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Headstone City

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  177 ratings  ·  18 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 302 pages
Published February 28th 2006 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2006)
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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

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
Charles Dee Mitchell
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
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
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!
Braden A.
Loved this one. Dynamite writing, a great plot - mafiosos with a touch of the supernatural.

Piccirilli is one I need to read more by!

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

Tim Niland
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
William M.
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 b ...more
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.
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!
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.
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.
Emerian Rich
Jun 09, 2009 Emerian Rich marked it as just-couldn-t-get-into-it
I tried. It's Sopranos but he can see the dead? Might try again in the future.
An interesting mix of the supernatural and the mafia.
Kevin Lucia
AWESOME. Mix of supernatural noir/crime/mob tale.
I'm still wondering why I read this book.
Review coming soon...
Daniel Stephens
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