Book Review: The Heights

By Chris Bunton

This book review is about “The Heights” written by Ray Franze

It is a historical fiction novel, expected to be released in October by Blue Handle Publishing.

The book tells the story of Sal Liparello, a mobster from Chicago Heights, who rises up and builds a criminal empire during the days of prohibition and into the 1970’s.

He is involved with all of the most notorious characters, and events of the age including Al Capone, and the St. Valentines Day Massacre. He describes his part in building Las Vegas and all the schemes of organized crime that went along with it.

The fictional novel is very well written in a first person perspective, and reads like the mobster himself is telling the story.

It is so well researched it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between a true story and fiction.

If you liked the non-fiction book “Wiseguy” by Nicholas Pileggi and the movie adaptation “Goodfellas”, then you will love “The Heights”

I have read lots of mobster stories, both true and fictional. “The Heights” will be right up there with the best of them.

Blue Handle Publishing had this to say about the Author:

“Ray Franze’s combination of curiosity, knowledge and amazing exposure to stories of the Chicago mob has given him a unique perspective to bring to life his debut novel. The Heights (Blue Handle Publishing, 2023), a work of historical organized crime fiction based story telling.

Ray has spent nearly 30 years trading options at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade after graduating with a BBA from the University of Iowa. He grew up with his two older sisters in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, where his loving parents and grandparents helped instill a strong work ethic, including the mantra “There’s no such word as can’t.”

When Ray chose writing as a creative outlet, he relied on that mantra to finish his debut. And after more than 25 years in the “pits,” he has many more stories to tell.

He lives with his wife of 20 years, Nicole, in the Chicago suburbs, where they raised three daughters.”

Blue Handle Publishing can be found here at their website along with the other authors and books they publish.

More info can be found on Netgalley regarding Ray’s book “The Heights”

The book can be pre-ordered for its October release here on Amazon.

Get more reviews, crime fiction and historical fiction on The Yard: Crime Blog.

Bio: Chris Bunton is a writer, poet and blogger from Southern Illinois. He has published in several magazines, and has written a poetry eBook called “Against the Man” and an Addiction Recovery eBook called “Made Free: Overcoming Addiction“ His newest book is called “The Future is Coming” and is a collection of dystopian short stories.

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Publishing Editor for The Yard: Crime Blog.

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