a place near and dear to my heart. Philadelphia. No matter how gritty it got.

The story covers the intertwined lives of people caught in the Philadelphia dope trade. Some players come from the law-abiding side:
Tafoya in his second novel expands his writing as significantly as his first introduced it. A bigger canvas with a multiple character ensemble but losing little of the intimacy of finely etched characters, some reviewers called it operatic, and I have to agree as we get a multi-voiced chorus telling this tale of redemption, violence in the mean streets of Philly. Orlando the junkie ‘sleuth”, Angel Riordan the stone killer, Chris the reluctant gangster, and Danny the detective are one of many gre ...more
"Meet Orlando Donovan. He's just your typical book-reading, music-appreciating, gangsta-fightin', family-loving, deep-thinking, crime-solving, dope junkie."

Alright, now that I've got my cynical tagline out of the way, this really wasn't a bad book. The beginning was pretty confusing which I blame on the jumping around from one character to another, some of which are pretty irrelevant to the story. But as I got further along I got more invested and curious as to how the plot was going to play out
For Dennis Tafoya's second novel, the setting shifts from Bucks County to Northwest Philadelphia. specifically the Wissahickon and Roxborough neighborhoods.

Like his first book, this one centers around narcotics. Wolves features a doper, his girlfriend, and assorted family members, plus a drug lord and his cronies, and a few cops.

I wouldn't call this book a fun read, but it is a great one. Good plot, solid pacing, well developed likable characters, and Philadelphia makes for a great background.
Having recently visited Philadelphia, I chose this book because thought it would be fun to be reminded of the local color. While there wasn't enough of that for me, it was an interesting and sad descent into the street world of junkies, prostitutes, and drug lords. Described on the cover as a "crime novel," I think this is a good distinction for me - not so much a mystery or detective fiction, though there is a series of mysteries to be solved - as Tafoya seemed downright obsessed with describin ...more
J.F. Juzwik
I wish I could rate this ten stars instead of five. This is yet another outstanding work from Dennis Tafoya. This story is rich with action and contains such a sense of gritty realism. The characters are three-dimensional and very genuine because in real life, no one is all good or all bad, and the same is true here. Bad things happen to good people and good people sometimes do bad things. I recommend this very highly. I would recommend anything by Dennis Tafoya frankly. I loved Dope Thief and i ...more
Read it in a day. Fast paced once I got into it...slow at first. Loved looking up all the streets on google maps. Interesting story...great reading about Philly's dark side.
PROTAGONIST: Orlando Donovan, heroin addict, et al
SETTING: Philadelphia
SERIES: Standalone
RATING: 4.25
WHY: Two young men are shot while standing in front of a dope house. One is killed, and the second, a cop's son, is comatose. The assumption that they are buying drugs seems flawed. The heroin addict uncle of the comatose boy takes it upon himself to uncover the truth. The book has a noir sensibility, but the writing is lyrically beautiful. Fully realized characters; my only problem was with the
This is an example of "it's not you, book--it's me". I got through about 100 pages, and liked it, but felt it was Pelecanos-lite to me. And I just had too many other things clamoring for my attention. I might have bumped it up to 4 stars had I finished it, but I just wasn't compelled to and it's been sitting on my nightstand for just too long, so apparently it didn't suck me in enough from the beginning.

I'm kind of curious what happened to those two boys, and I hate leaving things unfinished, so
This is a puzzler disguised as a procedural, and the changing perspectives (4 viewpoints) keep you engrossed. A drive-by shooting in Philadelphia that kills one teenager (who doesn't seem to belong there)--is it really a drug deal gone bad or something else? This is not for the faint of heart, but Tafoya's themes of loyalty and betrayal ring true. If you like Pelecanos and Lehane, you should try this new author. Dovetailing with my viewing of Gone Baby, Gone and a new and disturbing episode of T ...more
J. Ewbank
This book by Tafoya is a different kind of book for me. Though it is entitled a crime novel tere is so much else going on. As many have said it begins wth a drive-by shooting of two youth. One of them is killed and the other is comatose. The story searches for why they were there and the realtions that all of the seamy side folks had with those who were supposedly on the right side of things. Deeply engrossing, it is a book that makes you read and wonder.

J. Robert Ewbank author "Wesley's Wars" a
I live in Manayunk, so it was cool to read about places I pass through everyday. But some of it felt forced, the locations, descriptions, the music he notes characters are listening to. I dunno, it didn't seem like a natural flow. the story was good, definitely kept me interested, but again, didn't seem to flow. I'm not a professional critic or anything, but this felt a little amateur, if I can say that. I am definitely rooting for this native, and will look for more of his books, keep a positiv ...more

Enjoyed this a lot.

A senseless shooting in front of a drug-house. Several people try to make sense of it/solve it including a homicide detective, a cop who is the father of the victim, and the Uncle of the victim who happens to be a strung-out junkie. It is this character, Orlando, who is most intriguingly portrayed.

Reminiscent of Richard Price and George Pelecanos (especially in it's sense of time and place)...which is high praise from me.
4 1/2 stars - great book! Gritty, edgy story with a number of substories intertwined. But I didn't get confused and loved how it all came together in the end. I especially loved traveling around Philly.. Ridge Ave, Fairmont Ave, West River Dr, East Falls, Girard Ave.. not all the best spots but where police action takes place. Good character development to the point where I could sympathize with some of the bad guys. Great second novel.
Julie Summerell
I loved this. The pacing was perfect, and Tafoya is one of those writers who can make you empathize with completely horrible human beings. Four out of five because the very end felt a little awkward, but otherwise a wonderful book. I'll be snagging Mr. Tafoya's first novel now, too.
More like 1.5 I didnt enjoy it. And I hated how bad Philadelphia was portrayed. Boring and too many characters. Probably one of my least favorite books ever
Brandon Nagel
Excellent crime novel. Told from 4 different points of view. Highly recommended. Better than Dope Thief. Tafoya is one of the best new crime writers out there.
Mar 17, 2011 VaughanPL added it
Shelves: mysteries
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Max F
Good book - nice action, credible dialogue, solid characters, excellent descriptions and mood setting.
Patti Tindal
Good read. I got a little bogged down with so many characters but liked the setting in Philadelphia.
Kimberly Ylitalo
Liked it so much I want to find and read his first book, DOPE THIEF.
Fiona Johnson
Great story with interesting characters.
Crime drama, cops, heroin, etc.
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Dennis Tafoya is the author of two crime novels, Dope Thief and The Wolves in Fairmount Park, both from St. Martin’s, as well as numerous short stories. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the International Thriller Writers, and the Liars Club, a Philadelphia-area group of writers, producers and other creative types. He lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where he is currently at work ...more
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