Rizzo’s War by Lou Manfredo

Rizzo's War is the debut novel by Lou Manfredo and it introduces the reader to an NYPD veteran named Joe Rizzo who immediately impresses as a solid detective. On the back of that is a depiction of police work that rings true for all of the obstacles and drawbacks to working day to day in the most high pressure job imaginable.

This is a very strong debut police procedural thriller that has since been followed up by a couple more to give the reader even more to look forward to. You will also want to read Rizzo's Fire and Rizzo's Daughter.

Book Details

Title: Rizzo's War
Author: Lou Manfredo
ISBN: 978-0-312-53805-7
Pages: 304 pp
Published Date: 2009
Publisher: Minotaur
Sub-Genre: Hardboiled
Main Characters: Joe Rizzo

Publisher's Synopsis

Rizzo’s War, Lou Manfredo’s stunningly authentic debut, partners a rookie detective with a seasoned veteran on his way to retirement in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

“There’s no wrong, there’s no right, there just is.” This is the refrain of Joe Rizzo, a decades-long veteran of the NYPD, as he passes on the knowledge of his years of experience to his ambitious new partner, Mike McQueen, over a year of riding together as detectives in the Sixty-second Precinct in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. McQueen is fresh from the beat in Manhattan, and Bensonhurst might as well be China for how different it is. They work on several cases, some big, some small, but the lesson is always the same. Whether it’s a simple robbery or an attempted assault, Rizzo’s saying always seems to bear out.

When the two detectives are given the delicate task of finding and returning the runaway daughter of a city councilman, who may or may not be more interested in something his daughter has taken with her than in her safety, the situation is much more complex. By the end of Rizzo and McQueen’s year together, however, McQueen is not surprised to discover that even in those more complicated cases, Rizzo is still right—there’s no wrong, there’s no right, there just is.

Rizzo’s War is an introduction to a wonderful new voice in crime fiction in the Big Apple, ringing with authenticity, full of personality, and taut with the suspense of real, everyday life in the big city.

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Book Reviews

You will find reviews of Rizzo's War at the following websites.

Amazon.com: "This novel is driven by superbly crafted and well-defined characters and a credible story line. It's obvious the author knows what he's writing about. I particularly like the fact that the plot is not too thick and filled with so many confusing characters that reading the book would be more like homework than a nice way to relax." Read the Amazon.com reviews here


The Drowning Machine: "Okay, if you're looking for serial killers, gore, shoot-em-up-bang-bang action, go read a different book. If you're looking for a story with a complex web of moral and ethical dilemmas layered with gritty, tenacious police work, then open the pages and enjoy Lou Manfredo's debut novel. " Read full review


Washington Post: "He tells his story through the eyes of a veteran detective named Joe Rizzo, whose guiding philosophy is "There is no right, there is no wrong, there just is." Rizzo is a mentor to his partner, a young detective named Mike McQueen, who by the end of the story will have to choose between being a straight arrow and compromising his principles to advance his career." Read full review


Ready When You Are C.B.: "Rizzo's War has more than it's fair share of faults. The veteran cop/new cop character pairing is standard stuff. While Rizzo becomes a fully fledged character, McQueen never does. "There's no right. There's no wrong. There just is," was repeated so often it almost became comical." Read full review here


Gumshoe Review: "The "War" in the title, that Rizzo must fight, is the everyday life of a New York City policeman and citizen, coupled with his or her decision of what options to choose. The rules of right and wrong are blurry, as Rizzo's mantra conveys." Read full review here


The complete list of books by Lou Manfredo can be viewed on the Lou Manfredo author page.