Fiction - Mystery - Murder
373 Pages
Reviewed on 08/24/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite

Weepers by Nick Chiarkas is a murder mystery set in the 1950s. In 1951, Christmas Eve, a man disappeared while walking through the Projects with Angelo, his son. In 1957, an undercover police officer was killed in a housing project in New York. At 2.00 a.m., on the way to setting fire to a grocery store, Angelo saw the cop killing and he was seen by the killers. As events unfold, Angelo forms a gang called Weepers and comes up against the mafia, police corruption and organized crime, not to mention the church. Unions are forged, battles are fought but will justice prevail? And whose justice will it be?

Weepers by Nick Chiarkas is a fantastic first novel. This is gritty, emotional and powerful all the way from start to finish. It’s a novel filled with action, with twists and turns all the way through, designed to throw you off the scent but leading you neatly to a great conclusion. Nick Chiarkas has nailed the era perfectly and you can almost see the story being played out in a gritty noir style. Not only that, the descriptive, compelling style of the writing draws you in and brings the story to life, taking us through Angelo’s life as he grows up. We come to understand the kind of life led by those on the Lower East Side in Manhattan in the 1950s. He creates an atmosphere of tension and courage, love and hostility, and brings out every emotion you can possibly think of. There is some violence but nothing that doesn’t fit in with the story. The characters are wonderfully developed to the stage where they relatable, likable and we can empathize with their situations. A great first novel, and I'm really looking forward to the next one.


Nick Chiarkas' Weepers, for some readers, is a fast trip down memory lane. Nick grew up in New York City living in the projects in the 50's, tenement housing where, as a child or an adult, you were either predator or prey. As a child, if you didn't have protection, gang-related or otherwise, you were picked on mercilessly, robbed daily, beaten or worse. As an adult if you didn't follow the rules and live by the code, you might just end up in the East River as food for the fishes.
Angelo's life takes a turn for the worst when, at the tender age of seven, his father disappears on Christmas Eve. Luckily, his father taught him a few tricks, one was to run like the wind if he believed he might be in danger. Scarred, but still alive at the age of thirteen, Angelo learns, thanks to his uncles, Johnny and Frank, there are only two kinds of survivors, those that hide and those that grab life by the horns and say, "Come and get me!"
Nick Chiarkas wrote Weepers for himself, but he also wrote it for every person who's ever been made fun of, stomped on or talked down to by others in authority, adults or teachers. Weepers is 300+ pages of fast-paced mystery/thriller. Readers' Favorite, a huge national reviewing site with over 1000 reviewers, gave Nick a gold award for best in fiction, no small task. I am sure his competition was fierce. It's raw action is frightening as well as compelling, encompassing emotions, bitter and sweet.
Weeper's 6 by 9. format makes it easy to read with just the right amount of words on a page. The front cover is intriguing with five friends (perhaps) walking in the dark near the tenements at the top of the cover with the cityscape at the bottom. Font choice and spacing are perfect. The book was edited by Nick's daughter, Erica. I take my hat off to her editing acumen. The font size on the back cover is a tad small but Nick has a lot to say, and rightly so. I hope you're planning on writing a sequel, Nick, because Weepers deserves one. Thank you for hours of thrilling reading.