CHEAPSKATES by Charlie Stella


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A friendship between two men of principle extends far beyond the day they’re released from jail.

Though Pete Rizzo has never been connected, he well understands the nature of connectedness and the danger involved in stepping out of line. Even so, he can’t help going against his own and bracing a pair of bullying mob guys on a black man’s behalf. His intervention earns him a stabbing, plus the undying friendship of Reese Waters. Released from New York State’s Fishkill Penitentiary on the same day, both men face still harder times. Pete wants the $50,000 his ex-wife stole from him. It’s not the money, he keeps insisting, it’s the principle, and Reese knows him well enough to believe every word. But everything Reese has garnered about the dark side of Janice Barrett, the former Mrs. Rizzo, makes it clear to him she’s Messalina in thong underwear, a woman who’ll make Pete pay for his principles. Reese is left with a legacy of choices. Does he do what’s smart, distance himself the way those who care about him are begging him to do? Or does he take on the cops, assorted hit men, and the wicked, endlessly resourceful Janice Barrett in an act of principle his pal would never have wanted from him?

Stella (Charlie Opera, 2003, etc.) loves his people, the bad no less than the good, which is why you will too.

Pub Date: March 8th, 2005
ISBN: 0-7867-1479-4
Page count: 304pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2005


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