Books

Books…

To sample or buy ebook versions of any of the books on this page, please click on one of the store icons below. From Amazon the seven novels and Squelched: The Suppression of Murder in the Synagogue are also available in paperback. The original hard-cover version of Murder in the Synagogue can be purchased from Amazon as well.

Fiction

The detroit im dyin Trilogy

The Car Bomb, Admission of Guilt and Babytrick comprise The detroit im dyin Trilogy, a series filled with surprising and suspenseful tales from America’s most infamous urban disaster.

The Car Bomb coverThe Car Bomb

Detroit Nielson king Frank DeFauw hunts down the story of a judge who may be corrupt–and is one of his best friends. Booze, drugs, womanizing and a passion for the news are all part of what makes this brilliant, erratic TV anchor a major player in this deeply troubled city. Finally, Frank decides if digging out the truth about his pal the judge is worth risking his own career, family and life.

a brilliantly composed and complex thriller…fast moving and gripping…ends in a great finale that resolves issue after issue. –Christoph Fischer, Goodreads

A compelling and wonderfully written piece of urban crime fiction, The Car Bomb is a pleasure from start to finish. With its economical and supple prose, brilliant dialogue, sharply-drawn characters and plot that keeps the pages turning, LoCicero has produced a gripping tale of corruption and redemption in Detroit. –Victoria Best, Tales from the Reading Room

TV anchor Frank Defauw is a wonderful mixture of cynicism, vanity, self-doubt, weariness and wit. A kind of local princeling, his boozy, womanizing path illuminates everyone he encounters in this tight and vibrant thriller, as well as the dark city in which it is set. With The Car Bomb, a promising trilogy begins. –Patrick, Amazon Reviewer

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Admission of Guilt coverAdmission of Guilt

A 12-year-old girl is the desperate focus of three men: John, a dedicated young teacher; Charlie, a small-time private detective; and Steven, a major narcotics importer. Their lives collide when John makes a shocking move to save his students from the city’s drug wars, Steven’s young daughter goes missing, and Charlie—hired to find her—confronts a moral dilemma that will change all their lives.

“If you like Elmore Leonard, you’ll love these books. Fast-paced action with lots of short chapters and sharp, punchy dialogue, and the writing is crisp and contemporary.” –Victoria Best, Tales from the Reading Room

“…a surprising and highly suspenseful turnabout…as tightly plotted and action packed as was the first work of the trilogy…LoCicero’s knowledge of his city and the people that live there is remarkable. The dying city in Michigan is alive on the pages of his evolving trilogy.” –Patrick, Amazon Reviewer

“LoCicero’s descriptions are so vivid and colorful he really brings his characters and surroundings to life. The twists and turns are completely unexpected and by the time I got half way through the book I felt like I’d lived in Detroit and knew all the people.”–MaryAnn, LibraryThing

“…an insightful and emotional book about street crime, urban gangs, illicit narcotics and the related crime scenes in Detroit…a powerful read that handles sensitive and important issues very well without letting down those readers who came for a good crime story.”–Christoph Fischer, Author of The Luck of the Weissensteiners

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Babytrick coverBabytrick

Camie at 14 has run from an abusive suburban home to Motown’s mean and dirty streets. Mark is a Rolling Stone free-lancer in town to write about troubled Detroit. And Ella is a beautiful black attorney and former cop, who finds herself accused of the murder of a wealthy businessman she used to date. When their disparate paths cross, their risk-filled lives are changed forever.

“…the third book in LoCicero’s Detroit trilogy…shows once again how gifted he is in both diagnosing the sad business of that once great city’s demise and turning it into high level page-turning fiction.”——Patrick, Amazon reviewer

“T.V. LoCicero never compromises on the pace and the thrills, whilst at the same time creating characters you really care about. In a brilliant finale to the trilogy, all too credible corruption runs up against an unusual but deeply endearing trio of heroes.”——Victoria Best, Tales from the Reading Room

“A gritty tale, well told. The superb storytelling skills kept me rapt from beginning to end. It was incredibly easy to visualise every scene unfold, such is the gift of the author. Highly recommended read.”——Betty Jamieson, Goodreads

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The Truth Beauty Trilogy

The Obsession and The Disappearance are the first two books of the Truth Beauty Trilogy, a surprising and provocative tale of murder and suspense that ranges across locations in the U.S., Europe and the Bahamas. Book three, The Tryst, is now scheduled to appear in 2016.

