by Lorenzo Carcaterra

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Remember these names: Boomer. Dead-Eye. Pins. Geronimo. Reverend Jim. Mrs. Columbo. They were great cops. The best cops. But they are cops no more.            

Now they are apaches--a renegade unit working on their own.                    

With this novel, the author of the stunning #1 bestseller Sleepers returns to the mean streets he knows so well. And in doing so, he has written his most explosive, electrifying, and startling book yet.                      It is the early 1980s. Crack cocaine has made its devastating appearance. Violence is escalating and so is an unnerving lack of morality. Things are happening that have never happened before.

One of those things is the brutal kidnapping of an innocent 12-year-old girl. But the kidnapper has made a deadly mistake. He has brought Boomer Frontierie back to life, back to the streets. And back into action. A New York City detective forced to retire after being wounded in a drug bust, Boomer thirsts to return to the life he loved--the life of a cop. When an old friend turns to him for help, Boomer has the excuse he needs. And when the simple kidnapping turns into something more, something much more evil, even more horrifying, Boomer realizes that he can once again find a way to serve justice.

There are others like Boomer. Cops who can no longer be cops. He brings them together, bringing them back to life as well. Even as they face almost certain death.

Apaches is the story of an extraordinary band of cops. Some might call them criminals. Some might call them heroes. But theirs is a world where good is always shadowed by bad, where right is almost indecipherable from wrong, and where the living can, within mere moments, cross over to the world of the dead.        

Lorenzo Carcaterra has written the most exciting novel of the year. Like Sleepers, it is a book that will never be forgotten.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345487124
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/27/2005
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 265,267
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Lorenzo Carcaterra is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Sleepers, A Safe Place, Apaches, Gangster, Street Boys, Paradise City, Chasers, Midnight Angels, and The Wolf. He is a former writer/producer for Law & Order and has written for National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times Magazine, Details, andMaxim. He lives in New York City with Gus, his Olde English Bulldogge, and is at work on his next novel.

