Years ago I read the first two novels featuring Bob Randisi’s Brooklyn private eye Nick Delvecchio, NO EXIT FROM BROOKLYN and THE DEAD OF BROOKLYN. Now from the fine small press publisher Perfect Crime Books comes the third and possibly final Delvecchio novel, THE END OF BROOKLYN.
Appropriately enough considering the book’s title, THE END OF BROOKLYN opens in the present day, far from that New York City borough, with an older Nick living somewhere in the Midwest. When some mysterious, sinister strangers show up, it quickly becomes obvious that Nick has been hiding out for some reason, and that’s the cue for a flashback to Brooklyn in 1995 that makes up most of the book.
Nick is still working as a PI then, but when he attends his high school reunion, he gets pulled into a case that’s personal rather than business, as he sets out to discover if an old classmate of his committed suicide (the official verdict) or was really murdered.
Before Nick can untangle that mystery, another one crops up that’s even more personal. His retired dockworker father is having lunch with an old friend, a retired Mafia don, when both men are gunned down. The don survives, but Nick’s father dies. The cops don’t want Nick getting involved in the case, but you know he has to try to find out who ordered the hit that resulted in his father’s death.
There are more murders and things get more complicated along the way, and the case takes some surprising and tragic turns for Nick before it’s all over. And even when it’s over it’s not over, if you get my drift. (Remember, all this is a flashback.) Randisi brings it all to a very satisfying conclusion, though.
As usual in one of Bob’s books, THE END OF BROOKLYN is a very fast-paced, dialogue-driven story that pauses every so often for moments of humor and poignant humanity. It’s an excellent novel that I really enjoyed. Highly recommended.