Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I often get absorbed in the characters in a book. If it's good. I guess it's an escape.

When I was a kid, I would often get in trouble because I would hide under the covers and read until late into the morning. I was addicted then. I guess I still am because every time I'm in a book store, I spend the family fortune. It's like crack, only legal.

Sometimes my purchases collect dust until I get to read them during the time snow falls. Turning pages is the greatest place I can get away from reality when I need a break without being in a straight jacket. And I prefer a REAL book...made of paper products.

Rarely do I get to read except after landscaping season. I do, however, have several started. I finished one recently because I couldn't put it down.
Have you ever read Confessions of a Catholic Cop by Thomas Fitzsimmons?

You should. Especially, if you like crime stories.

While I was lost in the last pages of the book....I was assigned to guard duty at the ICU room which housed one of our State Park Rangers who was shot Friday night by a drunk driver in the line of duty. The bad guy was killed.

The good guy is recovering and very lucky. He is an honorable cop. This watch with THE ROOK was just something you do with honor and sorrow. I have been there for several of my brothers involved in a police shooting throughout the years. I hope it is to be the last, but the changing of the times may tell a different tale.

The Park Ranger was sleeping while I read Fitzsimmons's novel, so I read some passages out loud that he may not remember and I talked about the book to THE ROOK, an avid reader himself.  I will pass it on to THE ROOK tomorrow for him to enjoy.

Fitzsimmons describes his characters in such detail and since he is a former NYPD officer...they have a lot of New York flavor. His lead detective, Michael Beckett, is full of core values and a decorated police officer. You can't help but like him. I felt his heaviness of being somewhat burned out or ready for a change after so many years on the force...the flip flop of cop drudgery. Perhaps he is even distracted by his other career move. Yet, he still chooses to do his job well and tackles the investigation with determination to seek out the perpetrator. He can't help it. Like any good cop, he likes to unfold a mystery. Oh, and yes, there is a girl.

Vinnie D'Amato, Beckett's partner, actually wore me out. Fitzsimmons built his character in a such way that I felt his burdens, was frowning at some of his moves, and hoping for him to pull himself out of his misery. After all, he's a cop. And cops are good. I can't tell you what happens, you will have to read it for yourself.

The book is full of twists and turns to keep you intrigued along the way. It has political corruption, cop humor, and of course, a bad guy or two. It definitely brings you to the streets and it takes you to the thin blue line. 

I will be picking up my next novel from Thomas Fitzsimmons. Soon.

Confessions of a Catholic Cop is well worth the read.

This is the first review I have ever done on my blog. No pressure or coercion. Thomas didn't even have to read Miranda to me before I gave a statement. I truly liked his writing style and perhaps I connected with the book because I am a cop. I was very honored to have reviewed Confessions of a Catholic Cop and with that...enjoy the famous man below...


Thomas Fitzsimmons

Photo Credit:  Thomas Fitzsimmons

Thomas Fitzsimmons didn’t need to hire a team of researchers to write gritty crime stories. For Fitzsimmons, it was as simple as recalling his life.Fitzsimmons was raised in a family of career cops in an Irish neighborhood in the Bronx, New York. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Fitzsimmons joined the New York City Police Department. During his 10-year career in the South Bronx precinct dramatized in Paul Newman's “Fort Apache-The Bronx,” Fitzsimmons notched numerous arrests, collaring armed robbers, drug kingpins, and arsonists. Currently, Fitzsimmons is a top security consultant to celebrity clients nationwide. A recognized security expert, he has appeared on television shows including “Good Morning America,” “Geraldo Rivera” and “Montel Williams.”

Photo  Credit:  Thomas Fitzsimmons


Fargo: What inspired you to start writing books? 

Thomas: Working as a street cop in the highest crime area in the USA inspired me to start writing books. The terrible things I saw on a daily basis affected me—most I will never write about. I think I always wanted to express myself artistically. I can’t sing, or play a musical instrument. When I left the force, I became a lukewarm successful actor. Worked the soap operas, a few films, and TV shows, (in which my character was killed off pronto), and stared in about 150 TV commercials. But I didn’t have any passion for acting—maybe because I was a really lousy actor—or anything artistically until I tried writing. Writing became therapy for me; a catharsis. 

Fargo: Talk about developing Mike Beckett, your character in Confessions of a Catholic Cop, and how he may or may not parallel your own persona when you were a police officer and an actor.

