Tag Archives: Giacomo Giammatteo

light of lights

Review of Light of Lights (Rules of Vengeance#.5), Giacomo Giammatteo

Giacomo Giammatteo is an inst-buy author for me. So, when I saw Light of Lights as a freebie, a few months back, I snagged it.

Description from Goodreads:

The seven worlds of Neltsar are in turmoil. War has devastated the largest cities, and the most powerful of the demigods are locked in a fierce battle. As casualties mount, Antar, the strongest of the Lights, makes a decision to use weapons that have been banned for millennia. The results are devastating.
See what happens when the Light of Lights breaks all the rules.


Meh, it was OK. I love Giammatteo’s mafia novels, so I thought I’d give his sci-fi a chance (though it turns out to be more fantasy). It was fine, but I felt too much like I’d been dropped into the middle of something; never quite grasping the breadth of the plot or feeling attached to any of the characters. And since it’s also a prequel, like I never quite reached an end either. The writing and editing, however, are as good as ever.

murder takes patience

Book Review of Murder Takes Patience: A Frankie Donovan Mystery (Friendship & Honor #3), by Giacomo Giammatteo

Murder Takes PatienceI bought a copy of Murder Takes Patience, by Giacomo Giammatteo. It’s book III of the Friendship & Honor series. I previously reviewed books I & II, Murder Takes Time and Murder Has Consequences.

Description from Goodreads:
Even good people are haunted by nightmares. Some are kept awake by things they did in the past: Lies they told, people they cheated, laws they broke. 

The ones who lived the worst lives are haunted by more than lies or broken laws. Their sleep is stolen by the people they killed. 

Nicky Fusco isn’t like any of them. He’s not bothered by lies, or broken laws. Not even by the people he’s killed. 

Nicky is kept awake by the people he hasn’t killed yet.

A Pre-Read Note:
I just finished a book I didn’t enjoy. I disliked it so much, in fact, that I didn’t even bother with a blog post about it. But I don’t want to end 2014 on such a sour note. So here at the final hour, I’m pulling out a standby author, one I can count on to write a book that will leave me sated and happy. Giacomo Giammatteo has become one of my favorite authors and is probably in my top five favorite Indie authors (if you separate Indie and traditionals, which I do simply because I’ve had a lifetime to discover traditional ones and only about 2.5 to discover great Indies). G.G. don’t let me down now.

A Post-Read Review:
*Sigh* Yes, I’m a happy reader. Really I could stop right there. I read this book. I’m happy as a result. Something about Giammatteo’s writing always clicks with me and I long ago fell in love with Nicky Fusco and Frankie Donovan.

Nicky is something like Leon, from The Professional, in the sense that he is stone cold and somehow soft at the same time. It’s a heady mix. Frankie is the classic good cop who struggles with doing the right thing while honoring his older loyalties at the same time.

But there are so many layers and so much enmeshment between the two men that nothing can ever be straightforward again. Frankie’s ability to remain a clean cop often comes at the expense of Nicky’s willing ness to get his soul dirty. Thus, there is so much guilt and love and sacrifice and giving that goes on between these two men that the reader just melts.

I have to admit that I didn’t think this book was quite as well polished and finished as previous books. I noticed a few editing mishaps and didn’t love thing quite as much as in Murder Takes Time and Murder has Consequences, but this is still ranking in best of 2014 list.

A Bullet for Carlos

Book Review of Giacomo Giammatteo’s A Bullet for Carlos

A Bullet for CarlosAfter reviewing Giacomo Giammatteo‘s Murder Has Consequences last week, I was brazen enough to ask him if he would send me A Bullet for Carlos. OK, maybe I passive aggressively suggested that if he was interested in a review he might pass a copy along, which isn’t quite the same thing but had much the same results.  He was kind enough to comply without even calling me out on my bad form. Thanks for that Jim.

Description from Goodreads:
Detective Connie Giannelli’s life has been torn apart several times. First when her mother died and then years later when she found out her Uncle Dominic was in the mob. Her life is about to be shredded again, and this time it could destroy her. 

Connie’s love of family and her badge are both threatened when an undercover drug bust leaves two cops dead and the drugs missing. Internal Affairs is looking for any excuse to take her badge, but she’s not worried about them finding the missing drugs—her secrets could prove to be far worse. 

Now Connie’s racing against the clock to figure out who killed her partners and took the drugs—dirty cops or Uncle Dominic’s friends. And she has to do it before IA pins the whole damn thing on her.

At this point I’m beginning to think that I aught to just preemptively mark any book by Giacomo Giammatteo as a five star, ’cause I’m just gonna love it. A Bullet for Carlos was no exception. Mr. Giammatteo somehow makes bad, bad men lovable. I adored Dominic, even though he was unquestionably dangerous and maybe even evil. Though I kind of think the things that made me love him also redeem him a little bit, as well as made me wonder if deeper exploration of other such evil characters (like Carlos) might reveal small redemptive qualities too. It definitely leads a reader to consider whether anyone can really be wholly evil, no matter how bad they appear on the surface or to an outsider. This same theme is further explored when good cops are left having to decide if or when they’ll choose to ‘cross the line’ for the greater good.

This is much more of a police drama than a mafia mystery, but I was THRILLED when Donovan and Mazzetti showed up as side characters. This was the first book by Giammatteo I’ve read that wasn’t part of the Friendship & Honor series and I was really afraid I’d miss Nicky and Frankie enough to sour my experience of reading it. No such thing. Connie and Tip were great characters on their own. If I HAD to choose I’d still take Nicky/Frankie, but I don’t have to choose so I’m free to enjoy both in future books. And I plan to.

I also rather enjoyed the cultural differences between New York and Texas. No big deal was made of this, but the small regional quirks were apparent. Different catch phrases, politeness levels, etc. It is yet one more testament of Giammatteo’s talent that he can take such small matters and somehow invest them with so much meaning, having a large impact on the feel of the book. It’s enviable really. My only complaint, beyond the fact I have to wait for more books, is one I’ve mentioned before and is JUST a personal preference. The main protagonist was a rapist and there were a few ‘tasteful’ rape scenes. By which I just mean they weren’t gratuitous or titillating in any fashion. They furthered the plot and weren’t overly uncomfortable, but they were there. I look forward to the continuation of this series. Definitely worth a read.