Read an Excerpt

GIOVANNI “BOOMER” FRONTIERI never wanted to be a cop. He was a three-letter athlete during his school years at St. Bernard’s Academy, a private high school in downtown Manhattan his parents insisted he attend. He would leave their cold-water railroad apartment each morning before sunup and return each evening after dark, eating dinner and doing homework at the kitchen table facing the fire escape. He was a model student, never complained about his packed schedule, and kept the friends he trusted to a minimum.
He had two younger sisters, Angela and Maria, whom he would either dote on or ignore, depending on his mood. His older brother, Carmine, had already dropped out of school and followed their father, John, into the heavy-lifting, well-paying labor of the meat market. Their relationship was reserved, at best.
John Frontieri was a stern man who commanded respect and demanded his family’s full attention. His upper body, conditioned by years of lugging 250-pound hindquarters off the backs of refrigerated trucks, was a weight lifter’s dream. He was quick to give a slap of the hand to one of the children if he felt they were out of line, but never hit or screamed at his wife, Theresa, a homely, chunky woman whose face displayed a weariness far greater than her years.
On spring and summer Sunday mornings, after the nine o’clock mass, Johnny Frontieri would change quickly out of his blue dress suit and into work pants, construction shoes, and a sweatshirt. He and little Giovanni would then take their fishing poles and tackle down from the living room closet and rush out of the apartment for a twenty-minute subway ride downtown. There, after a brisk walk, the two would spend the day, feet brushing the sand on the edges of the East River, their backs to the Manhattan Bridge, fishing for whatever could survive the currents.
It was their time together.
“If I catch a shark, can I stay home from school tomorrow?” Giovanni, then nine, asked his father.
“You catch a shark,” John said, “and you can stay home from school for a month.”
“What about if I catch an eel?”
“You reel an eel and I’ll make you go to school on weekends,” John said.
The two looked at one another and laughed, the morning sun creeping past the expanse of the bridge and onto their faces.
“You’re always lookin’ to get outta school, Giovanni,” his father said. “Why is that?”
“I hate it,” Giovanni said.
“Then quit.” His father shrugged. “Quit right now. Today.”
“You mean it?” Giovanni asked, his face beaming.
“You should always walk from somethin’ you hate doin’,” his father said. “Turn your eye to somethin’ else.”
“Like what?”
“You can come work with me if you want. Put in your ten, twelve hours a day, help bring some table money home. Or maybe go down to the docks to work with your cousins. Do a full four-day shift with them and get locked into the union. How’s that feel to you?”
“I don’t know, Dad,” Giovanni said, swaying his fishing line to the right of a swirl, pulling on the reel. “None of it sounds like fun.”
“If you’re gonna forget about school, then you can forget about fun,” John said, sitting down on wet sand, gripping his fishing rod with both hands.
Giovanni stared down at his father and then back across at the water, concentrating on a nibble. “You have fun,” he said after a long stretch of silence. “And you didn’t go to any school.”
“Working man’s fun,” John said. “It’s not the same.”
“Mama thinks I should become a dentist,” Giovanni said. “I don’t know why.”
“I think she’s got a thing for Dr. Tovaldi,” John said, lifting his face to the sun. “She always dresses up nice when she goes to him and gets her teeth cleaned.”
“What do you want me to be?” Giovanni asked. “You never say, one way or another.”
“What you end up becomin’ is up to you,” John said. “I can’t lead you down any road. But whatever it is you do, don’t go into it half-assed. You’ll only wind up hatin’ yourself. Give it everything, the full shot. This way, at the end of the day, when the sun’s down and you know you put in a hundred percent, you’ll feel good about yourself. Maybe even feel proud.”
“You proud of me now?” Giovanni asked.
“You goin’ back to school tomorrow?” his father asked, standing up, dusting off the back of his pants.
“Yeah,” Giovanni said.
“Then I’m proud of you,” Johnny Frontieri said. “And if you end up catchin’ a fish we can all eat, I’ll be even prouder.”
•    •    •
AS HE GOT older, Giovanni would often dream of a career designing great structures in cities around the world. His would be a life far removed from one confined to tenements and churches, a life in which a hard day’s labor was rewarded only by a solid meal. As a young man, he looked with disdain upon the fabric of his neighborhood—the old women longing for dead men, street hoods living off the gambling habits of the working poor, the church offering solace and peace to the faithful, demanding silent suffering in return. As an adult, he would pine for that lost world, but in his early years in the New York City of 1955, Giovanni Frontieri was intent on hitting the fast lane out of his East Harlem ghetto.
The murder of his father brought those plans to a halt.
•    •    •
IT RAINED THE day Giovanni’s father died. His legs crossed, John was leaning back in a two-seater in the third car of a near-empty IRT train, on his way to work. It was nearly three in the morning when they passed the Twenty-third Street station. The passengers were either heading to a working man’s job or coming back from an uptown night of drink and dance. Three of the latter, two loud men and one giggling woman, sat in the middle of the car, to the left of John Frontieri. The men were drunk and unsteady, the taller of the two drinking from a pint of Jack Daniel’s, free hand resting on the woman’s knee. The train was stifling, heat hissing from open vents under the seats.
John Frontieri shook his head as he read his Italian newspaper. He was more concerned about Naples losing a title game to Florence than about the hard looks exchanged by the two men across the aisle. He didn’t see one of the men stand and reach for an overhead strap handle. John was reading about an open net goal scored on an inept Naples defense when the man standing pulled a gun and aimed it at the other man, who, five hours earlier, had been his best friend.
In a hard city, a man’s life is often decided by the actions of a simple moment. For Johnny Frontieri that moment arrived in the form of a train engineer who hit the brakes too hard coming into the Fourteenth Street subway stop. The squealing halt turned the man with the gun away from his friend and toward Johnny. The man stared at Frontieri, knowing, even through the haze, that it was too late to stop what had been done.
Frontieri looked up from his paper and knew he was about to die.
He was forty-one years old and had never missed a day’s work in his life. In the spark of an instant, the images of his wife and children meshed into one warm thought.
The doors to the train opened.
The bullet from the cocked gun hit John Frontieri in the forehead. The back of his skull spread across a subway map behind him as his newspaper fell to the floor.
The woman stared up at the standing man and the thin line of smoke from the fired gun in his hand. She then turned to look at the man in the corner of the train, slumped in his seat, blood thick as mud dripping down his chest. She shook her head, tears frozen to her eyes, and screamed.
A scream Johnny Frontieri never heard.


On Wednesday, July 23rd, barnesandnoble.com welcomed Lorenzo Carcaterra, author of APACHES.

Moderator: Good evening, Lorenzo Carcaterra! Thanks for joining us tonight! And hello to all of our participants, please go ahead and ask questions.

Paul from Morris Plains, NJ: Lorenzo, were you satisfied with the casting of Jason Patric in the movie "Sleepers"?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: Who could complain? He's better looking, has lots more hair, and is a very talented actor.

Gonzalo Curbelo from New York City: After reading SLEEPERS, I decided to read THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. I would like to know if one of the reasons that you liked the book was that the Count reminded you of Uncle Benny?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: Not really. I admired the Count first of all because it was a great story. As I got older, I realized how much courage he had and respected the fact that he survived against all obstacles.

Davis Dawes from New York City: Lorenzo, nice to have this chance to talk to you. Tell me, how have you chosen to respond to the criticism of SLEEPERS, that it was in fact not nonfiction? (Thanks -- we believe you, peace.)

