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The Family Jewels
Vincent Graziano. GGP Publishing, $24.95 (290p) ISBN 978-0-692-93682-5
Graziano (Die Laughing) takes a darkly humorous look at the Lower Manhattan Mafia milieu in this picaresque account of the vicissitudes of the Rossini brothers. The novel opens dramatically, as Father Bryce Gleason gets a call warning him not to put his nose “where it don’t belong,” before the anonymous caller dumps the corpse of Gleason’s superior, Monsignor Matthew Burns, on the front steps of the Church of the Most Precious Blood in Manhattan’s present-day Little Italy, where both men worked. The murder attracts the attention of the NYPD’s Organized Crime Task Force, which had been examining Burns, the former administrator of St. Vincent’s Hospital, as part of an investigation into the hospital’s bankruptcy. Graziano then flashes back a month to introduce his lead, Tommy Rossini, a former Mafia enforcer who retired to Arizona, only to lose his nest egg to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Tommy’s burdens become even greater when his older brother, Jake, asks for help after facing his own financial problems; Jake is also connected to the mob, having married the daughter of powerful New York City Mafia boss Pauly Fazzula. The plot takes numerous unexpected turns after the Rossinis reunite with their youngest brother Looney and hole up in their mother’s apartment in the old neighborhood, dancing around the bloodthirsty Pauly and hoping to land on their feet. Fans of Prizzi’s Honor may appreciate this. (Self-published.)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 12/14/2019

Release date 02/01/2018

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