Thursday, August 6, 2009

Review: Great Cop Story Coming In October! Trackle It!

Rizzo’s War
Lou Manfredo
St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9780312538057
290 Pages

“There just is,” Rizzo finished telling his new partner Mike McQueen in Rizzo’s War by Lou Manfredo, coming in October 2009. Rizzo shared much of his experience with Mike, who had been promoted to Rizzo’s unit with influence from the Mayor’s Office after he had solved an important case.

Indeed, the entire book reflects the way things work in New York—negotiation and payback. You just had to watch with whom you were bargaining!

Mike starts off with a bang on his first tour with Rizzo—he falls for the victim of an assault! Of course that is a big “no,” but... Little by little Rizzo and Mike get to know the other, testing the boundaries for each other, until they mutually decide to confirm that they are willing to be partners. Then Mike begins to really see how it works!

Rizzo has been at NYPD for so many years, he’s near retirement. He knows everybody he needs to know and has given much to ensure things are done. Many “owe” him, but he doesn’t collect unless there’s an important reason.

Until the daughter of an important, influential councilman, Bill Daily, has been missing for a long enough time that the family is very worried. She is manic-depressive and has caused many problems before; however, it is now believed she is totally off her meds and they have no idea where she is, although she had recently called her mother, who had thought Carol sounded suicidal. Daily wants her found and wants the best men to work the case, full-time, and quietly!

Rizzo bargains through the details and financial benefits of taking this case. Mike then sees Rizzo go to work! Finding Carol is only half the battle though, for along the way he discovers that Carol is afraid of her father and of going into a hospital where he could have influence over her stay there.

While Mike has met with his former partner and finds that she is able to help locate Carol; she was running with a motorcycle gang, but was “lost” in a bet to another motorcycle owner!

Rizzo’s War by Lou Manfredo has been classified as a thriller. In my opinion, it is not thrilling, but a sad, perhaps too realistic commentary on the lives of our police officers and politicians. The work is hard, involves steady, long hours of seeking and searching for some small tip that will lead investigations forward. If necessary, it takes the officers into troubled neighborhoods and into potentially dangerous situations. The War is real, and sometimes deals must be made—deals that may sometimes be a little “gray” if the war is to be won...

Manfredo indeed writes in a “stunningly authentic” manner that effectively reflects his personal experience working in the Brooklyn criminal justice system. The story is slow-paced, steady...prodding toward what the best way that justice can be served without getting caught in the crossfire! Highly recommended cop novel! If you ever need a cop, call Joe Rizzo!

G. A. Bixler

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