Jersey Shore broker Austin Carr wants out of the stock and bond business but un-hooking from his mobbed-up partner won’t be painless. Angelina “Mama Bones” Bonacelli is best known for professional consultations that deteriorate into criminal violence, breakfast appointments raided by the FBI and one particular Power Point presentation to a Jersey state racing commission that ended in automatic weapons fire.
Good thing she likes Austin.
She just won’t let Austin out of the business. Plus Johnny “The Turk” Korsay is on a rampage and had his crooked cops arrest Luis, the bartender Austin’s best friend. Why? Because Austin saw The Turk kill Heriberto. And now he’s gunning for the stock broker.
It’s another brush with violent death and a sexy redhead for Austin Carr when Mama Bones and her rival Jersey associate of a fading New York crime family battle for the future of imported sex slaves, boardwalk tourist business and surprising horse racing secrets, past and present.
“Big Shoes is a five-star romp.”
--Rick Bylina, best-selling author of One Promise Too Many
As first sunlight poked through her kitchen window next morning, Mama Bones refills Gianni’s china cup with imported espresso. This handsome nephew of hers is so calm all the time, steady in the hands and eyes, the extra caffeine won’t make him jumpy, even with almost no sleep. Gianni’s brother Tomas, she has to be more careful. In minutes, she and her nephews could be fighting for their lives.
“How many men we have,” Mama Bones says.
Gianni sits hunched over her kitchen table, his eyes glued to a black iPhone. “Four inside, four outside, four more moving around.”
“Is that enough? If I don’t want the Turk’s men peeping around in my house, poking under the beds, we have enough guys to back me up, keep them out?”
Gianni finally glances at her, tilts his head. This way, then that way. Like he’s judging a rack of Tommy Bahama shirts, which she has seen him do more than once. Half an hour one time on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach.
“If they’re expecting to surprise us, yeah,” Gianni says. “Turk will send two or three cars, like the Tierney woman said. Maybe ten men. But you’re not thinking about refusing the search, are you? You want a gun battle outside your own home?”
Gianni puts down his iPhone. He reaches for his espresso, takes a slow pull, her nephew considering his words. “Twenty-five guys throwing bullets around, one of your neighbors is going to get killed or wounded. For sure there’s going to be rounds going through people’s walls and windows. You agreed this wasn’t the right time or place to start something serious with the Turk.”
“I should let Turk send his crew tramping through my house? Peeking inside my closets and drawers, handling my dresses with their dirty hands?”
“The Turk is capo, Mama Bones. Our boss.”
“This house is where my Domenic and I lived all of our marriage and raised our children. It’s my home. I don’t like a bunch of men coming in here and sniffing around.”
“They won’t find anything. Austin’s gone. Turk’s men will be in and out inside of thirty minutes.”
“Maybe,” she says. “But we’ve been talking and scheming about Turk for weeks, ever since he sold those children to Atlantic City. He’s gotta know now I lied about them running away. That those weren’t my nieces, that Smarty Pants is probably still alive. Why else is he sending men here? You know they could be coming to kill us.”
“I don’t think Turk’s sure yet.”
“It’s war, Gianni.”
Her nephew with the dark eyes wags his head, a curl spilling out of his hair like a young Dean Martin. “If we fight his men now it’s war,” Gianni says. “Better if we let them come and not find Austin. Then the Turk still won’t know for sure if you’re with him or against him. We’ll have more time to figure the right time and place. Maybe we go at him this weekend, at the track.”
Gianni gives her good advice. She listens to what he says. Not only are his hands and eyes steady, but her oldest nephew’s head is screwed on tight, too.
“It’s the safer way,” she says. “But safer don’t take into account the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Turk is dumping in our lap.”
“What do you mean?”
“If Turk sends ten men to search my house for Austin Carr, how many guys is he gonna have protecting him this morning?”
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Former L.A. Times reporter Jack Getze is Fiction Editor for Anthony nominated Spinetingler Magazine, one of the internet's oldest websites for noir, crime and horror short stories. His award-winning Austin Carr mystery series is published by Down & Out Books. The latest, BIG SHOES, won Deadly Ink's David Award for Best Mystery of 2015. His short fiction has appeared in A Twist of Noir, Beat to a Pulp, The Big Adios and several anthologies.
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