Old Wounds: Giacomo Giammatteo
Synopsis: Gino Cataldi loved three things: his wife, his son, and his job as a cop. Cancer took his wife. Drugs have his son. And Gino is pulling desk duty, suspected of killing a drug dealer.
Every night he dreams of a chance to make things right. That chance comes when a high-society woman is brutally murdered, her body parts spread all over town. The investigation quickly hits a dead-end…until a late-night caller with too much information contacts Gino. Between the mystery surrounding what she knows and his penchant for helping women in trouble, more than Gino’s curiosity is aroused. He only hopes she’s not the killer.
- Jack the Ripper butchered and mutilated his victims beyond recognition. He went after prostitutes and women of the street. Butchers slaughter or cut up an animal for food. Meat is butchered for the local market. Within the pages of this novel you will meet and hear the voice of a killer who prides himself/herself on taking women who are prostitutes, blackmailers and incredibly cunning and does the same to his/her victims. Imagine finding out that someone close to the President of the United States was hacked into little pieces and stuffed in many places so that no one would find the body of this woman. Another was found in Dallas hacked almost the same way with similar clues but not everything was the same. Gino Cataldi and Tim Denton are an unlikely and odd couple pair and have been given the case by Captain Gladys Cooper. Their dialogue is right out of Laurel and Hardy or even the Odd Couple as these two spar, laugh, joke and even threaten each other until they finally form an unholy alliance to catch a dangerous killer. With the wife of the mayor on the Captain’s tail posing threats, the head of a construction company making ripples and waves, the President of the United States hoping to stay below the radar and the Mayor of Houston hiding secrets of his own just who killed Patti Richards and Barbara Camwyck and why? Who would go to the trouble of creating incriminating videos showing the President and the head of the construction company having sex with these same women? Just who has Old Wounds that cannot be cleansed?
Rico Moreno is a killer, thug and drug dealer who has killed many people and if someone did not take him out he would still be going strong. But, what happens when the killer is a cop who has hidden his tracks yet his partner suspects him but will not turn him in. Can anyone play God and condone killing even though the victim deserves what he got and more? Moral issue!
Ron Cataldi is Gino’s son and is heavily involved with drugs and drug dealers and when leaving the house in anger on evening what Gino learns would tear him apart. Can you let it go or do you place your son in rehab to get him help? With no choice he places him in a center hoping to get him clean and straight but will they ever form a bond? With the death of his wife Mary both have drifted apart and Gino is immersed in his cases and his son’s anger is so strong he cannot let it go.
Rusty Johnson is the Mayor and his wife Cybil holds the power over him and when things start to come to a boil and the pieces of the blackmail puzzle form into place the Mayor has some strings that can be pulled but can he stop when Denton and Cataldi already know. Bob Ingle, Tom Marsen, Barbara Camwyck and Cybil Ames and Gladys Cooper created a group called the Magic. Do you believe in Magic well the killer does and uses this as his/her penname to hide their real identity when calling the victims and luring them to his/her home and them ending their lives. Barbara’s goal was to blackmail for seven million dollars. Chump changes to this person. A simple video or several videos would reveal what some would rather stay silent but Tim Denton is slick, shrew and using underhanded methods is one of his ways to get it done and with the help of reporter Samantha Roberts and a member of their team named Julia the pieces come into place and missing evidence like a dress, computers, cars and cell phones are miraculously found including the head of a victim.
The pieces are slowly fitting together but in a disjointed way and when Ingle is questioned things turn ugly for not only the detectives but people close to them too. When Ron is accused of bringing drugs into his room they know he is being framed but the head of the center is paid off by some powerful people to get even for what they are trying to prove about him. As Cooper stands tall and up to Cybil and the Mayor others come out of the woodwork including the police Chief as she decides on the course of action and realizes the only way to get the case close is to allow Denton and Gino to do it their way. Anyway they choose as long as the culprit or culprits are taken down. But, just who is this mysterious woman that offered up information that led them to find many of the missing pieces? Who was Barbara blackmailing and what did Julie uncover that changes it all? When questioning one suspect the person makes what you might call a Freudian slip but the end result will startle readers as this person thinks they are immune to the law and that money just might talk. When a suspect is killed and the bodyguard goes down who stands to profit and what is uncovered about a powerful man that would make him attack from all sides but cause him to wind up dead? Lies, blackmail, betrayal at the highest level. Just who will go down for the deaths of Patti Richards, Barbara Camwyck, Bob Ingle and Reggie Chase? Who is hiding in plain sight and is so angry what the only way to solve the problem is to eliminate those that cause the killer Old Wounds. Characters that are strong vividly depicted and two detectives that will remind you of Oscar Madison and Felix Unger, the humor and jokes added in the dialogue makes it interesting and I hope the author is going to continue this series. I can’t wait to see what next for Denton and Cataldi besides drinking beer.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine: let’s give this book five golden classes of non-alcoholic beer.