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4.8 out of 5 stars
Besa
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is a book that I couldn't put down. I grew up in the same place where the Author of the book has lived. I know the Bronx with the back of my hands. I lived there about 45 years. I know the 49 Pct. because I had a buddy who worked there.
I also lived on Pelham Parkway for 13 years. The story keeps me interested and one thing after another kept happening.
Carlos Del Greco the Lieutenant from the 49th Pct. was a descent guy who got caught up with the Marku's clan. Ilir Markus was in charge of the Albania clan. He ruled with an iron fist and was very smart. His clan managed to take hold of most of the rackets in the Bronx and pushing the Italians out. One day a mistake was made and the Markus clan will have to pay dearly for it. Gino Ranno was involved because he had to protect his nephew for the unjust. This is a great story about murder and treachery. I hope you read it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
As an Albanian American , I never expected anyone else to understand BESA, never mind write a book about it.
I always thought it was our 'secret code' and would be misunderstood because they might get stuck on the guns & killing.
There is so much more to BESA and the book of ethics we follow written by Lek Dukagjini.
We follow the codes for weddings, funerals, engagement, births and disputes.

Louis Romano delves into the inner world of 'Gjakmarrja' (blood feud) and gives the reader an insight into the inner workings of the code of ethics which is still practised today.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book was Recommended by a friend and the first thing I was impressed with was the cover. Clash of two Cultures, I thought. The author not only goes into the Bronx "Hood", he actually goes into the spirit of the Albanian and Italian characters, and more importantly he goes inside the sacred "BESA" and understands it. It's Serpico meets Wise Guys meets the Sons of Eagles. You cannot help but become a part of the story, hell, if you are Italian or Albanian from the Bronx, you are reading about your cousins. You will laugh and you will cry. The puzzling part is that you really don't know what's next. Who will screw up first. Great twist as well totally unexpected. Mr.Romano really tells the story well and you think you are watching a movie, with the smallest details. All i can say is BRAVO MAESTRO.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
You will love the action and the characters in BESA. Enjoy the in depth portrayals of the Albanian culture-much of it is "old world", yet fascinating. The story line is highlighted by an up close and personal look into two strong and proud heritages; the Italians and the Albanians. You'll learn about a subject matter that's unique and find yourself turning the pages as the characters intertwine. An added bonus: descriptions of actual places in New York and the Bronx!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
A very passionate and compelling drama full of calculated crime and love. Criminal suspense and evasiveness all laced with old world Ilirian code of honor and respect. Old word Europe in modern day New York struggling to survive in the way they knew best. Being from Albanian heritage it was a great pleasure to meet the author Mr. Romano. I could not put the book down!!! A MUST READ!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Fast paced and written in a style that could only be described as "New York," BESA is truely a page-turner.
The novel takes place in The Bronx, featuring both Albanian and Italian mafia families. Due to pop culture most people believe they are familiar with Italian-Americans (Goodfellas, The Sopranos, etc), not much is known about Albanians. That culture is as yet still shrouded in mystery and misunderstanding, and this novel lifts the veil and allows outsiders a look into the heart of what it really means to be "Albanian".
The word "besa" translates to "trust" but it means so much than that. It is a heavy term, used in reference to someone's honor. In a culture where your word is still your bond, you can see the significance of this term. BESA explains concepts inate to Albanians in such a plausable way, allowing others to fully grasp their meaning.
Full of hilarious analogies, spot-on descriptions and historical facts, Louis Romano has created a world that immediately grabs the reader and takes them on a thrilling ride. The endearing characters, their familiar attitudes (everyone knows a guy like Babbu), and overwhelming sense of nostalgia and familiarity (who doesn't know Palumbo's bakery on Arthur ave?) that this book evokes makes it an instant favorite.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
the book is amazing written by an amazing author.it is filled with suspense,drama,action and of course a great love story to go along with it!!!it is a must read and will give you goosebumps!!you wont be able to put it down once you start!!highly recommend reading it .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Lou Romano's spin on New York's underworld is riveting and a breath of fresh air from other books that focus solely on the Italian mafia. His first novel FISH FARM was so well written that I knew BESA would be just as entertaining. Romano's writing style captivates the reader and brings the characters to life. It's as if you are there in the mix rather than far removed merely holding a book. His characters are so well developed down to the nuances of their individual speech and inner thoughts, that I often smiled and laughed out loud while reading. The way Romano weaves these characters into a complex story is masterful. The descriptive details, the timing and the interpersonal relationships between the characters create an experience for the reader that is indicative of a truly serious and talented author. Much like FISH FARM , BESA is a page turner that you do not want to put down. I however "nursed" BESA because I didn't want it to end. When it did end it left me excited to know that Romano's cliffhanger leaves room for yet another masterful novel....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
As I said authentic and exciting. Read the book in record time could not put it down. First person in the D.R. To read book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Talk about a gripping book. Mr. Romano drags you into a world that drips with authenticity. Nothing feels forced or out of place. You can smell the foods, hear the sounds, see the sights. It's definitely a novel that you can't put down. Can't wait for the next one, as Mr. Romano is clearly someone to watch!
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