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Rizzo's Daughter    by Lou Manfredo order for
Rizzo's Daughter
by Lou Manfredo
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Rizzo's Daughter follows Rizzo's War and Rizzo's Fire as the third in an exceptional police procedural series by Lou Manfredo. The protagonist here is aging Brooklyn Detective Sergeant Joe Rizzo. He's seen it all and is more than ready for retirement.

But now Rizzo's youngest daughter Carol (a chip off the old block) has followed him on the job, to his wife Jennifer's dismay. So Joe is hanging in there, ready to call in favors and work the system on Carol's behalf. It takes some adjusting for all the family, including Carol who tells Rizzo, 'Ten hours ago I was drawing down on an armed felon. Now I'm being treated like Mommy and Daddy's little girl.' To which her dad replies, 'that's never gonna change.'

Rizzo's Daughter opens on the murder of a hardened gangster, Quattropa, something of minor concern to the cops except that 'a citizen went down too', the owner of the bar where it happened. Were the Russians involved? Or did Mickey Spano, a lieutenant of Quattropa's, order the hit? As he works other cases, Rizzo keeps in the loop on this one, which ends after a police captain negotiates with Spano to take out the killers - an act of which Rizzo's boss strongly disapproves.

Many years before, Rizzo broke all contact with his oldest friend and partner, John Morelli, after the latter sold a police informant to Quattropa to clear huge debts. Now as Rizzo visits Morelli on his deathbed, his friend warns him against sliding down the same slippery slope. It could never happen - could it?

When Carol is hurt in the line of duty, Jennifer is furious with Rizzo, feeling that he betrayed her in encouraging their daughter to become a policewoman. Old wounds are opened up between them. The police investigators get nowhere. Determined on vengeance, Rizzo too crosses a line and his angry boss tells him that he 'let the job win.'

These books remind me of Ed McBain's wonderful 87th Precinct stories. I wonder where the author will take Joe Rizzo now? Will he follow him into retirement or switch to a colleague as McBain did? Whatever he writes next, I'll be lining up to read it.

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