Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Wolves of Fairmount Park” as Want to Read:
The Wolves of Fairmount Park
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Wolves of Fairmount Park

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  129 Ratings  ·  26 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
ebook, 352 pages
Published June 22nd 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published June 15th 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 17, 2010 Monk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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:
Sabrina Ogden
Apr 09, 2011 Sabrina Ogden rated it it was amazing
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
William Bentrim
Jun 28, 2010 William Bentrim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 22, 2010 Adam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 23, 2010 Maddy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-reads
PROTAGONIST: Orlando Donovan, heroin addict, et al
SETTING: Philadelphia
SERIES: Standalone
RATING: 4.25

While standing outside a known dope house in Philadelphia, one young man is killed and the other left in a coma in a drive-by shooting. It is only natural to assume that they were there to score some drugs, but those that know them best find that scenario highly unlikely. Michael Donovan is the son of a policeman, Brendan Donovan, who is quick to accuse his half-brother, Orlando, who lived nearb
Nov 18, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
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
May 27, 2015 Scoats rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
J.F. Juzwik
Mar 17, 2011 J.F. Juzwik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 31, 2010 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-gritty
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
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
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
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

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
Jul 09, 2010 Julie Summerell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 01, 2014 Marisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Fiona Johnson
Mar 07, 2011 Fiona Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story with interesting characters.
Brandon Nagel
Apr 19, 2013 Brandon Nagel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Patti Tindal
Mar 05, 2013 Patti Tindal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read. I got a little bogged down with so many characters but liked the setting in Philadelphia.
Max F
Good book - nice action, credible dialogue, solid characters, excellent descriptions and mood setting.
Nov 13, 2014 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 19, 2010 Jayne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crime drama, cops, heroin, etc.
Click here to find in the catalogue
Bryan rated it really liked it
Sep 28, 2013
Tania Hutchison
Tania Hutchison rated it liked it
Apr 14, 2011
Allison Patten
Allison Patten rated it did not like it
Oct 16, 2014
Doug Edwards
Doug Edwards rated it really liked it
Oct 14, 2011
Jennifer rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2015
Kelley rated it it was amazing
Sep 20, 2010
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Do They Know I'm Running?
  • Collusion (Jack Lennon Investigations #2)
  • Soul Circus (Derek Strange and Terry Quinn, #3)
  • Two-Way Split
  • The Ones You Do
  • Homeboy
  • Red-Dirt Marijuana and Other Tastes
  • Gone 'til November
  • David Goodis: Five Noir Novels of the 1940s and 50s
  • Tower
  • Eye of the Cricket (Lew Griffin, #4)
  • Bad Penny Blues
  • Pomona Queen
  • Brotherly Love
  • The Ivory Grin
  • Wire to Wire
  • White Shadow
  • Bordersnakes
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
More about Dennis Tafoya...

Share This Book