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Rizzo's Fire

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Overview

As NYPD veteran Joe Rizzo edges toward retirement, things only seem to get harder: a promise to his wife to quit smoking, a new partner, and the most baffling case of his career.

Robert Lauria was practically a hermit and was dead ten days before anyone found him. Fired from his job weeks ago, he rarely left his apartment and had no visitors except his cousin, who says she hardly knew him. So who strangled him and made tea in his kitchen? And could there...

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Overview

As NYPD veteran Joe Rizzo edges toward retirement, things only seem to get harder: a promise to his wife to quit smoking, a new partner, and the most baffling case of his career.

Robert Lauria was practically a hermit and was dead ten days before anyone found him. Fired from his job weeks ago, he rarely left his apartment and had no visitors except his cousin, who says she hardly knew him. So who strangled him and made tea in his kitchen? And could there be a connection to the headline-grabbing murder of a Broadway producer?

Armed with more street smarts than the Manhattan cops assigned to the more glamorous case, Rizzo and his partner, Priscilla Jackson, are tasked with navigating the labyrinths of the case and NYPD politics in order to bring the killer to justice. Full of the sounds and sights of walking the beat, Rizzo’s Fire brings the streets to life in a way that no New York City crime novel has before.

Rizzo's Fire is a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Mysteries title.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Manfredo's prosaic second novel featuring Brooklyn Det. Sgt. Joe Rizzo (after Rizzo's War) gets off to a slow start. Rizzo, a battle-hardened veteran nearing retirement with a zen approach to his work ("It's not right, it's not wrong. It just is"), has a new detective partner, Priscilla Jackson, a lesbian African-American. Many chapters of routine police work and soap opera (Jackson's estranged from her mother, who cut her off over her sexual preference, while one of Rizzo's daughters wants to join the force against his wishes) pass before the pair start investigating the strangling homicide of ex-shoe clerk Robert Lauria. Lauria's death may be connected with a similar killing of a Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright, though oddly the police don't run the NYPD computer to check for similar murders. A less than gripping whodunit plot doesn't help. Fans of contemporary New York City crime fiction will find Reggie Nadelson's Artie Cohen series (Blood Count, etc.) more realistic. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Rizzo’s Fire

“Gripping . . . Bar none, Joe Rizzo is the most authentic cop in contemporary crime fiction.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“He knows the pitfalls of police work, and his account is both procedural and compelling, never forgetting the psychological toll that comes with the crimes. . . . The grit of south Brooklyn is still under Manfredo’s fingernails.”

New York Daily News

“Lou Manfredo sticks to his guns in this follow-up to Rizzo’s War.”

The Star-Ledger (New Jersey)

Library Journal
Set against the colorful backdrop of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, the second installment of Manfredo's series (after Rizzo's War) follows Det. Joe Rizzo and his new partner, Priscilla Jackson, on their first assignment together. When a local recluse is found murdered in his kitchen, the case appears to be an ordinary robbery gone wrong. As the investigation unfolds, both detectives begin to realize that their homicide could be tied to the recent killing of a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. In addition to the murder investigation, Rizzo must deal with the realities of his daughter joining the police force and his own realization of what it means to be a cop. VERDICT Heavy on dialog and lacking in energy, this police procedural leaves the reader wanting. The relationship between Jackson and Rizzo feels forced, and their constant banter is distracting. With the surplus of detective mysteries available, pass on this purchase. [Library marketing.]—Amy Nolan, St. Joseph P.L., MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848875845
  • Publisher: Corvus
  • Publication date: 7/28/2011

Meet the Author

Lou Manfredo

Lou Manfredo, author of Rizzo’s War, worked in the Brooklyn criminal justice system for twenty-five years. Raised in Brooklyn, he now lives in New Jersey with his wife.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    Loved it!

    After reading Rizzo's war I was hooked. I only hoped the 2nd installment of the series would measure up. No worries there - it was even better than the first.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 10, 2012

    Highly recommended!

    I read this book, as well as the author's first book in this series within three days! A great read!!!

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fired Up

    Lou Manfredo is everything Joseph Wambaugh is not. I liked the way the author plays the moral questions a police officer deals with- or not, depending on the cop. And his openness to people of color by including a lesbian African-American partner for Rizzo is admirable. Manfredo shows respect for people, and I like that. Cop stories don't have to only be about narrow-minded cops. The fact that Rizzo commits as many crimes as he stops is an intriguing introspective on what it takes to enforce law and order.

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A good, solid mystery

    Det. Sargent Joe Rizzo is at the end of his career with the Brooklyn Police Department. Rizzo and his partner, Det. Priscilla Jackson, arrive at the apartment of Robert Lauria who was murdered days earlier.

    Lauria was living like a hermit with no close friends or relatives, and Rizzo and Jackson believe his death is tied to the murder of a famous playwright in Manhattan. Trying to stay under the radar to prove the connection without giving away their information to Manhattan is a difficult task, but Rizzo is convinced this is the case that will end his long police career on a high note.

    Meanwhile, Rizzo is facing a real problem at home; his youngest daughter wants to attend the police academy. Rizzo is dead set against her career choice because of his knowledge of how frustrating police work can be.

    If Joe's retirement is truly just a year away, this series is going to be short lived which would be a shame. The banter between old world Italian Rizzo and Priscilla, an African American lesbian, livens up Manfredo's latest. RIZZO'S FIRE is a good, solid mystery, but the references to damaging information that Joe and his previous partner have on a local politico compel me to suggest that you read RIZZO'S WAR first. Lynn Kimmerle

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Exciting

    As he nears retirement Brooklyn Police Detective Sergeant Joe Rizzo has seen everything in his years on the NYPD force. His new partner Priscilla Jackson is an openly lesbian African-American, which does not faze the veteran cop in the least though he feels for her as her mom cut her off over her sexual preference. Joe's biggest concern of the moment is his daughter wants to become a chip off the old block and become a cop, which he opposes.

    Joe and Priscilla investigate the strangling death of a former shoe salesman Robert Lauria. The homicide seems identical to the recent murder of a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. As the two cops seek clues, Joe fears a serial killer is on the loose.

    The prime homicide investigation starts several chapters into the enjoyable Brooklyn police procedural as the opening segue focuses on personal issues and routine office work that the two cops face. Once the story line shifts into first gear when the inquiry begins, the action becomes fast-paced. Although the two detectives seem on their own with little support from their precinct to include data warehousing to affirm or disprove Rizzo's theory, fans will enjoy the view of Brooklyn from a pair who would insist a tree never grows in a cement jungle (see Rizzo's War for his first case).

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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