The Obsession coverThe Obsession

At a conference in Italy’s lake district, American graduate student Stanford Lyle is enchanted with Lina Lentini, a lovely Italian professor of comparative lit. And when she lectures for a term at his mid-Michigan university, she considers a fling with Stan—until she meets John Martens, a professor, author and Stan’s mentor. In her passionate affair with John, Lina becomes Stan’s obsession, a hated nemesis for John’s troubled wife, and the object of a vicious series of attacks aimed at destroying her reputation.

Lina loves the line from Keats, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” even as her life fills with duplicity. John is pledged to do the right thing with his wife but often does not. And Stan surprises himself with the depth of his own perversity.

Forced back to her home in Bologna, Lina begins to reset her life. Then Stan appears on her doorstep. When John joins them, Stan schemes, threatens and stalks the lovers, first under the city’s ancient porticoes and finally to the legendary Sicilian mountain town of Taormina with a shocking confrontation on the slopes of volcanic Mt. Etna.

Gone Girl has had a huge impact on the book world since it came out…The Obsession by T. V. LoCicero will be unknown to most people…But both are pacy, gripping narratives about love grown monstrous and out of control…fascinating portraits of gender rancour, or the amazing ability men and women have to love and loathe each other with intensity.” –Victoria Best, Tales from the Reading Room

“[A] gripping and enthralling story… I hated it every time my train was pulling up at my stop because I knew I had to discontinue reading and all I wanted was to keep my head in the book to discover what happened!…the ending was sudden and comes as quite a surprise, so hold onto your horses, people, you are in for a ride with this book.”–Uncle Book Blog, UK

“This is a dark mystery full of plot twists and strong, well-developed characters. The ending truly left me speechless, and I’m usually pretty good at figuring our how a book will end! If you have read any of Mr. LoCicero’s nonfiction, give his fiction a try…you will not be disappointed!” –Comic Book Nerd, Amazon Reviewer

“…a dark and moody blend of genres; part psychological thriller, part romance and part murder mystery this is an engaging and captivating read…Fans of Hitchcock can probably see it in their mind’s eyes.”–Christoph Fischer, Author of The Luck of the Weissensteiners

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Disappearance coverThe Disappearance

On leave from the University of Bologna, lovely Italian scholar Lina Lentini is staying with a friend in Geneva and soon finds herself caught up in the shadowy world of Swiss banking, sorting through mysteries that will link to cold-blooded betrayal, corruption and murder.

At the villa of her octogenarian pal Cecile Eaton, an American philanthropist, Lina befriends Clara Marche, who works on Cecile’s account at the Banque Privee Morneau. Both Cecile and Lina are fascinated by Clara’s unlikely transatlantic romance with Marc White, her African-American lover—neither speaks the other’s language.

The revelation of devious schemes begins one night when Clara discovers her manager at the bank has been looting Cecile’s charitable contributions. When Clara is further shaken by what she learns from the bank’s security chief, she flees to Italy, only to find herself accused of fraud by the bank and hunted by police.

Back in Geneva Lina and Clara’s lover Marc embark on a desperate search for Clara. When a mysterious email claims she is being held in the Bahamas, they fly to the quiet island of Eleuthera. There they are shocked to find false-named lovers living a secret life and meet a man with a plan to rescue Clara. What happens next will stun everyone and change their lives forever.

