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Murder Takes Time (Friendship & Honor #1)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  326 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
Nicky Fusco thought he knew right from wrong, living by an oath of friendship & honor with his three best friends. But life took them down separate paths, and the oath was broken. Secrets were kept. Years later they are reunited and the bonds of their friendship are brutally tested, putting them on a collision course set in motion long ago.

Murder Takes Time is not a ty
ebook, First, 421 pages
Published April 16th 2012 by Inferno Publishing Company (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,436)
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May 05, 2016 Marita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oddly enough, even though it is a novel about gangsters and some exceedingly gruesome murders, it is quite readable. However, if you prefer your novels to be squeaky clean, it might be best not to read this one.

What happens when four children swear an oath of friendship and honour, according to which they try to live, but then years later one becomes a cop and another a gangster? How far does one go to adhere to that oath? (view spoiler)
Oct 18, 2012 Naomi rated it it was amazing
Read my full review @

My opinion: DYNAMIC read by this debut author! This book kicked off on page one with a gritty murder to introduce the reader to the theme of the book and, for the most part, didn't stop until the end! I would put this author's works up against authors such as Mario Puzo any day of the week.

He laid out the story in alternate times in history progressing up to the present with the current organized crime murder spree. This led to a deep tension in the boo
Seeley James
Sep 13, 2012 Seeley James rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I’ve read this year.

I’ve never read the Godfather. I’ve never been drawn to gangster novels. I’m not even big on gritty crime dramas. I couldn’t tell you why I bought this one. Maybe it was the feeling I got from the first couple pages. There was something different about it. Second sentence: Killing was an art, requiring finesse, planning, skill—and above all—patience. Depending on your mood, you could read that as lurid for lurid’s sake. I read it as extraordinary. That’s
Joey Pinkney
Feb 21, 2014 Joey Pinkney rated it it was amazing
“Murder Takes Time” by Giacomo Giammatteo is nothing short of intense. Giammatteo takes many complex story lines and wraps them into a tight literary package.

In an immigrant neighborhood of mostly Italians in Wilmington, Delaware, Frankie “Bugs” Donovan, Nicky “the Rat” Fusco and Tony “the Brain” Sunnullo are three little boys who get into whatever may come. When Nicky’s mother dies, Tony and Nicky become more than just friends when Tony’s mother helps Nicky’s father by taking Nicky into her hom
Sadie Forsythe
Dec 31, 2015 Sadie Forsythe rated it it was amazing
Oh, a full five stars for this one! Murder Takes Time is ostensibly a pretty straightforward cops versus the Mafia murder mystery, but it doesn't take long to realise that there is a lot more to it than that. Tony 'the brain,' Nicky 'the rat,' Paulie 'the suit' and Fankie 'Bugs' Donovan are fabulously conflicted charters, with full histories and a genuine desire to do right by their friends (even when failing miserably). You really feel for them (one in particular, but I don't want to ruin anyth ...more
Seumas Gallacher
Sep 25, 2012 Seumas Gallacher rated it it was amazing
For all the times you’ve heard the phrase ‘couldn’t put it down’ about novels, let me tell you MURDER TAKES TIME fills the bill perfectly.

Giacomo Giamatteo has produced a terrific story, woven through the lives of several young men from the ghettos. Friendship and Honor feature almost like characters themselves in this bonding of their pathways from adolescence into adulthood. The strains that threaten to sever the ties develop beautifully under Giamatteo’s superb ear for the language of the str
eNovel Reviews
Jun 07, 2012 eNovel Reviews rated it it was amazing
The author of Murder Takes Time, Giacomo Giammatteo, may be the Mario Puzo of our time.

The story begins 30 miles south of Philadelphia, in Wilmington, Delaware. Located on the confluence of the Christina River and the Brandywine Creek. A sizeable percentage of the residents, as of the 2010 census, claim Italian, Irish and Polish ancestry. (Some spoilers if you continue reading...)

Nicky "the Rat" Fusco, Tony "the Brain" Sannullo, and Frankie "Bugs" Donovan grow up best friends in the southside Wi
Charles Ray
Mar 22, 2014 Charles Ray rated it it was amazing
Men are being murdered – shot in the chest and head, and some are brutally tortured. Because of their backgrounds, police think they are gangland murders. But, police detective Frankie ‘Bugs’ Donovan is convinced that it’s something more sinister, and personal.
In Murder Takes Time, Giacomo Giammatteo takes us into the depth of the human mind and heart, and onto the mean streets of our cities in a chillingly realistic tale of murder, revenge, friendship, and honor.
I received a free review copy of
Chris Phillips
Aug 04, 2012 Chris Phillips rated it it was amazing
Review by Chris Phillips

Giammatteo brings new life to the typical detective murder story. He takes the time to develop a complex plot into an attention-capturing tale of intrigue and friends betrayed, remade and destroyed.

"It's not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath" – Aeschylus.

This quote begins the tale of a group of friends, perhaps unique in the way all Americans can be. Nicky “The Rat” Fusco, Frankie “Bugs” Donovan, Tony “The Brain” Sannullo, Tommy “Mick” McDermo
Kathleen Kelly
Nov 11, 2012 Kathleen Kelly rated it it was amazing
Murder Takes Time is a story told in different voices and times in the life of friends from the Italian/Irish neighborhood in Brooklyn. It could be any neighborhood from New York, Chicago or Philly..children play together from various backgrounds, go to school, go to church and basically live in each others homes. That is how close this group of people were. They swore an oath..friendship and honor..and they were expected to keep that oath no matter what. But oaths and alliances are broken and t ...more
b00k r3vi3ws
Sep 28, 2012 b00k r3vi3ws rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-copy
Frankie, Tony and Nicky are friends who grew up in the same neighbourhood, place where the only rule to survival was – never break an oath. Now Frankie as a cop has two oaths to uphold – one to his friends and one to the Law enforcement force. But when bodies start piling up in Brooklyn and evidence points towards Frankie’s old buddies – a conflict arises. Which oath to keep, when keeping one means breaking the other?

The author & the book had my full attention from the very first page. The f
After finishing Murder Takes Time, I found myself in awe of Giammatteo’s talent. I’ve never been a fan of books centered around the mob, but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read this novel.

The book’s main theme is that of friendship and honour. These words are used throughout the book as the code that four young Italian boys live by. As children, they are inseparable and unwavering in their loyalty to each other. However, as they grow older, their lives go down different paths and their pro
Ruth Hill
Aug 15, 2012 Ruth Hill rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
In many ways, I wish I had liked this book, but I cannot say it was a favorite for me. I feel like I have been a roller coaster ride. Some parts of it truly captured my interest, and about the time I became interested, my interest waned again. I know this was not my kind of book, but I will give the fairest review I can.

This was mostly a well-written mystery. I was hooked form the beginning, and I was compelled to keep reading so I would know what happened in the end. I only know about the mob f
Nov 07, 2013 Katy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of crime thrillers, mob-related stories
Recommended to Katy by: Giacomo
Shelves: ebook
Book Info: Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: people who like crime thrillers, stories about the mob
Trigger Warnings: murder, torture, child endangerment, domestic violence (against children), rape

My Thoughts: I'm actually quite happy that I read A Bullet for Carlos, which features Frankie Donovan as a minor character, before I read this one. Otherwise I think all the subtext and information about his childhood and friends we learn about in this book would have overwhel
Book Synopsis

A string of brutal murders has bodies piling up in Brooklyn, and Detective Frankie Donovan knows what is going on. Clues left at the crime scenes point to someone from the old neighborhood, and that isn't good.

Frankie has taken two oaths in his life - the one he took to uphold the law when he became a cop, and the one he took with his two best friends when they were eight years old and inseparable. Those relationships have forced Frankie to make many tough decisions, but now he fa
Sara Strand
Aug 08, 2012 Sara Strand rated it it was amazing
Confession: I kind of love all things mob related because it's absolutely insane to think that people kill people and do other illegal and generally bad things because of a lack of respect. I think it's crazy. Generally, I try to stay away from books like this because I feel like they all kind of end up the same and I don't get anything new or fresh out of them.

Thankfully I took a chance on this book because I had this baby done in one weekend. It's 400some pages so it's not a book you just bree
Lynn Demsky
Mar 23, 2014 Lynn Demsky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, adventure
“Nicky Fusco thought he knew right from wrong, living by an oath of friendship & honor with his three best friends. But life took them down separate paths, and the oath was broken. Secrets were kept. Years later they are reunited and the bonds of their friendship are brutally tested, putting them on a collision course set in motion long ago.
Murder Takes Time is not a typical murder mystery or mob story. It is a thriller, a romance, and a coming-of-age story that rips your heart out. By th
Sep 07, 2012 Jamie rated it it was amazing
I used to read a lot of Murder Mysteries. Somewhere along the last few years, I stopped and this book is making me wonder why. Murder Takes Time is an excellent read. From the background behind Tony, Nicky, and Frankie’s lifelong friendship to trying to figure out who is behind the terrible murders, this book had me hooked. A lot of books and movies tend to go overboard with mob stories but I felt like this was realistic view of situations people in the mob might go through. Giammatteo has a ver ...more
Aug 22, 2012 Nancy rated it it was amazing
In this tale of “Friendship and Honor”, Frankie, Nicky, Tony, Pauley and others grow up in the streets of Wilmington, Delaware. They smoke at age 6, stealing cigs from Johnny’s Food Market (and, sometimes getting caught). Learning who’s who in the Families keeps them safe if not sound and working card games for them gives them more income than they would have ever imagined. It also gives them nicknames: Frankie “Bugs”, Nicky “The Rat”, Pauley “Suit” and Tony was – just Tony.
Times passes, some li
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Could childhood pranks carried into adulthood be purposely staged clues for solving murder investigations? Murders were taking place in New York, and clues were being left behind that implicated individuals who definitely had not been at the scene and clues that were too close for comfort.

The chapters are organized by flashbacks to the childhood of Tony, Frankie, Nicky, and Paulie as well as present day and other years in between. Their childhood friendship and the bond they had was difficult to
Paula Ratcliffe
This book was so incredible to read. I loved the connection these boys turned into men had with each other. The main story is about boys who grew up in a neighborhood, where when you took an oath you were connected with that oath, when they grow up after Nicky ends up risking himself to protect his friends. Frankie Donovan ends up being a cop, distancing himself from Tony who is now with a mob. When Nicky ends up connecting up with his friends and finds the roads they are leading. Definitely a g ...more
Joe Young
Mar 28, 2013 Joe Young rated it really liked it
A totally delightful romp through all the characters that populated our childhood. They may not have shared the same ethnicities but, all the character traits were there just not the particular set of last names. I loved the characters as they were obviously drawn upon the personal experiences of the author and I felt they were honest characters. We love some of them and see others for the back biting snakes they are. We have all had those type of characters in our lives as we matured. I also id ...more
Aug 29, 2012 Kacy rated it it was amazing
Murder Takes Time by Giacomo Giammatteo follows the lives of friends growing up in Sicilian and Italian families, immersed in a culture that will inevitably push them toward the mob and a lot of trouble. The story tests the lines of friendship, family, honor, love, and work. It forces the reader to choose a side with each character- is this person good or bad? Actions aside, I was constantly evaluating whether this person or that person was good at heart. It didn't matter how many people they h ...more
Aug 16, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
In the book by Giacomo Giammatteo titled Murder Takes Time the bond of friendship is put to the test. The story is about 4 boys who grew up together. One becomes a cop and the other three are not as law-abiding. When Frankie, the cop , has investigate his friends the story unfolds. Here is a brief summary of the story.

A string of brutal murders has bodies piling up in Brooklyn, and Detective Frankie Donovan knows what is going on. Clues left at the crime scenes point to someone from the old neig
George Polley
Jun 22, 2013 George Polley rated it it was amazing
Giacomo Giammatteo's "Murder Takes Time" will surprise you, over and over and over again. The book's description says it best: "Nicky Fusco thought he knew right from wrong, living by an oath of friendship & honor with his three best friends. But life took them down separate paths, and the oath was broken. Secrets were kept. Years later they are reunited and the bonds of their friendship are brutally tested, putting them on a collision course set in motion long ago."

"Murder Takes Time" is no
Aug 18, 2012 Kimberly rated it really liked it

“Friendship and Honor!”

This is what four friends Nicky, Tony, Frankie and Paulie vowed. As little boys from the age of 6 they were already stealing, smoking and selling cigarettes, left alone to run the streets of Wilmington, Delaware. By the age of 8 they had taken the oath of friendship and honor, promising to always have the backs of the others and never rat their friends out. As they grew older they began running errands and doing odd jobs for the local so-called “mob.”

Eventually a few other
Masquerade Crew
Apr 25, 2013 Masquerade Crew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-suspense


Looking over my shoulder I can’t help but wonder if I’d notice if someone was watching me. Would I take note of the car parked across the street, or the man sitting in the diner? Probably not.

These are the thoughts that have been going through my head since I finished reading Murder Takes Time by Giacomo Giammatteo. It is a fantastic book which pulls you through the pages with intrigue, revenge and mystery. Murder Takes Time is a murder mystery which flicks back and for
Jul 30, 2012 Literary rated it really liked it

Unfortunately, I do not care for the cover. I believe that when most potential readers take a look at this cover, it'll deter them from picking it up and giving this book a chance ... which is a shame because this book is wonderful and should be read by all murder-mystery lovers.


Three boys grew up in the same neighborhood and became best friends. They did everything together, especially get into trouble. As with any group of friends, each boy played a certain role within the group. One
Nov 02, 2012 Kathleen rated it it was amazing
Murder Takes Time is a story about three best friends whose bonds of friendship are put to the test. Nicky "The Rat" Fusco, Tony "The Brain" Sannullo, and Frankie "Bugs" Donovan grew up on the streets of Wilmington, Delaware. Thicker than thieves, they took an oath of friendship and honor, promising to always have each other's back and never rat each other out. When a gang fight turns deadly, Nicky takes the fall and and is sentenced to prison for ten years.

Fast forward to the present time, the
Jul 23, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
The novel starts out with three best friends growing up in Delaware, just 30 miles south of Philadelphia. Nicky "The Rat" Fusco, Frankie "Bugs" Donovan, and Tony "The Brain" Sanullo. The three are thick as thieves until a gang fight gets deadly and Nicky takes the fall for everyone. He's sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The book bounces back and forth between the past and the current day. The characters in the story are well developed and we learn what happened to them in the past that makes the
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I live in Texas now, but I grew up in Cleland Heights, a mixed ethnic neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware that sat on the fringes of the Italian, Irish and Polish neighborhoods. The main characters of Murder Takes Time grew up in Cleland Heights too, and many of the scenes in the book were taken from real-life experiences.

Somehow I survived the transition to adulthood, but when my kids were young
More about Giacomo Giammatteo...

Other Books in the Series

Friendship & Honor (3 books)
  • Murder Has Consequences (Friendship & Honor) (Volume 2)
  • Murder Takes Patience: A Frankie Donovan Mystery (Friendship & Honor Book 3)

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“I’m not going to tell you that you can trust me. You know that. I’m not going to tell you what you need to do. You know that as well. What I will remind you of is what I taught you in my class: Embarrassment and guilt are the two most powerful deterrents to truth. They are also two of the worst reasons to avoid the truth.” 1 likes
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