They Only Wear Black Hats

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
331 Pages
Reviewed on 11/28/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Edward Izzi, a full-time CPA, is a native of Detroit, with a successful accounting firm in the north suburban Chicago area. A talented writer in high school, he was told by one of his English teachers that any career in anything other than writing would be a "waste of time". He didn't start taking his writing talents seriously until much later in life. He has now written a countless number of short stories, poetry, and has completed several fiction thriller novels, including: Of Bread and Wine – A Rose from The Executioner – Demons of Divine Wrath – Quando Dormo – El Camino Drive, the political thriller When A Rook Takes the Queen – The Buzz Boys and the recent Detroit based Detective novel: They Only Wear Black Hats.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jennifer Ibiam for Readers' Favorite

Detective Michael Palazolla of the Detroit Police Department was frustrated with the handling of crimes in his city. Murderers waltzed their way to freedom because of the incompetence of law enforcement, lawyers, medics, and the whole justice system. However, a questionable and scary pattern started in the community. Felons who escaped the justice system ended up dead with a bowler hat souvenir left behind. Malizia Society of Detroit, a gathering inspired by the Law of Moses and modeling the footsteps of the ancient Medici family, was on the prowl. Michael had his work cut out with discreetly finding out who they were while reining in his hard-nosed investigative journalist friend, Justine. Who were these people? Get the story in They Only Wear Black Hats by Edward Izzi.

They Only Wear Black Hats by Edward Izzi was a fantastic page-turner that will appeal to lovers of dark savior and detective stories. I loved the brilliant plot, engaging storyline, and unpredictable twists and turns. It is common knowledge that the court of law is the last hope for the helpless man. However, when the justice system falls short, who becomes the savior? This story showed me that attention to detail is crucial in every kind of job. Tiny mistakes could set off a series of catastrophes, especially when dealing with human lives. Also, Blakely’s situation struck me, where it became difficult to mete out to his kin the same punishment he administered to others. The selfish nature of humans! Edward is a talented storyteller, and I’d love to read more of his works.

Viga Boland

I’ve often wondered why thrillers and mystery murders, whether in TV shows or books, are so popular with people like me who would never dream of doing such violent criminal acts. The answer to that probably lies in the interesting insights Edward Izzi shares in his essay titled Why We Write at the end of his novel, They Only Wear Black Hats. Izzi feels writers write “to release the demonic images” that plague most of us. I think that release is the same experienced by readers who, in Izzi’s latest novel, will read about the rapes, murders, and retribution meted out by the Malizia Society of Detroit. Though the vigilante type of retribution these “archangels” who wear black bowler hats dole out is horrific, as human beings, we feel the action is justified. When we reach the explosive ending of this novel, we come away thinking “Thank heaven that was only fiction!”

Izzi has the ability to make the what, who, and where of the events depicted seem authentic. I had to double-check that I was indeed reading fiction. He also is very good at capturing the feel, sights, and sounds of Detroit, so much so I was glad I don’t live there. Izzi’s style alternates long narratives and easy-flowing dialogue punctuated by a lengthy, but well-thought-out backstory to how this Malizia society came to be in the first place. It may all be fiction but one comes away feeling that much of what Izzi has created in this novel has a real-life parallel. Edward Izzi has penned over a dozen novels that help him cope with his demons. If you’re not easily triggered, check him out: it could be therapeutic!

Pikasho Deka

They Only Wear Black Hats is a crime-drama thriller written by Edward Izzi. Detroit Police Department Detective Mike Palazzola sees criminals getting acquitted on mere technicalities, leading him to build up a lot of resentment over the years. However, Mike's life soon turns upside down when a seemingly innocuous dinner at a cafe embroils him with The Malizia Society of Detroit or, as they like to call themselves, the Archangels. One by one, child murderers and rapists all over the city are brutally murdered by assassins under orders of the Archangels. While Mike starts a burgeoning relationship with investigative reporter Justine Cahill, the FBI gets closer to the Archangels. Mike must be careful as the Archangels increasingly become out of control. As events escalate further, he questions his own choices.

A gripping tale of vigilante justice and mayhem, They Only Wear Black Hats hooks you in from the first page and refuses to let go until the end. Author Edward Izzi's wild rollercoaster of a novel provides some well-justified criticism of the American justice system while proving the age-old adage that those who live by the sword die by the sword. The plot moves at a brisk pace with a non-linear narrative that switches timelines between the mid-1920s and the present. The cast is quite large, but the characters have enough agency that explains their motives and actions. I was pleasantly surprised by the climax and didn't see the twist ending at all. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys crime-drama thrillers.

Vincent Dublado

They Only Wear Black Hats by Edward Izzi is a high-impact detective mystery. Detective Mike Palazzola is dedicated and is pretty good at what he does—bringing criminals to justice, especially the cold-blooded ones. However, his belief in the system is going down the drain as he witnesses the murderers he has tried hard to capture and indict are either dismissed on a legal technicality, exonerated, or given lenient sentences by the court system. While having dinner with a friend, he discovers a gathering of an underground organization of vigilantes that has been operating since 1927, and members are identified wearing black bowler hats. The Malizia Society of Detroit or Archangels has been dispensing their own brand of swift justice. This whole revelation will turn Palazzola’s world upside down and will put his mind on a lot of things that will push him into action.

They Only Wear Black Hats is significantly sturdy, and it has enough gravitas as far as the detective genre is concerned. Mike Palazzola, who has the mental baggage of still dealing with his wife’s death for the last six years, makes for a convincing and relatable character—because we all have our own burdens to bear. They Only Wear Black Hats is noteworthy in its take on the first-person narrative. It engages you in an intimate and personal view of the world according to how Mike sees it and how he tries to make sense of it. I like the way Edward Izzi writes with panache and his own style. These go down easily and pull me in as I keep turning pages. Perhaps it’s the character, maybe the plot, or both. In any case, Izzi lets it all play out and manages to make it all lean and mean. It’s a great story that you should include in your must-reads.

Anelynde Smit

They Only Wear Black Hats by Edward Izzi is a sensational read. The idea of a secret society of men who should be upholding the law now acting as judge, jury, and executioner was fascinating. It begs the question of whether you can be good and evil at the same time? We follow Detective Mike Palazzola as he starts noticing strange murders revolving around black bowler hats. With the help of his journalist friend Justine Cahill, they get closer to a secret that neither of them is ready for. Mike’s personal journey is followed by a third-person narration of the history of the Archangels, from their humble good intentions to their demise. This is a captivating read that will have you on the edge. Once you think you know something, your world changes. The start will get you going, but the end will leave you breathless.

They Only Wear Black Hats is a perfect example of how well you can do a first and third-person point of view flawlessly in a book. One moment we are being told what is happening by an unknown source and the next we get a first-person view from Mike and his activities. Edward Izzi has written something really exceptional. I am hoping deep down someone will make a movie or TV series. It was so captivating, and the characters were so real and raw. The development of this story has you from the first chapter and you just cannot put it down. Plot twists and turns will make your head spin and make you second guess anyone in a position of power. Excellent read. This book is very special and will bring a lot of pleasure to anyone interested in this genre; they will not be disappointed.