Every author has a story beyond the one that they put down on paper. The Barnes & Noble Podcast goes between the lines with today’s most interesting writers, exploring what inspires them, what confounds them, and what they were thinking when they wrote the books we’re talking about.
Our guest on the podcast today is Lorenzo Carcaterra, whose work in both fiction and nonfiction has often been wrapped up with the mean streets of New York City. Carcaterra first came to the attention of readers with two works of nonfiction, A Safe Place: The True Story of a Father, a Son and a Murder and Sleepers, which became a major motion picture directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert Deniro, Brad Pitt, Kevin Bacon and Jason Patric. He’s followed that up with bestselling works of fiction including Apaches, Street Boys, and 2014’s The Wolf. He joins us in the studio to talk about his life growing up in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, his career in tabloids and the early days of reality TV, and his new book Tin Badges, a thriller set among New York City ex-cops on the trail of a cold case that turns red-hot.
A top NYPD detective is pulled out of retirement to take down a notorious drug dealer. But will he risk the only family he’s ever had to crack the case?
As one of the NYPD’s most trusted “tin badges”—retired detectives brought in to solve cases that are beyond the reach of the everyday force—Tank Rizzo has faced off against some of the city’s toughest criminals without breaking a sweat. To tackle a case involving a dangerous kingpin known as Gonzo, Tank turns to his best friend and ex-partner, Pearl; a former mobster living out a seemingly quiet retirement as the owner of Tank’s favorite Italian restaurant; and a team of expert misfits he would trust with his life. But Gonzo will stop at nothing to defend the empire he’s built, and won’t hesitate to make it personal.
Then Tank gets a call telling him that his brother and sister-in-law, estranged from him for many years, have been killed in a horrific car accident. Tank is the only family left for his orphaned teenage nephew, Chris, although he knows his lifestyle is ill-suited to win him father of the year.
Chris moves in with Tank, and the two circle each other warily. It’s only when Chris reveals an interest in true crime and a genius-level skill with computers that they begin to bond. Chris’s skills may be exactly what Tank’s team needs to take Gonzo down—but getting him involved could put his life at risk.