Thomas:  Michael Beckett shares my values. He acts in the same manner I did when I worked the streets of the South Bronx and when I was acting. But Beckett, and all of my characters, “speak to me.” (Does this mean I need a shrink?) I don’t consciously develop them. Sometimes I feel more like a medium then an author. The characters do their thing, I’m their audience. 

Fargo: Which one of your books are you most proud of and why?

Thomas: To an author, books are like our children, they are part of us. I feel the same about everything I write. 



I am very excited to give a lucky reader their own copy of Thomas Fitzsimmons's book.

In one comment-one entry per person- tell me why you want to read his novel.

“Confessions of a Catholic Cop”
The rough streets of the South Bronx - home to countless gangs, pimps, and hustlers.  Where a gunshot is as common as a baby crying and a day without a murder is an oddity.  This is where 10-year police veteran Michael Beckett has spent his career.
When he lands a walk-on role on “Law & Order,” Beckett hopes to trade chasing criminals for a new life in front of the camera…and maybe even to settle down with the show’s beautiful writer, Solana Ortiz.  But when Solana’s South Bronx neighborhood goes up in flames in a string of arsons, Beckett must put aside his caviar dreams and do what he does best – police work.  With the help of his fanatical partner, Vinnie D’Amato, Beckett unlocks a heinous scheme that reaches into the deepest pockets of power and greed in New York City. 


Allenspark Lodge said...

I want to read his book. Paper and ink. Cool.


Ms. A said...

Not entering, so I'll just say... Hello, Fargo!

Suz said...

Sounds AWESOME!!!!! A complex cop, not a cardboard hero? An engaging writing style, twists and turns? Realistic? What's not to like? I'll read whether I win it or not! Great review!

Suz said...

Just read chapter one; I'm hooked.

Anonymous said...

Considering I am still a newbie to the LE world, any look into it from the inside would be fantastic.

Cheryl said...

That sounds so interesting. I love books that are written by people that really know their subject matter. Don't enter me in the contest as I couldn't wait and downloaded it to my Kindle, already. I am eager to get started.

Bethany said...

I'd love to give it a read. Reading about police/crime gives me even more respect for you all.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Great review and this book sounds fascinating. I'd like to read it because, based on your blog alone, I learn so much about a police officer's perspective. I'm ever in awe. Perhaps you'll compile your stories into a book someday too..??

GunDiva said...

Let's see...because it's been ages since I read a real paper book and I kind of miss it (Shhh...don't tell my nook, Eloise, she might get jealous).

But mostly because if you say it's good, it's got to be good.

Boobies said...

This was an AMAZING review. The interview was fabulous!

I LOVE to read when I have a moment of free time. (Which should be way more often, by the way.)

I enjoy true crime, suspense, murder/mystery books...so I'd love to win!

Just Short said...

I want to read it because of the AWESOME review you gave it. Hell, if Momma Fargo says its good, its good and everyone ought to listen :)

So true about bustin' the family savings at the book store. I have to stay away from those crack houses. I'm going to have to block Amazon from my puter soon as well :)

Bob G. said...

Momma Fargo:
That's where I recall Fitzsimmons from...the Bronx.
That was a while ago...
Good to see he's still doing what needs to be done.

And while I'd really like to read the novel, I'd be happier seeing it go to someone more deserving.

Thanks for the review - well done.

Stay safe out there.

TJ said...

Here's my entry from a reader who doesn't comment very often:

First of all, you made the book sound incredibly enticing, so thank you for that.

Also, I want the book and would actually READ & likely enjoy it based on your review. It will not set empty on a shelf gathering dust.

The reason I want to read it is the same reason I constantly read cop, EMT, waiter, cabbies, etc.. blogs & stories, books: Because I've always had a fascination with people who have to deal with John & Jane Q. Public all day in their occupations. The stories they have to tell, how it affects their lives, their emotions & outlook on life the universe & everything is an endless source of curiosity, education & entertainment for me. I'm weird like that.

Lastly, if chosen to receive the book I will put it back out there in the world for others to enjoy after I've finished reading it. You mentioned that you "break the bank" when you head for the bookstore. Might I suggest paperbackswap.com as a great resource for (nearly free) books? FYI I get nothing if you join & have no other affiliation other than being a happy member there. You can either buy (cheap) credits to get the books you want or better, send out books via media mail to people who request them & get credits for books YOU want that other members send you. The site tracks the transaction for you, so it's never a rip-off, the folks there are friendly & wonderful community of readers. This is the method I would use send it out in the world to another person who wanted to read it.

Thank you!