Giacomo Giammatteo‘s Frugal Find Under Nine:
Description of A Bullet For Carlos (Blood Flows South):
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.
Giammatteo starts this new series with a blast. The characters are alive and full of very human flaws. They develop smoothly with the bumps that happen to all humans.
In a climax of supreme intensity, Connie comes face-to-face with a serial murderer that is more vicious than even she can imagine. Chris Phillips~ Bestsellers World
Giammatteo has crafted a masterful piece of work. The plot is convoluted; filled with tenacity, adventure, violence, love and family tradition. ~ Amazon reviewer
Once again, I find myself in awe of Giammatteo’s talent. All of his novels are so descriptive and imaginative. This is a crime novel of the highest caliber and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I thought Connie was a great protagonist. She’s strong, smart, capable, and able to keep up with the boys. Best of all, she’s not Superwoman and has flaws.~Amazon reviewer
A Bullet For Carlos (Blood Flows South) currently has a customer review rating of 4.8 stars from 43 reviews. Read the reviews here.
A Bullet For Carlos (Blood Flows South) is available for purchase at:
An excerpt from A Bullet For Carlos (Blood Flows South):
A Bullet for Carlos
BLOOD FLOWS SOUTH: BOOK I
a novel by
A Present for Maria
Brooklyn, New York—Winter 1982
Zeppe Mangini paced the busy sidewalk while nursing a cappuccino. He felt it was a sure sign that the world was falling apart when people sold cappuccino in paper cups, but he sipped the drink to draw warmth and to make himself appear busy. Every few steps he glanced across the street to the apartment at 1255. Tommy Nunzio had lived there since he was a kid. Tonight he would die there.
Zeppe finished his cappuccino, waited for a break in traffic, then half-walked, half-jogged across the street. The horn from a souped-up Camaro blared as he reached the sidewalk. He tugged on his cap, covering a full head of coal-black hair, then nodded to his brother, Dominic, standing by the front steps.
“Dom, you sure there’s no other way to do this?”
“This is the cleanest. He’ll buzz you in.”
Zeppe paused, scrunched his face up a little. “Yeah, but that ain’t right. I’m—”
Zeppe hit the buzzer, fidgeting as he waited for Tommy to answer. The last time his finger hit this button it was to ask Tommy out for a beer. Now…
“Who is it?”
“Tommy, it’s Zep. Open up.”
They walked into the building and climbed the stairs to the third floor. Zeppe cringed with each groan of the old wood, bringing back images of him and Tommy as little kids, and Mrs. Nunzio hollering at them, warning them about playing on steps. Zeppe took a few seconds to catch his breath, and to calm the rotten feeling he had in his gut, but he couldn’t chase away the image of Mrs. Nunzio. As he reached the top of the third floor, he half expected to be greeted by the sweet aroma of garlic coming from her kitchen.
His face scrunched again, a nervous tic he had since he was kid. “Dom, can’t we buy him a little time?”
“Not on this one,” Dominic said, and stood to the side.
Zeppe knocked on the door, hands shaking more than his stomach ached. After a few seconds the door opened. Dominic moved fast, pushing Zeppe aside while he shoved his gun into Tommy’s stomach. “Keep your voice down.”
Tommy backed up, hands in the air. “What’s going on? What—” His look shifted from Dominic to Zeppe, then back again. He froze, his eyes growing large. “Zeppe, what’s this about?”
Zeppe closed the door with the heel of his foot, never taking his eyes from Tommy. “You shouldn’t have crossed Vito.”
“That’s enough,” Dominic said.
Tommy cocked his head toward Zeppe, lifting his eyes in a pleading gesture. “Zep, can you help me out?” His voice cracked when he asked.
Dominic raised the gun to Tommy’s head and pulled the trigger. Twice. The small caliber bullets bounced around inside his skull, dropping him to the floor. There was little pain. Even less blood.
Dominic knelt beside him, checked his neck and pulse. The two in the head had done the trick.
“Let’s go,” Zeppe said, but as he reached for the doorknob a noise from the bedroom alerted him. “You hear that?”
Zeppe and Dominic stopped. Listened. A fan hummed in the bathroom and the ever-present noise of the fridge came from the kitchen, but something different from the bedroom. “Turn off the lights,” Dominic said, then crept toward the back room, gun drawn. “I’ll go in low. Hit the light once I’m in.”
Dominic crouched, pushed open the bedroom door and crept forward, his gun leading the way.
Zeppe waited for him to get in, then hit the light. “Mother of God! A goddamn baby.”
Dominic glanced about the room, barely big enough to hold the crib, a rocker, and a small chest of drawers. The baby fussed, tiny hands covering its eyes. Dominic picked the baby up, pried open the diaper, then lay the baby on his shoulder. “It’s a girl. Can’t be more than a few months old.”
Zeppe still had his gun out. “I’ll check the rest of the place.”
He returned in a few minutes, gun tucked into his pants. “Place is clean,” he said. “So what do we do?”
“Call Vito, but use the phone booth. I’ll wait here.”
Zeppe thought about the baby all the way down the stairs. Vito would be pissed; they should have known beforehand. He exited the building, crossed the street and called Vito.
“Yeah, it’s me. We got a problem.”
“What kind of problem?”
A long pause, then, “We delivered the message, but we found something unexpected.”
“Don’t make me guess.”
“How did we not know about a baby?”
“I don’t know. I never heard of no baby, but sure as shit it’s his. Got pictures everywhere, baby clothes, baby food in the fridge and cabinets. A room fixed up.”
Zeppe waited through more silence.
“Leave it? Christ’s sake, boss. It could die.”
“Okay, you got it,” Zeppe said, and put the phone back on the receiver. Ain’t no way Dominic is leaving that baby.
Head hung low, Zeppe walked back across the street, up the steps, and into the apartment where Dominic waited with the girl.
“Vito said leave it.”
Dominic was a small man, but intensity always surrounded him, an aura of danger that even Zeppe wasn’t immune to. He had seen men far bigger than his brother back down after meeting his glare.
“I’m not leaving her,” Dominic said, and he held the girl a little tighter. “Do you know Tommy’s wife? Where is she?”
“I don’t know, Dom. I heard she left him a few months ago, but I didn’t know about the baby. I swear. I wouldn’t have done this if I knew.” Shouldn’t have done it anyway. Goddamnit.
“Did Tommy have family? Brothers or sisters?”
“His brother died last year. Remember?” Zeppe paused. “There might be relatives, but none I know of.” There wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of Dominic leaving that baby alone, or with child services. Regardless, Zeppe felt he had to try. “Child services would—”
“I wouldn’t leave a dog with them.”
“Dom, I know how you feel, but—”
“Take her with us.”
“Are you nuts?”
“We shouldn’t be in this situation, Zeppe. It was your job to check this out.” Dominic shook his head then handed the girl to Zeppe.
“It’s cold outside. Make sure she’s warm.”
“Okay,” Zeppe said, “whatever you want.” He took the baby from Dominic, and held her close.
“I’ll wipe everything clean.” Dominic looked around, checked where they’d been, then went to the bedroom and got extra clothes, a blanket, diapers, bottles. When he returned, he handed everything to Zeppe, cracked the door and looked down the hall. “Wrap her tight. I don’t want that baby catching cold.”
Zeppe wrapped the blanket around her, making sure to cover her head. “What the hell are we going to do with a baby?” He said it to himself, but Dominic answered.
“Taking her to Maria.”
Zeppe’s head was shaking as soon as Dominic finished. “Dom, you’re my older brother, but you’re as nuts as Maria.”
Dominic turned to face Zeppe. “If you ever say that about Maria again, I’ll kill you.”
They walked to the car in silence. Zeppe handed the baby to Dominic then got behind the wheel to drive. “Where to?”
“First the warehouse, then to Maria’s.”
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