Books: An Offer You Can Refuse

A new novel tries to continue The Godfather saga

Despite the fact that Mario Puzo sleeps with the fishes and has been been doing so since 1999, this week brings us a brand-new novel set in the rich, bloody, curiously seductive world of the original, pre-Sopranos gangsters, the Corleone family. Just when we thought we were out--say it with me--they pull us back in.

The Godfather Returns (Random House; 430 pages), by the non-Sicilian Mark Winegardner, is not precisely a sequel; it's interleaved into the gaps between the three movies. We rejoin Michael Corleone still struggling to take the family business legitimate while ignoring the slow collapse of his marriage....