Demons of Divine Wrath
Fiction 2019 / 484 pages:
When Chicago mobster Don Carlo Marchese
is found hanging from the 18th story window of the Blackstone Hotel, Reporter Paul Crawford
of the Chicago Sun Times is assigned to investigate. He finds out that Don Carlo
was brokering art works for the Vatican's Pope Emeritus Honorius V (Josef Cardinal Schroder)
. Because of all the innumerate sexual molestation lawsuits that have been settled by many archdiocese's internationally, the Vatican has been in dire need of money, and began the process of liquidating Vatican Museum artworks. Last July, Hermann Kalkschmidt
, the son of a former Nazi officer, is found dead in his Munich apartment. Hidden in his attic for the last seventy-five years, are forty-two paintings stolen by the Nazi's from Florence's Uffizi Gallery
in 1943. His second cousin, Chicago art dealer Wolfgang Schmidt
is suspected of having his cousin killed by the professional assassin Stefano Iannucci
for possession of these paintings. The Pope Emeritus, “Papa Onorio”
believes that these stolen paintings really belong to the Vatican Museum. He decides to try to recover the stolen art collection, believing that their recovery back to Rome would restore his abysmal public image. He turns to Chicago mobster Don Carlo Marchese to retrieve these works of art.
Apparently, Pope Pius XI consigned the valuable art collection to Mussolini back in 1938, to be stored in safekeeping at the Uffizi Museum. He feared that if Hitler ever invaded Rome, the Vatican artworks would be looted. But in November 1943, the opposite occurred. Florence was invaded, and the Nazi's discovered 103 Jewish refugees hiding in one of Florence's basilicas. The paintings were traded to the Nazi's for the lives of these Jews, who were supposed to be transported to Switzerland. They were sent to the Auschwitz concentration camps instead.
When Marchese double crosses Papa Onorio, he hires “contract killer” Stefano Iannucci to stop at nothing, including murder, to retrieve those paintings. Meanwhile, Florence's Giammarco crime family is in search of the Uffizi art collection as well, in conflict with the Vatican over their true ownership. Blood and dead bodies start appearing everywhere, from Chicago to Munich to Detroit to Florence, and the search for these paintings and especially, Fra Filippo Lippi's valuable masterpiece “Demons of Divine Wrath” remain at large.
A bloody crime war has now ensued between the Vatican and the international underworld, with the Pope Emeritus trying to restore his Vatican papal legacy, while fighting with the Marchese and Giammarco crime families for the recovery of these invaluable Renaissance masterpieces.
Lori M. Munoz
Another great read!
Good story line, kept me turning the pages. Really enjoy this author. I love the mafia and church themes of his book. Can’t wait for the next book. Quick read.
Once again, keeping up all night!
Wow! I read a lot, and pride myself on figuring it out pretty quick! Good luck with this one! Just when I thought I had it...BAM! I'd been thrown in an entirely different direction!!! A real good story that will keep you from your chores!!! Enjoy ALL of this authors stories!! Check this one out, for sure!!
A Rose from the Executioner
Fiction 2019 / 424 pages:
Detective Philip Dorian
of the 16th Chicago Precinct is called to investigate the serial killing and mutilation of retired, former pedophile priests in the Chicagoland area. It becomes later discovered that Monsignor Joseph Kilbane
, chief of staff to the Cardinal, had previously approached his childhood friend, Anthony 'Little Tony' DiMatteo
to lend him a "hit man' to commit the murders of these pedophile ex-priests for their insurance money. Although the plot sounds interesting, Little Tony isn't interested, and the Monsignor abandons the idea. During the reigns of prior Chicago bishops and cardinals over the last fifty years, many of these former pedophile priests were allegedly, forced to resign and sheltered away from criminal prosecution, with the caveat that they allow the Archdiocese of Chicago
to be the beneficiary of their large life insurances policies.
A Rose from the Executioner
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These policies were taken out on these former priests 'as a form of penance for their lives of being sexual predators'. With the innumerate sexual child abuse lawsuits that have been currently filed and settled by the Archdiocese, they are now on the brink of bankruptcy. A serial killer is now out there, and Monsignor Kilbane has no idea who is perpetrating these gruesome homicides, essentially framing him and the Archdiocese for these "Pedophile Priest Murders".
John J Brescia
Edward Izzi's timing for the release of this novel is uncanny, as the Archdiocese of Chicago is actually selling off land next to Holy Name Cathedral to help defray the costs for sexual child abuse. He questions and balances the moral dilemma of viligantism vs. a detective trying to allow the law to deal with injustice. And yes we still get some of the mysticism of Da Vinci Code. It is entertaining, yet it certainly reminds us of our need for diligence in reporting and working to stop all forms of human abuse, especially child abuse.
Great Book, hard to put down
This author definitely has great talent. Excellent storyline well written a very hard book to put down I will now buy by the next book by him.
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A great read...grabs you from the beginning!
This is a great read that fantasizes about the serial killing of pedophile priests in Chicagoland. The storyline starts with Monsignor Kilbane asking his childhood Mafia friend, Little Tony DiMatteo to lend him a 'hitman' so the Archdiocese can collect on the insurance policies taken out on these old pedophile priests over 35 years ago. DiMatteo turns him down, but several months later, pedophile priests are turning up being butchered and Kilbane or DiMatteo know nothing about them. Detective Philip Dorian of the Chicago P.D. starts the investigation, and the plot takes some interesting twists and turns along with some deviant surprises along the way. There's also some romance between Dorian and Olivia Laurent, the Great Lakes Insurance executive assigned to investigate the Archdioceses insurance claims on these murdered priests. Pay attention to the Society of the Rose Crucifix, their SRC rings, and more hints as to who the killer or killers really are. It's an intense murder mystery that the leaves the reader thirsting for more drama with every chapter, with a shocking ending that will knock you off your chair! You won't want to put this one down!
