cover image Champagne and Cocaine

Champagne and Cocaine

Richard Vetere. Three Rooms, $15.95 trade paper (210p) ISBN 978-1-941110-29-4

Jealousy, fueled by Colombian cocaine and washed down with Mo%C3%ABt and Mumm, leads to murder in this realistically detailed slice of mob life in early 1980s New York City. Danny Ferraro used to be an English teacher, but he now makes his bones at cards, taking the occasional beating. He still hopes to write a novel. Sometimes he chauffeurs girlfriends of his gangster pal, Lou Santucci; Lou's married, and his wife was once voted Queen of the Italian Feast of Mount Carmel, but currently "she looked like any woman would who ate what she wanted and smoked day and night for the last thirty years." When one of the girlfriends goes over to a rival mobster and ends up dead, Danny gets another chore: find a perfect place to hide the body. Referencing a disco-era soundtrack, Vetere (The Third Miracle) captures day-to-day life in the clubs and all-night poker games with an air of authenticity. (May)