“This author knows how to tell a good story while the plot thickens and the suspense builds…a master at weaving a story that is both believable and in which the characters do not perform a lot of acts that would be considered silly or impossible in the real world as so many novels with female protagonists do. It was well worth the read…” –Barbara, Goodreads

“The second book is…just as excellent as the first…such an ornate thriller and so fantastically told!…setting the scene and describing characters is something that comes effortlessly to LoCicero…the foundation of the story and the thought behind it was something that could truly ignite the mind and thrill your core.”–Uncle Book Blog, UK

“…this book is just as beautifully written as the first. The character’s are well developed and believable, the plot is fast-paced and full of unexpected turns, and the ending will leave you impatient for the third installment of this trilogy.” –Comic Book Nerd, Amazon Reviewer

“an intriguing and cleverly plotted thriller…LoCicero has done a great job at adding a lot of flesh to the story and, making the unfolding of the plot and the eventual solution far from obvious or predictable…entertaining and enjoyable without losing depth or quality.”–Christoph Fischer, Author of The Luck of the Weissensteiners

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A Literary Coming-of-Age Novel

Sicilian Quilt coverSicilian Quilt

In Grosse Pointe, a bastion of American privilege, it’s the summer before our rebellious 1960s and a pivotal moment for 19-year-old Val. Bright, lovely and annoyed with traditional gender roles, she’s estranged from her housebound mother, battling with her conventional sister, and deeply attached to her father, a prominent builder and the driving force behind a covert system that keeps the wrong ethnics out of their posh suburb. Her sexual awakening will flaunt more than one taboo, and her quest to uncover long-buried family secrets will lead to a confrontation that will radically change her life.

“…powerful…beautifully written…a wonderful read.”—Jessica, Amazon reviewer

“A very interesting read for its Grosse Pointe history, culture, discrimination and lifestyle.”—Robin Houghton, Goodreads

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A Contemporary Romance Novel

When a Pretty Woman Smiles coverWhen a Pretty Woman Smiles

Hot-shot adman and womanizer Tony Rice is steamed. His high-powered Manhattan agency has bought into a dubious Time Magazine premise that Americans are yearning for the simple life and a return to small town values. So Tony and a cadre of staffers are sent on a secret mission to do six weeks of undercover research in a scientifically selected town in rural Iowa. Not exactly his dream assignment, but within his first few days in sleepy little Maddox, Tony has set about romancing both sexy Martina and lovely Laurel with a continuing series of wild lies. When he and his cohorts finally bring their data back to New York, the usually fickle Tony finds he’s fallen hard for one of those gals back in Iowa. But when he quits his job and returns to what he hopes will be open arms, Tony finds only rejection from a woman who says she will never abide his deceit. So now what? With his life in a shambles, and the woman he loves about to marry someone else, Tony must do nothing less than reconstruct himself and fix his flawed and broken heart.

“Mad Men meet Where The Heart Is in this delicious romantic comedy, when a hard-hearted advertising exec falls for the woman of his dreams and the small town of his nightmares. Charming, tender and wonderfully written.”–Victoria Best, Tales from the Reading Room

“I read this book in one sitting. It completely drew me in. I could see the town, hear the people, it was so well written. It was not a book to be rushed though. It demanded you to savour every word, to enjoy it. And I really enjoyed it.”–Betty Jamieson, Goodreads

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Non-fiction

Both Murder in the Synagogue and Squelched, the story of its suppression, are true crime accounts. Each can be read on its own. Some may want to read Murder first, either with an original, signed, hard-cover copy, or with the ebook version. Others may wish to start with Squelched. There’s no correct order. Whatever floats your boat.

Murder in the Synagogue coverMurder in the Synagogue

On Lincoln’s birthday, 1966, a young man stood on the bimah of a multi-million dollar synagogue in suburban Detroit and, confronting his audience of 700 with the Colt .32 revolver he would soon use to commit murder and suicide, he announced:

“This congregation is a travesty and an abomination. It has made a mockery by its phoniness and hypocrisy of the beauty and spirit of Judaism. It is composed of people who on the whole make me ashamed to say that I’m a Jew. For the most part it is composed of men, women and children who care for nothing except their vain, egotistical selves.  With this act I protest a humanly horrifying and hence unacceptable situation.”

