Murder Has Consequences is the second book in Giacomo Giammatteo’s thriller crime series, Friendship and Honor. It takes place on two fronts, Brooklyn, NY and Wilmington, Delaware.
The minute New York Detective Frankie “Bugs” Donovan heard of his father’s death, he headed out to his old neighborhood in Delaware.
Frankie arranged for his father’s burial, and supported his sister and mother the best he knew how. But it really burned him that his good-for-nothing brother-in-law, Bobby, was out in some bar getting wasted instead of at home comforting his wife Donna (Frankie’s sister).
Frankie found his brother-in-law on a barstool, hunched over, drunk and running his mouth. Frankie tried to reason with him, but whenever Bobby called his sister and mother a whore Frankie lost it. He exploded in anger, and in a burst of rage beat his lowlife brother-in-law almost to death. Frankie swore, however, that Bobby was still alive when he left him passed out on the blood stained barroom floor.
Nicky “Rat” from the old neighborhood (an ex-con and Frankie’s best friend) was trying to clean up his life. He had married his childhood love, Angela. Although Angela’s daughter, Rosa, belonged to his deceased “Benedict Arnold” friend Tony, Nicky was raising Rosa as his own child. Nicky promised Angela and God that his days killing people were over. He made a vow to be a respectable working family man from that point on. Nicky tried to honor this vow, but when his friend Frankie “Bugs” was being framed for murder, and innocent children were becoming victims of violence he just couldn’t stand by and do nothing.
Nicky hated it when he lied to Angela. But how could he possible tell the love of his life, a good Catholic woman, that he wasn’t done with killing yet? However, God, was another story. God knew exactly how Nicky would react when he saw children and “Bugs” getting hurt. God could have stopped it, but he didn’t. So Nicky “Rat” did what he had to do to protect the innocent, and he was depending on God to do His part and forgive him his sins, every Saturday during confession. Nicky really hoped that God was onboard with this plan, because some people just needed killing.
When Frankie’s brother-in-law was found dead, Frankie became the prime suspect, and according to Delaware Detective Morelli, the only suspect. But when an unknown serial killer was carving people into pieces in Brooklyn, NY, Frankie was called back to work. He asked his best friend Nicky if he could help to clear his name. Nicky laughed at the irony of it all. Big bad Nicky “Rat” the “Psycho” who was well known for his brutal killings, was going to play the good detective. Of course he would do it. He would do anything for “Bugs”.
Murder Has Consequences is a multilayered complex thriller that kept me turning the pages. And even though I was cringing from the vivid violent scenes, I couldn’t put the book down. I absolutely loved the hysterical banter between the detectives. But of the four books I have read by Giacomo Giammatteo, this one was my least favorite. I didn’t care for Nicky’s wife Angela, her character and her dialogue in my opinion did not ring true and consistent with her character that I knew and loved in Giammatteo’s previous book Murder Takes Time. I also had a difficult time reading about the exploitation and abuse of women. I realize that this was because Giacomo Giammatteo’s writing was so clear and crisp that I actually felt part of the story.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fast paced, realistic crime novels without the fluff. Giacomo Giammatteo’s writing grabs the reader from the first page and doesn’t let go.
4 out of 5 stars, Review by Peg Glover