I've got to catch up on everything I've been neglecting, as everytime I put this book down, I would say, "Okay, just one more chapter!" This story is so timely, with all the "news" lately, and I really liked the way it presented the storyline, and the characters. You never knew whose side you were supposed to be on, and the twists and turns had me guessing....and not correctly! Loved it!
This book is definitely a rose in a book isle full of dandelions!
Great story line. I finished this author's first book in 2 sittings and this one in 4. Too hard to put them down. Every time I wanted to put it down for the evening, I would say just one more chapter, four chapters later, I was still reading. It was great to see the names of many familiar streets and the schools I went to in the book. Made for a very fun read. The ending was a total surprise. I look forward to book 3 form this new and exciting author.
Another great book!
Another great book by Edward Izzi! Enjoyed very much! Looking forward to book number three!
Of Bread & Wine
Fiction 2018 / 377 pages:
Chicago criminal attorney Michael Prescott
is on holiday in Rome, and visits with his best friend, Monsignor Robert Cavalieri
, a Special Diplomat to the Vatican. He is informed by “Fr. Rob” that Giovanni Cardinal Masellis
, the “Mafia Cardinal”, who was once considered the most evil and influential cardinals at the Vatican in his day, has made a deathbed confession to him before his passing as to the details of the death and poisoning murder of Pope John Paul I
. Masellis confesses to also spearheading the massive cover-up surrounding the pope's poisoning death in September, 1978. Unfortunately, his confession is secretly recorded by the Italian newspaper “La Republicca”
and their ambitious editor, Max Gianforte
. He desperately tries to find other sources within the Vatican to confirm the Cardinal's deathbed revelations.
Of Bread & Wine
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The Vatican is now concerned over the effects such media disclosure will have on the reputation of the Catholic Church. Almost forty years after the mysterious death of the pope, the Vatican is imbrued with the various documents and specific details regarding the circumstances of his death, especially the missing “Coins of Gregorio” a priceless gift donated by an influential Italian mobster, Don Giancarlo Cesario, the night before Pope John Paul I's murder. The gift was an attempt to bribe and influence His Holiness in the Vatican investigation into the Banco Ambrosiano scandal, for which the Cesario Family and Cardinal Masellis was significantly involved.
Meanwhile, wine master Marco DiVito, the former Vatican head of security and a distant cousin of the Cesario Family, now oversees his vineyard near the foothills of Rome. He is nervous and apprehensive over meeting his long lost daughter, Sienna DiVito. She is a prominent investigative journalist with the Washington Post, and DiVito abandoned her as a little girl in Boston over twenty years ago. The Post has asked her to investigate “one of the biggest stories to come out of the Vatican in decades.” Michael meets Sienna after losing his wallet at the Café Michelangelo in Rome, and after a few chance meetings, they begin a relationship. They set in motion their investigative search together into the certainty of Masellis's deathbed revelations, but Michael never reveals his relationship with the Vatican. He tries to temper her investigative efforts in discovering the truth of the Pope John Paul I's death.
As rumors swirl around Rome after the death of Cardinal Masellis, Italian crime boss Calogero "Don Charlie” Cesario believes that the actual murderer also possesses these missing, priceless coins. The crime family is also unhappy with the La Republicca and their intention to insinuate their family's involvement in the beloved Pope's poisoning death. He points his suspicions towards DiVito, and threatens him to either return the missing coins to the crime family or there will be “dire” consequences towards him and his beloved daughter.
These revelations of the Vatican's most corrupt Cardinal and the Mafia's search for the return of their missing heirloom coins threaten the lives of Michael and Sienna, and their investigative search reveals the total corruption and instability of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church.
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Lori M. Munoz
Great read, did not want to put it down.
First time reading this author and loved the book. Could not put it down, finished it in 4 days. Good story line, kept me turning the pages from beginning to end. Enjoyed the characters and story, very detailed, felt like I was in Italy. Wish it did not end, I want more of Michael and Sienna. Loved the ending, well recommend to my book club.
Great read beginning to end.
If you are fan of Dan Brown, you will enjoy this book. A good book will grab the reader within first 10 pages. Of Bread and Wine did that for me. I look forward to read next thriller-suspense of Michael Prescott. Congrats and excellent work on your first novel Ed Izzi.
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A Literary Opus
Giving any book a five-star rating is easy. However, the book "Of Bread and Wine" far surpasses this standard. What makes this author remarkable is the way he tells a story. He does so by bringing his "visualization to life" through his keen eye for detail of the characters and storyline. With each page turn, he keeps the reader engaged and wanting more until the story's final resolve. There are many surprises too! The ending was well thought. It did not have me wanting for more. Well, maybe, a little more... more from this author!
Great read! Fast shipping
I loved this book! Highly recommend. Great read! It shipped fast within a couple days.
This book was very well written. I enjoyed all the characters, heroes and villains. it was very difficult to put down whenever I resumed reading. I appreciate the research and the historical flashbacks as I remember the papal changes of the 1970s. Well done, Ed.
John J Brescia
Watch out Dan Brown, a fun read, sequel?
Loved the Chicago-Italy connection, without having to leave my armchair, with just the right amount of suspense and romance