I live in Texas now, but I grew up in Cleland Heights, a mixed ethnic neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware, that sat on the fringes of the Italian, Irish and Polish neighborhoods. The main characters of Murder Takes Time grew up in Cleland Heights and many of the scenes in the book were taken from real-life experiences.
Somehow I survived the transition to adulthood, but when my kids were young I left the Northeast and settled in Texas, where my wife suggested we get a few animals. I should have known better; we now have a full-blown animal sanctuary with rescues from all over. At last count we had 41 animals—12 dogs, a horse, a three-legged cat and 26 pigs. Oh, and one crazy—and very large—wild boar, who takes walks with me every day and happens to also be my best buddy.
Since this is a bio some of you might wonder what I do. By day I am a headhunter, scouring the country for top talent to fill jobs in the biotech and medical device industry. In the evening I help my wife tend the animals, and at night—late at night—I turn into a writer.
IAN. Please tell us about your latest book.
GG. Murder Takes Time is a story about three young boys—best friends—who swear an oath to be friends forever. The book begins with a brutal murder, and it falls into the mystery/thriller genre, but it is really a story about friendship and how experiences in life affect people in different ways; in fact, the series is called the Friendship & Honor Series. This is book one.
IAN. How long did it take to write Murder Takes Time?
GG. It took about two months to do the first draft, then about six months to edit it.
IAN. What inspired you to write Murder Takes Time?
GG. I had been writing fantasy books, but I mostly read mysteries. One night I got an idea for doing a mystery and started it.
IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?
GG. I’m not a true outline person, but I always know the ending of the story before I start. I do have a basic idea of where it’s going-major plot points, etc.
IAN. How is your book different from others in your genre?
GG. One of the reviewers on Amazon answered this far better than I could:
This novel is not just a murder mystery.
This novel is not just a thriller.
This novel is not just a love story.
This novel is not just a life story.
This novel is all in one.
I absolutely love that review.
IAN. Is Murder Takes Time published in print, e-book or both?
IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
GG. A satisfying read. I’m not trying to send any messages, just tell a good story.
IAN. Where can we go to buy your book?
GG. It is exclusive to Amazon until July 12, 2012, then it will be available at all the online sites: B&N, Apple, Kobo, etc…
IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
GG. My next release is in July/August 2012. A Bullet for Carlos, is the first book in a new series—Blood Flows South. You can read about it on my website. I will also be bringing out the second book in the Friendship & Honor Series later this year. It’s already finished, but needs some final editing.
IAN. Any other links or info you'd like to share?
GG. if anyone wants to know more about me they can check out my blogs. Most of them are stories about the animals from our sanctuary, or my kids, or other things I’m passionate about.
The blog is here: www.giacomogiammatteo.com/blog
MURDER TAKES TIME by Giacomo Giammatteo
Page count: 438
Inferno Publishing Company
Rule Number One―Murder Takes Time
Brooklyn, New York—Current Day
He sipped the last of a shitty cup of coffee and stared across the street at Nino Tortella, the guy he was going to kill. Killing was an art, requiring finesse, planning, skill—and above all—patience. Patience had been the most difficult to learn. The killing came naturally. He cursed himself for that. Prayed to God every night for the strength to stop. But so far God hadn’t answered him, and there were still a few more people that needed killing.
The waitress leaned forward to refill his cup, her cleavage a hint that more than coffee was being offered. “You want more?”
He waved a hand—Nino was heading towards his car. “Just the check, please.”
From behind her ear she pulled a yellow pencil, tucked into a tight bun of red hair, then opened the receipt book clipped to the pocket of her apron. Cigarette smoke lingered on her breath, almost hidden by the gum she chewed.
Spearmint, he thought, and smiled. It was his favorite, too.
He waited for her to leave, scanned the table and booth, plucked a few strands of hair from the torn cushion and a fingernail clipping from the windowsill. After putting them into a small plastic bag, he wiped everything with a napkin. The check was $4.28. He pulled a five and a one from his money clip and left them on the table. As he moved to the door he glanced out the window. Nino already left the lot, but it was Thursday, and on Thursdays Nino stopped for pizza.
He parked three blocks from Nino’s house, finding a spot where the snow wasn’t piled high at the curb. After pulling a black wool cap over his forehead, he put leather gloves on, raised the collar on his coat then grabbed his black sports bag. Favoring his left leg, he walked down the street, dropping his eyes if he passed someone. The last thing he wanted was a witness remembering his face.
He counted the joints in the concrete as he walked. Numbers forced him to think logically, kept his mind off what he had to do. He didn’t want to kill Nino. He had to. It seemed as if all of his life he was doing things he didn’t want to do. He shook his head, focused on the numbers again.
When he drew near the house, he cast a quick glance to ensure the neighbors’ cars weren’t there. The door took less than thirty seconds to open. He kept his hat and gloves on, walked into the kitchen, and set his bag on the counter. He removed a pair of tongs and a shot glass, and set them on the coffee table. A glance around the room had him straightening pictures and moving dirty dishes to the sink. A picture of an older woman stared at him from a shelf above an end table. Might be his mother, he thought, and gently set it face down. Back to the kitchen. He opened the top of the black bag and removed two smaller bags. He set one in the fridge and took the other with him.
The contents of the second bag—hair and other items—he spread throughout the living room. The crime scene unit would get a kick out of that. He did one final check, removed a baseball bat from the bag, then sat on the couch behind the door. The bat lay on the cushion beside him. While he stretched his legs and leaned back, he thought about Nino. It would be easy to just shoot him, but that wouldn’t be fair. Renzo suffered for what he did; Nino should too. He remembered Mamma Rosa’s warnings, that the things people did would come back to haunt them. Nino would pay the price now.
A car pulled into the driveway. He sat up straight and gripped the bat.