Blood Brothers

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
312 Pages
Reviewed on 10/13/2014
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Danita Dyess for Readers' Favorite

In Blood Brothers by George R. Hopkins, you meet Howard Stevens, a Harvard graduate, CIA covert agent, Green Beret and international assassin. April 6, 1976 is a special day for Howard Stevens. He had his best friend, regarded as his brother, murdered in the jungles of Columbia. Now he receives an assignment from a mysterious stranger wielding $250k in an envelope: Kill Fidel Castro. Castro was the political mastermind behind the Bay of Pigs, the battle that killed his brother, Edgar. Castro was the cause of fellow Harvard and friend John F. Kennedy's untimely demise. With his infiltration into Rocco Muscatelli's mob, he will watch the heroin and cocaine shipments from Cuba roll into the U.S. This mission will allow him to succeed where others have failed.

Blood Brothers by George R. Hopkins is a fast paced, action packed thriller that grabbed my attention and never let go. I succumbed to the intrigue, danger and sophisticated twists and turns. The complex characters, Father Bennis, Tom Cavanaugh, Vito Muscatelli, etc. and real dialogue gave the storyline authenticity and depth. The Washington, D.C. backdrop was appropriate. "Six different kids from six different backgrounds" was brilliant and added humour. I thoroughly enjoyed the though-provoking quotes at the beginning of each chapter. The pacing and suspense was perfect. Hopkins, a former English teacher, is a master storyteller.

Raanan Geberer

Blood Brothers by George P. Hopkins is an exciting crime thriller that brings together three seemingly disparate worlds: the Mafia, lower-middle-class Catholic Brooklyn, and high-level international espionage. When mob boss Rocco Muscatelli gets killed, everyone assumes it’s the Colombian drug dealers, whose territory Muscatelli reportedly tried to muscle into. But when Muscatelli’s lieutenant, the funeral home owner and several others are killed soon afterward, it’s a free-for-all. Investigating the case are NYPD Detectives Morty Goldberg and Thomas Cavanaugh, whose good-natured Irish-versus-Jewish banter provides a humorous element to the book. At the same time, an unstable, highly dangerous former CIA operative with a vendetta is keeping an eye on the case for his own sinister purposes. Everyone’s looking for a group of students at Bishop Bergin High School who were witnesses to the Muscatelli murder. And at the center of everything is the local parish priest – who was a man of the gun before he was a man of the cloth.

George P. Hopkins keeps the action moving in Blood Brothers. He’s obviously familiar with the area of Brooklyn he writes about, including such landmarks as Green-Wood Cemetery. At first it seems like several separate stories happening concurrently, but the reader will be surprised when the hidden relationships between some of the characters are revealed. You’ll be sitting on the edge of your chair with suspense as you wonder who will get to the teenage bystanders first – the mob, the cops or the former CIA man, who’s been known to kill at the drop of a hat. You’ll find yourself identifying with the priest, who struggles to remain true to his moral convictions in a violent world. All in all, Blood Brothers is a book that you won’t be able to put down.

Jack Magnus

Blood Brothers is a police procedural mystery written by George R. Hopkins. Someone assassinated Mafia boss, Rocco Muscatelli, as he left an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, NY. Witnesses George and Frankie are freelance covert operatives who've been assigned the task of filming the mobster's movements, and their old green van is parked in the vicinity. Six teenagers are also present when the shooting takes place. They're all students at Bishop Bergin High School and are fellow students of Bobby Muscatelli, the mobster's youngest son. They're quick to realize that being noticed at the scene is not at all in their interests and they hastily depart, deciding to return the next day for the Chevy Nova they came in. They have been noticed, however, both by the watchers in the van and the Mafia personnel. Police Officers Cavanaugh and Goldberg have been assigned to this increasingly violent and complicated criminal case.

George R. Hopkins' novel, Blood Brothers, is an intelligent and exciting work which combines the elements of a police procedural and a thriller. Father Jack Bennis, the Green Beret and CIA operative turned Jesuit priest, is a complex and fascinating character. I especially enjoyed the repartee of the two police officers, Cavanaugh and Goldberg, as they come to an understanding of their different religious and social viewpoints while working on the case. Hopkins is a gifted writer whose words quickly grab the reader's attention, and his descriptions of the Brooklyn neighborhood where the story is set are marvelous. Blood Brothers is a fast-paced and enthralling story that keeps the reader on edge and guessing until the last page. I had a great time reading it, and I highly recommend it.