Dinner At Tony Napoli’s

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Americans have an insatiable appetite for tales of the Mafia and its ecosystem of crooked cops, detectives, priests, politicians, and wise guys that thrives where the mobster culture takes hold. Chicago, the New York of the fictional Corleones, has a long history of mobsters with Al Capone’s Chicago Outfit dominating. Edward Izzi, a Chicago-based writer, has been fulfilling that appetite for years with novels focused on the seamier side of Chicago. His latest tale, Dinner at Tony Napoli’s, is a page-turner of a mystery thriller that keeps the reader in suspense until the surprise denouement.

Dennis (Denny) Romanowski is a veteran Chicago detective with a family and divided loyalties, one to his job and the second to his uncle “Zio Tony.” Uncle Tony, aka Antonio “Tony Napoli” Sorrentino, is as close to being a gangster “made” man as one can get without being one. Tony is the Mafia’s chef and confidant, and his restaurant Sorrentino’s serves as the gastronomic nerve center of the Chicago Outfit. Within its walls, murders and capers are planned, and Mafia weddings and made man ceremonies are held. The major factions of the Chicago Outfit treat the restaurant as neutral territory and Tony is privy to the gang’s secrets.

However, at eighty-seven years old, Tony is getting on in years, so he sells off the restaurant to a new owner, who demolishes it. Unfortunately for Tony, the demolition turns up four bodies buried in concrete. They are members of the Lucatelli gang that disappeared years ago. Tony soon finds himself in jail being squeezed for information by the local cops and the Feds. One of those doing the squeezing is none other than his own nephew Denny.

Tony refuses to snitch; however, the tale of the four bodies morphs into Tony sharing his memories of the Mafia with Denny. At the core of Tony’s tales is a mysterious safety deposit box key that he entrusts to Denny. At the same time, Denny is pressured by “Little Tony” DiMatteo for information about his talks with Tony. Denny must balance his oath as a sworn officer with his loyalty to his uncle, all while keeping himself and his family safe from DiMatteo’s vicious nature.

The novel’s plot winds its way through vignettes of the Chicago Mafia’s deeds. Characters like “Little Tony” DiMatteo, Don Lucatelli, Frank “No Neck” Roselli, and his brother Nick “Altar Boy” Roselli populate the book. The intricately woven vignettes slowly come together to paint a compelling story of a life inside the Mafia and propel the tale to its surprising conclusion. Izzi, in Dinner at Tony Napoli’s, gives readers a novel they can’t refuse.

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Author Edward Izzi
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 338 pages
Publisher Cassino Publishing Inc
Publish Date 19-Jun-2023
ISBN 9798399010281
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue August 2023
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller