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Headstone City

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  210 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
A haunted man must settle his accounts with the living—and the dead…

The night Johnny Danetello drove a dying girl through the streets of Brooklyn in his cab, he was trying to save her life. Instead he ran down a cop and lost her and his freedom. Every day in prison, Johnny knew that Angie Monticelli's family blamed him for her death, and that going home would be suicide. B
Mass Market Paperback, 302 pages
Published February 28th 2006 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jon Recluse
Jul 31, 2015 Jon Recluse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This ain't your mama's Mob tale.

Blending a pitch perfect noir sensibility with dark humor and a dash of the supernatural, Piccirilli offers up a unique cup of literary espresso that you could only find in the wilds of Brooklyn, a borough that really does share real estate with the Twilight Zone.

Highly recommended!
Dec 17, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal, fiction, noir
Hmmmm, I DID NOT see that coming...

Dane is a driver and an ex-con, recently released from prison after doing time for hitting a police officer while driving a dying girl to the hospital. The catch here is that the dying girl is the daughter of Mafioso Don Monticelli, and also the little sister of Dane's best friend, Vinny. The family hold Dane responsible for Angie's death and he is a marked man, in prison and out. He comes home to live with his Grandma Lucia, a tough old bird who has survived b
Jul 16, 2008 Daniel rated it really liked it

The Premise

Johnny Danetello – Dane to his family and friends – is let out of jail after serving two years for assaulting a police officer with a vehicle. He returns to Brooklyn a wanted man: the reigning mob family, the Monticellis, want him for his negligent involvement in the death of young Angela Monticelli; his best friend, Vinny Monticelli, wants a showdown that he promises will come at the right time; his father's ex-partner – and possible murderer – wants him to leav
Mar 18, 2016 Lynn rated it it was amazing
A rare blending of ghost story and crime fiction that somehow managed to make me laugh as well. Great story and entertaining read from one of my favorite authors.
Tim Niland
Feb 06, 2012 Tim Niland rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-reads
When army veteran Dane aka Johnny Danetello is released from prison after a two-year stint, surviving attempts on his life after being held responsible for the death of a mob bosses daughter, he knows his life will be a fight to survive when he returns to his old stomping grounds, a section of Brooklyn known as Headstone City. Upon release, the mob turns up the heat, trying to take Dane out at every turn. Taking a job with a limo company, Dane drives the neighborhood, living with his grandmother ...more
Nov 27, 2014 Josh rated it liked it
Shelves: own, read_2014
I really liked this book yet am conflicted by the genre mash-up. Part crime/mob book, part horror/supernatural author Tom Piccirilli bleeds life and death over the pages of HEADSTONE CITY to formulate an interesting culmination of the two that just doesn't quite feel right.

I like subtle horror and an element of urban fantasy but I like that distinction to be well advanced and recognisable, not as a side bar to the main event. The supernatural elements felt a little like that here. Which isn't to
Charles Dee Mitchell
Nov 29, 2015 Charles Dee Mitchell rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, ghost-stories
Piccirilli's novels often take place in fully realized but non-specific locales: a small college in New England or maybe the Northern Midwest; a mid-sized city on the Eastern seaboard; some backwater of the American South. Headstone City, however, is placed firmly in Brooklyn, although in a part of Brooklyn that exists only in the author's imagination. Characters may visit Williamsburg, Bed Stuy, Park Slope, and make trips into Manhattan or out to Montauk, but Melody Park, once home to early sta ...more
Sep 11, 2015 Lee rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
Mr. Piccirilli pulls off a supernatural tale, with hardboiled noir, topped off with some humorous moments. **never thought I would make this statement, about a book** Well done atmosphere, using New York and characters of the local mob.
Braden A.
Aug 05, 2013 Braden A. rated it it was amazing
Loved this one. Dynamite writing, a great plot - mafiosos with a touch of the supernatural.

Piccirilli is one I need to read more by!
This is a mediocre story at best. I had to beat myself to get through it. BTW, there is no such thing as an 11 gauge shotgun! This what Dane's mother used to ice Joey Fresco!
Feb 07, 2013 Al rated it really liked it

The night Johnny Danetello drove a dying girl through the streets of Brooklyn in his cab, he was trying to save her life. Instead he ran down a cop and lost her and his freedom. Every day in prison, Johnny knew that Angie Monticelli’s family blamed him for her death, and that going home would be suicide. But Johnny has unfinished business with his former friend turned mob boss, Vinny Monticelli.

Now Johnny has returned to converse with the doomed and the dead–and wait for Vinny to make his move

William M.
Jun 28, 2011 William M. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
This book is so good, I actually called off work in order to finish it. Piccirilli, as always, has an incredibly original mind and proves once again he belongs with the cream of the crop in the dark fiction category. His flavorful vocabulary jumps off the page and his characters are as three dimensional as the reader holding the book. Headstone City is one of Piccirilli's best and although not as dark as some of his prior novels, it's just as satisfying. Of course, I would prefer his novels to ...more
Markus Jansson
Dec 06, 2015 Markus Jansson rated it really liked it
Gritty, funny, sad and poetic all in one. Brooklyn wise guys, ghosts and a pastry loving grandma with pink (magenta!) colored hair. Loved everything about this one except the ending. It felt a bit rushed to me – even though I really liked the idea behind it. Would also have liked to gotten to know The Dane's great love Maria more instead of just being told what an amazing woman she is. Piccirilli knows how to write bad ass women – grandma Lucia is a prime example of this, so yeah, a bit more ...more
Sep 15, 2015 Dora rated it it was amazing
This book was great fun. Although I didn't find it scary (I don't think frights were the author's intent, TBH), it was packed full of everything I want in ghost noir and Piccirilli's deft turns of phrase had me laughing more than once. This isn't your typical "I see dead people" haints vs. the living's a lively romp in which a Continental Op-esque ex-con is pitted against a powerful family, a handful of astral projections, and his former best friend.

TL;DR - Headstone City doesn't s
Jun 30, 2013 Isidore rated it it was amazing
A mafia novel with supernatural elements? This can't possibly work, can it? Piccirilli pulls it off, thanks to some really ingenious plotting––the kind which both suprises and delights––snappy dialogue, and a relentless, edgey pace. Crime purists may deplore the intrusion of the weird, and lovers of the weird may wonder why they are reading a crime novel, but as far as I'm concerned the cheeky flouting of genre boundaries only adds to its appeal. A terrific novel.
Jul 27, 2011 Jayne added it

Set in America, in a neighbourhood where the Mafia are a part of every day life. The story begins with the release of Johnny Danetello as he finishes his 2 year sentence. Even though there's a price on his head, Johnny just can't shake off his lifelong apathy. Or the ghosts who keep trying to talk to him. Not to mention his sugar addicted Italian grandmother who is a my favourite character.

I really enjoyed this one.
Sep 26, 2010 April rated it really liked it
Gothic horror?... Um... I would say gothic goombah action, but horror?... this was simply a bit of mafia action with the main character seeing dead people.... an interesting and engaging read... but not what I would call gothic horror... I hope they changed that bit of hype on the actual book's cover... I'ma give it 3 out of five stars. Good, but doubtful I would read it again, or even reach for the other Piccirilli on my shelf. I did love his grandmother though!
Jan 19, 2016 Pat rated it liked it
Interesting and well done but felt I wanted to like it more.
I think the biggest issue is that either half was good. Both the supernatural aspects was good and so was the noir/crime story but putting them together there felt to be a bit of a mish mash. Nonetheless I am quite interested in reading more works by this author.
Mar 13, 2012 Blair rated it it was amazing
A hard-boiled Brooklyn thriller. The main protagonist, Dane has a price on his head from his long-time friend and mob capo, Vinny. Both young men were involved in a car accident in their teens that left them with "visions". Dane walks the streets of Brooklyn in a race against time to clear his name, right some wrongs and claim what is his.
Patricia rated it it was amazing
Jan 25, 2008
OutlawPoet rated it really liked it
Aug 02, 2007
David rated it really liked it
Mar 10, 2012
Sam Anderson
Sam Anderson rated it liked it
Feb 09, 2008
Kourtney rated it it was amazing
Jun 27, 2012
Deborah rated it really liked it
Jan 01, 2012
Ryan rated it really liked it
May 23, 2013
Chris rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2014
Michael rated it it was amazing
Mar 20, 2008
Adam James
Adam James rated it really liked it
Sep 08, 2013
Dee Handley
Dee Handley rated it it was ok
Apr 11, 2013
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