The Murder of Paolo Mancuso

A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book 5

Fiction - Crime
267 Pages
Reviewed on 08/28/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I guess you would like to know a little more about yours truly. Very well. I was born in Havana, Cuba.
In 1959 my father and mother left everything behind in order to move to the United States. Miami Beach, to be more specific. It is interesting to note, before you say, “Owen Parr” a Cuban? That, my dad, also Owen Parr, was born in New York and his dad moved to Havana when my dad was eight years old.
For six years I worked in the engineering department of our local utility, Florida Power and Light. This was the time in Miami when the so-called “drug-wars” began, which lasted through the 1980’s.
Four years later, I opened my own real estate company and grew it to five offices with over one hundred associates and a real estate school. In 1986, just prior to the stock market crash of 1987, I became a financial advisor with a major Wall Street firm.
In 2015, I began writing fiction and converting my screenplays into action, suspense, fictional novels.
On my free time, when not working, writing or playing golf, I enjoy painting acrylics on canvas. Some of which I displayed through the pages.
My multiple plotted mystery books and international political suspense thrillers with global backgrounds come from what I know. I love writing them, I trust you’ll love reading them. Enough of this. Go read one of my books!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Murder of Paolo Mancuso: A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book 5 is a hard-boiled sleuth mystery novel written by Owen Parr. While this is the fifth book in Parr’s series, the author gives enough background information within the story for it to be enjoyed as a standalone novel. When Tony (The Hammer) Falcone called Joey to his deathbed at Rikers Correctional Center, he gave Joey a name, Wetherley Stevens, and he told him to look in Barcelona. Joey had been waiting twenty years for a clue, any clue that could help him understand why there had been a hit placed on his father. Joey had been sixteen years old then, and thought of himself as part of the family. He had been there in that bar in Little Italy, with his dad and Tony the Hammer, when the man walked in and shot Tony and Joey’s dad. Tony survived, but Joey’s dad didn’t. Joey couldn’t understand why the family didn’t seek vengeance, nor did the police seem to do much to apprehend the killer, and the case quickly was consigned to the cold case files. Now, Tony’s deathbed confession finally gave Joey something to work with, and he was determined to find the answers which had so long evaded him.

The Murder of Paolo Mancuso is a tense and gripping tale about vengeance and a son’s need to understand the facts behind his father’s murder. This is the first Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian book that I’ve read, but it definitely won’t be the last. Parr quickly familiarized me with the main characters in his series, and I loved being in sunny Barcelona along with Joey as he investigates the Wetherley Stevens' clue. Parr’s Joey Mancuso speaks in the first person, a device that made me feel as if I were privy to his every thought and plan, and it was quite effective in keeping up the suspense. Parr’s characters are everything I could hope for in a detective/private eye series. Father Dom works quite well as Joey’s older brother and business partner, and Agnes, their office manager and “hacker extraordinaire,” is a perfect complement to the two brothers. The plot keeps the reader thinking, puzzling facts out along with Joey and being not quite sure what is going to happen throughout, and it is a positive delight for the armchair sleuth who likes their mysteries anything but cozy. And yes, I had a grand time reading this book. The Murder of Paolo Mancuso: A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book 5 is most highly recommended.

Melinda Hills

With no pending cases for his team, private detective Joey Mancuso decides to look into a 20-year-old cold case – the murder of his father in a bar in Little Italy, New York City in The Murder of Paolo Mancuso: A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery by Owen Parr. After all this time, it turns out that a death-bed clue by Paolo’s best friend, who was also injured in the shooting, gives Joey what he needs to start an investigation.

While tracking down the names given by Antonio Falcone right before his death, Joey finds himself in the middle of an unrelated murder on an exclusive South Carolina island. This blows Joey’s cover and makes his investigation into his father’s murder a bit more difficult, but his crew in New York do what they do best – dig deep, follow suspects, and come up with more information to guide Joey from New York to Barcelona, Spain, and eventually Morocco. As ‘the last advocate for the victim’, Joey is relentless in uncovering the past and digging up well-hidden secrets. Will he finally get justice for a crime committed so long ago?

Owen Parr has created another fantastic murder mystery with The Murder of Paolo Mancuso: A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery. Although not as involved in this volume as in previous books, the supporting cast is interesting and adds to the allure of the story with their diverse natures, quirky behavior and strong attitudes. Dialogue and action are mixed well to inform you and move the story along and anticipation is stoked, urging you to keep turning the pages to see ‘whodunit’. I applaud Parr's imagination and attention to detail. This is another excellent tale by Owen Parr and is perfect for a day at the beach or pool, or even in front of a roaring fireplace.

Grant Leishman

The Murder of Paolo Mancuso: A Joey Mancuso, Father O’Brian Crime Mystery by Owen Parr introduces us to an unlikely pair of crime solvers; half-brothers Joey Mancuso and Father Dominic O’Brian. Joey’s father, Paolo, was fairly high up in one of New York’s crime families when he was murdered in front of his teenage son, some twenty years ago. That and the influence of a New York City police captain saw Joey turn away from his father’s occupation and instead train to be a New York City Detective. After a successful career in the police force, Joey and his half-brother Dom, a Catholic priest, have joined forces in business, running both a cigar bar and a private detective agency. Haunted by his father’s unsolved murder and with new clues provided by Paolo’s best friend on his deathbed, Joey decides it is finally time to put this mystery behind him and discover who ordered the hit on his father all those years ago.

Owen Parr has created an unusual set of characters for this series; headlined by Joey and his brother, but including the likeable Mr Pat, the former manager of their cigar bar, Joey’s wife, FBI Special Agent Marcy, and their tech whiz, assistant Agnes. The cast of different characters is probably what lifts The Murder of Paolo Mancuso: A Joey Mancuso, Father O’Brian Crime Mystery above your average murder mystery. The story is very readable, with straightforward language and a plot that flies all over the place, keeping the reader continually guessing and wondering. The plot is complex and twists relentlessly, taking the reader from New York to a small island off Hilton Head on the east coast of the US and across to Barcelona, among other places. If murder mystery is your thing, or police procedures, then this book will surely satiate your appetite. I felt myself, as a reader, continually drawn to comparison to the works of Ed McBain. I saw character parallels between McBain’s main hero, Steve Carrella, and Joey Mancuso very clearly. The styles are similar.