Book Review: A Murder on Wall Street by Owen Parr

Posted February 16, 2018 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: A Murder on Wall Street by Owen Parr

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A Murder on Wall Street by Owen Parr
Genres: Crime Mystery
Published by Amazon Digital on January 31, 2017
Pages: 264
Format: eBook

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First in the Joey Mancuso, Father O’Brian crime mystery series and revolving around two half-brothers who share ownership of a cigar bar and tavern in New York City.

This Kindle was sent to me by the author for an honest review.

My Take

It’s all about greed, and its effect on the individual. Well, in this case, the individuals, as there are a number of angles playing into each other. I did enjoy the epilogue that recapped everyone’s, um, fate.

There’s a noirish feel to Parr’s writing with Joey zinging ’em out with first person protagonist point-of-view, but any intended (?) seriousness gets lost in the undeveloped and obvious writing. It’s all tell and the action is much too easy. It is an interesting story, but Parr needs to give it some meat, some tension and drama.

There’s no antagonism among the FBI, the cops, or the ME’s office toward Joey and his brother. At least Parr was consistent in this as can be read in the final scene in which Joey does a recap in the style of Hercule Poirot.

Melody is coming on to everyone. Agnes is simply there when Parr has already provided an excuse for drama here. Joey doesn’t find the partners’ laughter out of place at that initial interview? Why is Marcy annoyed that Joey riffs on her reaming comment? Mrs. Roberts? Not Detective Roberts?

I’m confused about how this ownership thing works with the bar. If Mancuso and Father Dom each own half the bar, where does Father Dom’s other brother, Brandon, fit in?

One of the basic rules of writing is to give each speaker a new paragraph. It can be confusing enough when dialogue tags are left out, but it’s so much worse when writers run the different speakers together in one paragraph. And Parr should refresh his memory on the difference between possessives and plurals.

The Story

Why would a successful money manager, celebrating the night before, want to commit suicide? It’s a hinky judgment of suicide that sets Father Dom into action along with his half-brother, Joey Mancuso.

It’s a conspiracy of money laundering, insider trading, and a Ponzi scheme on Wall Street and murder that may tie back to the murder case that shoved Joey out of the NYPD.

Along with FBI Special Agent Martinez, the three will attempt piece together this crime-ridden puzzle.

The Characters

Former Detective Joey Mancuso was forced out of Homicide after sixteen years (his dad was Mafiosi). He’s also the half-owner of Captain O’Brian’s Irish Pub and Cigar Bar along with Father Dominic O’Brian, his half brother, who is with the Saint Helen’s Catholic Church in Brooklyn. They inherited from O’Brian’s dad, Marine Master Sergeant Sean O’Brian. Marine Sergeant Brandon O’Brian was Father Dom’s full brother. Marine Captain Sean O’Brian started up the tavern. Patrick “Mr. Pat” O’Sullivan is the bartender who served in the Marines with Brandon. Angela and Alina are some of the waitresses. Customers are nicknamed for their drink orders.

Special Agent Marcela “Marcy” Martinez wants to cool her relationship with Mancuso. Her brother, Alberto, is a soldier. Special-Agent-in-Charge Victoria Stewart is Marcy’s boss in the white-collar crime division. Special Agent William Casals is with Organized Crime.

Frankie “Dr Death” is the medical examiner and a friend of Mancuso’s. Detective Lucy “Lucifer” Roberts is Joey’s old partner; she’s married to Army Drill Sergeant Harold Roberts, and they have three kids: Frank, Dean, and Sammy. Detectives Bob Farnsworth and George Charles (Jenna is Charles’ wife) are major jerks.

Evans, Albert, and Associates is…
…a hedge fund that is doing too well and owned by Robert Evans and Thomas Albert III. They had referred to themselves as the Big Swinging Dicks when they were young bond traders. Evans and his wife, Elena Muir, have two (or three) kids, Robert, Jr. and Stephanie. Robert also keeps mistresses: Maria Christina and Katerina Rostova. Albert is married to Lillian Stanley, and they have three kids. Stevan Kapzoff is their attorney. Carla is the receptionist.

Jonathan “Tito” Parker is a senior vice-president and is married to Adelle. Kathy “Stella” Miller is Parker’s assistant. Arturo Alvarez, an analyst, is Kathy’s boyfriend. Anita Schilling is Adelle’s sister. Andrew Huffing is Adelle’s wealthy father who started up Andrew’s Sporting Goods. Robert Sands was Huffing’s general manager.

Melody Wright is an aspiring actress working as a model and seeing Jonathan on the side. U.S. Representative Horatio Stevens represents New York and is one of the original investors along with Vittorio Agostino and Luigi Bellascone.

Jimmy is the director of the homeless shelter. [Another] Jimmy and Ed Daniels are some of the homeless men. Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford ran Ponzi schemes. Aroma’s is a Cuban restaurant Marcy loves, which is owned by Camilo and Marcia Garcia. Dino’s Deli is next door to Captain O’Brian’s. Agnes Smith, who happens to be a good researcher, is very interested in Father Dom. Rafael Galan is an attorney in Mexico. Señor Ricardo Lindo is the alleged drug lord of the Lindo cartel in Mexico. Barry Simon is a New York Tribune reporter. Schultz and Essen are another law firm in New York.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a close-up of a glass of MacAllan 18 scotch and three cigars, a blue smoke trail rising up from one of them, all three resting on a $100 bill on a dark wooden table at Captain O’Brian’s. The author’s name is in a black-outlined red font centered at the top while the title is at the bottom in a black-outlined white. The series information is in white to the left of the scotch.

The title is just a hunch on Father Dom’s part, and he believes it’s A Murder on Wall Street.

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