A Bullet for Carlos is a magnificent and brilliantly crafted crime novel. Giacomo Giammattoe paints the Italian mobster’s world so vividly and with such authentic detail I felt as if I was actually living in it. When I entered the home of mobster Dominic Mangini I witnessed the human side of this gangster. I could see and feel the love he held for Connie Gianelli – his Connie. I witnessed him hugging and whispering Italian words of endearment to her. Yet soon after, I would find this same loving man transformed into a ruthless gangster – a Dominic Mangini who thinks nothing of standing by and ordering a man’s eye to be cut out of his head until he talks.
When Connie Gianelli was only twelve, her mother (Dominic Mangini’s girlfriend) died. He took Connie into his home and raised her as his own. Connie has fond memories of him caring for her and for her mother. Her mother had suffered an incapacitating stroke before she died, and Uncle Dominic took it upon himself to care for her needs. With gentle kindness he bathed, dressed and fed her mother. Connie admired and loved her Uncle Dominic, until she was horrified to discover that her uncle was living a life of crime. She despised him for his unlawful lifestyle and joined the police force so she could fight crime instead of being associated with it. She kept an impeccable record with the force and soon became known as the toughest Brooklyn narcotics detective.
However, her record became stained when a drug bust went bad, her partners were killed and the drugs went missing. Internal Affairs was after her dirty badge and wanted her off the force. So her supervisor sent her to Houston Texas to lay low and work on cold cases.
Connie could not stay hidden though, and she couldn’t seem to stop stepping on a polished, silver tongued Mexican drug lord’s toes. As a result, she found herself not only being the hunter, but also the hunted.
This fast-paced thriller had me racing through a maze of twists and turns. I found when I wasn’t smirking at the witty dialogue between Connie and her partner Tip, I was cringing over the brutal beatings and killings that are so common place in the organized crime and drug business world.
Giacomo Giammattoe is a talented writer and an author not to be missed. I highly recommend giving this intriguing, scary and realistic book a read.
5 out of 5 stars, Review by Peg Glover