This true crime book is a precise and harrowing account of the assassination of Rabbi Morris Adler by 23-year-old Richard Wishnetsky, a Phi Beta Kappa scholar at the University of Michigan and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow bound for the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. A troubled intellectual seeker who turned to violence as his ultimate answer, Wishnetsky knew Rabbi Adler as a learned and charismatic man of considerable veneration, one of the nation’s most prominent religious leaders. The news of the rabbi’s murder sent shock tremors to numerous communities across the U.S. and abroad.

Having interviewed hundreds of those who knew Morris Adler and Richard Wishnetsky, I fashioned a detailed portrait of both victim and killer. While loved and admired by many, Rabbi Adler was also aware of a recurrent indictment from some Jewish quarters (particularly the ultra-Orthodox and the alienated young) that charged his Conservative Congregation Shaarey Zedek with leading the way in Detroit to a materialistic betrayal of true Judaic values.

At the same time the narrative explores Wishnetsky’s often frustrating encounters with the paradoxes and complexities of contemporary American life. Despite academic success, he failed to find answers, help or satisfaction in any of the places he searched—family, friendship, education, psychiatry and religion—and settled finally on Rabbi Adler as the appropriate target of his deepest rage.

Bonus: This ebook edition contains an excerpt from T.V. LoCicero’s Squelched: The Suppression of Murder in the Synagogue.

About Murder in the Synagogue, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and psychiatrist Robert Coles had this to say:

“I was absolutely enthralled by it. It’s one of those non-fiction novels that one simply cannot put down.”

And Rabbi Jack Riemer, known as “President Clinton’s rabbi” and one of the country’s most trusted reviewers of Jewish books, wrote:

“…a fascinating double-portrait of the Rabbi and his killer that holds the reader spellbound from beginning to end.”

Reviews and comments on Murder in the Synagogue

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Buy the original 1970 Murder in the Synagogue in hardcover at Amazon.com

Squelched coverSquelched: The Suppression of Murder in the Synagogue

In May, 1972, I finished a book-length manuscript entitled Joann D’Ark and the Prince Of Detroit and gave my only copy to a University of Michigan professor who had encouraged me to write it. Soon thereafter I lost touch with my friend the professor, and the manuscript was lost to me for more than thirty years. Why give away the last copy of a manuscript that covered the most intense, frustrating and perhaps defining period in my life? And why make no concerted effort to recover it for more than thirty years?

The answers are contained in this 76,000-word non-fiction narrative that contains the original manuscript, plus a new Author’s Note and Epilogue. Included are the story of my experience in researching and writing Murder in the Synagogue, a true crime account of the assassination of Rabbi Morris Adler on Lincoln’s Birthday, 1966; the details of its publication by Prentice-Hall, Inc., that guaranteed the book would fail; and the information I received from a remarkable young woman who came forward to tell me that a wealthy and powerful confidant and supporter of Richard Nixon, had arranged with the publisher to “squelch” my book.

True in every detail, this is a tale of deceit, betrayal and criminality involving a major American publisher who, in 1974, four years after it sabotaged Murder in the Synagogue, did the same thing to another of its books, DuPont: Behind the Nylon Curtain. The story of what Prentice-Hall did to the DuPont book, and why, was first told on January 21, 1975, in the New York Times. It was told again more recently by Gerard Colby, the author of the DuPont book, in “The Price of Liberty,” one of several essays about suppression in the media collected in a book entitled Into the Buzzsaw. The story of what happened to Murder in the Synagogue has never been told. Until now.

This is a meticulous account of a young writer’s sudden plunge into the wiles of publishing and his unexpected, at times unpleasant lessons in how the world works. Its epilogue explains how the original manuscript of Joann D’Ark and the Prince Of Detroit finally came back to me after more than three decades and brings the story up to date.

In the process, many will note that while the details of this tale are decades old, the lessons they contain about corporate manipulation and the power and influence of wealth and political connection remain deeply important in our world today.

About Squelched: The Suppression of Murder in the Synagogue, “President Clinton’s rabbi” Jack Riemer, one of the country’s most trusted reviewers of Jewish books, has said:

“I sat down and read Squelched immediately. It was so absorbing that I could do nothing else until I finished it.”

Now also available in paperback from Amazon.

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