Evolution of a Gangster - 1959, 1969, 1999

Little Gangsters

Little Gangsters (1959)

Denny is growing up surrounded by criminals; visiting Vancouver’s illegal gambling clubs looking for his drunken, abusive father; an Uncle who casts himself in the role of an aspiring pimp; his Grandma who is an East Van bootlegger; and his Godfather, Al ‘the Baker’ Di Napoli, who is one of two mob bosses in Vancouver. At the same time, 12 year old Denny suspects he might be going crazy as he experiences dissociative symptoms that make him suspect that he is succumbing to the mental illness that runs in his family.

When his parents exile Denny to his Grandma’s house for the summer of 1959, he finds a kinship with Frankie - another boy who knows he has 'bad thoughts' but who aspires to become a real gangster. Denny discovers that being a criminal keeps his madness at bay, but is that a good thing? In the midst of it all, he unexpectedly falls in love with a sweet little girl named Carrie - a girl ‘of gold and porcelain’ who sees Denny as her personal hero, but what does he do with these new emotions?

Throughout the summer, Denny discovers that the world is a mysterious place filled with secrets, lies, and odd coincidences that keep him off balance. Can Denny navigate his summer of exile and come out sane at the other end? Will he follow Frankie’s lead and become a little gangster?

" ... clever and sensitive ..."

"... it captures a time and place seen through the eyes of a 12 year old ..."

"... a slice of life seen through the mind of young gangster ..."

Bigger Gangsters

Bigger Gangsters (1969)

Denny has a secret that could get him killed.

By day, Denny runs a city-wide drug network, selling weed, hash, and heroin to the growing hippie population. By night, he and his partner Frankie run an illegal gambling club and do odd jobs for their dapper crew chief Vic in the Di Napoli crime family.

Set amidst the psychedelic culture of 1969, Denny struggles to keep his drug network a secret from the disapproving Vic while being racked with guilt as he tries to help the only girl he’s ever loved kick her addiction to the heroin that is the source of his growing wealth.

When the brutal Dark Riders biker gang threatens to take it all away, Denny finds himself alone, not able to go to the family for help fending off the biker’s increasingly savage attacks. Denny knows that a war is coming and he will have to rely on his wits and strategy against an enemy who vastly outnumbers his few allies.

Can Denny prevent his entire world from collapsing around him and keep the people he loves safe? Or is he heading toward the ultimate crash?

“... a window into the nuts and bolts of organized crime in the late 1960s and the lives of those in it ...”

“ ... it's about crime and criminals but under it all is a love story that is profound and sweet ...”

“... at times exciting, funny, hopeful, and heartbreaking ...”

“... I was literally swept back in time ...”

“... the story pulled me in. Great Read!”

Millennial Gangsters

Millennial Gangsters (1999)

Surrounded by enemies both within and outside the Di Napoli crime family, Denny wonders if he will live long enough to see the new millennium.

Denny has never recovered from the loss of the only girl he ever loved thirty years before, and at the age of 52, life in the mob has just become a habit. In 1999, as he looks back over three decades of running the same rackets with his partner Frankie since the 1970s, Denny is hungry for change as the days tick down toward a new century. But change is sometimes thrust up you ...

After Denny is critically injured in a bomb blast, he finds the motivation for change through a self-help book aimed at aging entrepreneurs and by impulsively becoming a foster parent to Jessie, an eight-year-old girl who ran from abuse and neglect.

But can an old dog learn new tricks?

Can a middle-aged gangster learn how to parent a feisty little girl, fight a war against the vicious Russian mob that is looming on the horizon, and defend against an internal takeover of the Di Napoli family?

Denny must find a way to survive while he keeps those he loves safe and learns to love again.

“... Denny’s growing love for little Jessie is a stark contrast to the violence he faces in the world of organized crime ...”

“... the tension that grows throughout this novel is gripping ...”

"... an edge-of-your-seat gangster story ..."

"... this one is a must-read ..."


Other Offerings

Little Gangsters

Gangster's Girl (2015)

"They shot my Dad at twenty-two minutes after ten AM on a Tuesday morning as he was collecting his mail in the lobby of the HOME building on Commercial Drive in East Vancouver ..." and thus begins Jessie's story.

Literally days away from earning her doctorate in psychology, Jessie Adams is thrust deep into the dangerous world of organized crime as she tries to discover who ordered the assassination of her beloved father; the man who rescued her from an abusive foster home when she was eight years old and helped her tame the anger that was ever present within her.

Jessie grew up surrounded by criminals who she looks at as her family, and learned about the legendary 'junkyard dog' that is chained tight in every gangster's heart. As Jessie 'climbs the ladder' toward the people ultimately resposible for Denny's attempted murder, she discovers her own 'junkyard dog' and learns that hers is savage and has slipped its chain.

Denny's enemies learned the hard way not to cross him after his rise to power in 1969, wait until they have to face his daughter in 2015.

Bigger Gangsters

That Dog Don't Bark (1975)

Jackie and Angel are street kids living on the edge of the law who discover a ruthless gang kidnapping runaway teen girls to sell as sex slaves overseas, transported out of the port of Vancouver in cargo cans. No one will listen to them - not the cops, not a local newspaper reporter, not even Frankie & Denny who run the Di Napoli Crew on Commercial Drive. There's no other choice, so they take matters into their own hands.

Jackie knows how to be invisible on the streets of East Vancouver and he discovers Angel is a bit of a fire-bug. Do they have what it takes to face off with an international criminal organisation?

Jackie was always told his 'dog don't bark' by the smarter, tougher kids, but the trouble with dogs that don't bark? You never hear 'em coming.

A work in progress, That Dog Don't Bark will be published in the spring of 2019.

Millennial Gangsters

The Underdog's New Teeth

(short story)

What happens when a meek accountant who has no aspirations beyond his present circumstance wins millions in a national lottery?

If he is anything like our protagonist Harold - a man possessing an eidetic memory of every wrong committed against him - he goes into the revenge business.