A mafia murder in Brooklyn leads a detective to uncover corruption among his own in this gritty thriller from the New York Times–bestselling author.
The room is littered with rotting food, the refrigerator emptied to make room for the corpse. Det. Joe Borrelli finds Beansy Rutolo’s body squeezed into the icebox, the frozen expression on his face suggesting he died begging for his life. But Borrelli has seen worse. Brooklyn’s 71st Precinct sits in the middle of Pigtown, a longtime mafia hangout that seems to get more dangerous every year. Once, the murder of a made guy like Beansy would have drawn reporters and detectives from all over town. Now, it’s just another homicide.
The police, the media, and the mob are all happier with Beansy dead, but Lt. Matthew Stuart won’t let the killing go. His father owed Beansy a debt, and Stuart plans on repaying it. But when the murder leads him toward the corrupt underbelly of the NYPD, Stuart will have to ask himself what’s more important—justice or brotherhood?
The gritty realism of Caunitz's new novel (after Cleopatra Gold), as in his earlier ones, reflects the more than two decades he spent with the NYPD. Caunitz's cops sound and act like the real thing, and his villains, while occasionally over the top, are fetchingly sinister (only the extravagant, mostly illicit sex here comes off as more fantasy than reportage). The murder of small-time hood Beansy Rutolo in the Brooklyn neighborhood dubbed ``Pigtown'' has a special significance for Lieutenant Matthew Stuart: the deceased's unexpected testimony once saved Matt's father from being kicked off the job for political reasons. Now the effort to track down Beansy's killers is revealing corruption that reaches deep into the Department-and goes back years. Matt is struggling with assorted personal demons too-the tragedy that ended his marriage; his secret relationship with a superior officer known as the ``Ice Maiden''; and an attempt to frame him for dereliction of duty. Caunitz's prose is flat-footed, weighed down with mundane detail, and his theme of ancient, festering corruption was old hat when Teddy Roosevelt was the city's police commissioner. Still, his feel for cops and cons matches anyone's, as evidenced once again by this flawed but still engaging novel, a police blotter come to life. Author tour.