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Daily Archives: August 1, 2012

Murder Takes Time: Friendship & Honor Series, Book One (Volume 1) by Giacomo Giammatteo

Murder Takes Time Reviewed by Chris Phillips

Giammatteo brings new life to the typical detective murder story. He takes the time to develop a complex plot into an attention-capturing tale of intrigue and friends betrayed, remade and destroyed.

It’s not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath – Aeschylus. This quote begins the tale of a group of friends, perhaps unique in the way all Americans can be. Nicky “The Rat” Fusco, Frankie “Bugs” Donovan, Tony “The Brain” Sannullo, Tommy “Mick” McDermott form the core of this group and Chinski, Suit and Paulie finish out the gang. It seems that there is a destiny for them to be “friends forever” until years later.

“…Friendship means we look out for each other. Nobody ever rats or betrays anyone else…”

“…Honor means nobody fucks with one of us and not the others. We stick up for each other. And it means we don’t run, unless we all run…”

These fateful words and the consequences of making and trying to keep childhood promises provide all the tension for the plot. 20 years after these oaths are made, Frankie is a detective for the Brooklyn Police department. Tony is in heavy with the organized crime family in the same area. Nicky is the ex-con that precipitates the action. Frankie gets called into investigate a series of murders of some apparently unrelated men in the Brooklyn area. He begins to suspect soon that there is much more going on here then just someone being murdered.

Giammatteo writes each chapter from either a third person perspective or from Nicky’s personal accounting of his life with these friends. Due to the neighborhood they grow up in they live under the scrutiny of the local organized crime family, headed up by Mikey “The Face” Fagullo. Tony’s mother, Mama Rosa, and Sister Mary Thomas form the character building parts for the boys as they grow up. These two major influences keep the group active and bouncing around through their teenage years. Girls become something they have to consider but deal with as only kids and teens from this era and society can: clumsily, jerkily and very self-consciously.