Lorenzo Carcaterra: There's really nothing to respond to. It's my story. I know it's true, and the people involved know it's true. The book stands and speaks for itself. Readers are free to choose to either believe it or not. It's up to them.

Roger from Washington: Wow, Lorenzo Carcaterra! Lorenzo, what can we expect from APACHES?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: I'm hoping a great read.

Sally Weiner from Hackensack, NJ: What inspired you to write APACHES? Anything in the news that we might remember?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: I worked on two police shows -- one in 1988 called "Cop Talk" and another in 1990 called "Top Cops." I got to meet and know many terrific cops through those shows, a few of them disabled, like my Apaches, many of them young, also like my Apaches, and all of them great storytellers. That's pretty much where the idea for writing the novel was first planted.

Geraldine Diamond from Newton, MA: Do you ever wish that people would stop concentrating so much on SLEEPERS and move on to A SAFE PLACE and now APACHES?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: I hope people always go back and read the books. As I write more, there will be more for them to read. The focus now will be on APACHES because it's the new book.

Kevin Williams from Jenkinstown: Do you still speak to Father Bobby?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: Yes, as often as I can, and I try to see him several times a year.

MKG-HG from San Diego, CA: Do you have connections or friends in the Police Department in New York City who allowed you to find out about the gritty details of homicide investigation, criminal pursuit, etc.? Ever shadow a cop for 24 hours?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: Many of my friends are either cops or former NYPD detectives. They were very generous with their knowledge over the years, never shy about sharing stories, and usually could be counted on to pick great restaurants.

Jerry from Los Angeles, CA: I can't wait to read APACHES!!! Are there any plans on making APACHES into a movie?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: The novel was sold in manuscript in April to Jerry Bruckheimer, who has produced such films as "Con Air," "The Rock," "Top Gun," and "Crimson Tide."

JaineeMac from AOL: What's next on your agenda? More fiction, perhaps?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: My next novel, SHADOWS, will be published sometime next year, and I'm also doing a few feature film scripts -- one a bio of singer Bobby Darin for director Barry Levinson and two thrillers for Touchstone Pictures -- "Doubt" and "Jobbers."

Kevin H. from The Office: I find your books very depressing and graphic in their detail, almost to the point where I can't read any further. I respect that this is the truth, (SLEEPERS/A SAFE PLACE), and the truth is often ugly and harsh when told without blinders on. But from what I understand, your new book is fiction, yet just as graphic. I have a 13-year-old daughter, and I just don't think that I can bring myself to read what happens to the girl in APACHES. Any advice, or any words as to why you have chosen to be so frank and brutally honest? Thank you for answering, I wanted to word this so as not to take away from your skill as a writer.

Lorenzo Carcaterra: It is brutal and often graphic. There is a kidnapping in APACHES of a young girl. I have a teenage daughter, like yourself. That scene, and the events that harm young Jennifer in the novel, are written as every parent's nightmare. Those horrible moments when your kid should be home and isn't. I want my children to be raised aware of the reality of the world, not blinded by it.

Yvonne Temeres from Bronx, NY: Lorenzo, do you still live in New York City? Do you still see any of the people from your young life in Hell's Kitchen?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: I live in a suburb outside of the city. I still see as many friends of mine from Hell's Kitchen as are still alive.

Winston Jacobs from Phoenix, AZ: Who is Boomer Frontieri in real life?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: He's based on no one. I've given him the attitude of some of my cop friends, but his exploits aren't based on any one cop.

Gonzalo Curbelo from New York City: Now, in the '90s, do you think that New York City is still a good place for kids to grow up in? Also, let me congratulate you for your work...I am reading all of your books, they're great.

Lorenzo Carcaterra: Thank you. Appreciate it. Yes, I do think New York City is a good place to grow up. It's much different than when I was a kid, but most places are different. You can be safe, but you must always be careful.

Winona Jackson from San Francisco, CA: Lorenzo, which authors have you read recently that you would recommend? What mainstays are in your library at home?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: I read anything written by Elmore Leonard, James Lee Burke, Harry Crews, Pete Hamill, William Diehl, George V. Higgins, Sue Grafton. Lots of others. I buy tons of books and try to read as many as I can.

Gerald from Jersey Shore, PA: Just curious if you wander around the seedier parts of New York City and people-watch to get ideas for your books? Where do you like to people-watch?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: I usually go to restaurants and hang with cops and sometimes with guys on the other side. When I need to, I travel to places with either group to get a firsthand look at things I might one day write about.

Alex Randhava from Dublin, Ireland: Hey, so I'm over here studying for the summer and I hear Carcaterra has a new book out! I'll look for it in bookstores around Ireland. Will it be reaching me here? A SAFE PLACE is in my backpack to read when I take off around Europe in August. Good luck, man! - Alex!

Lorenzo Carcaterra: Thanks, Alex. I believe the UK edition will be published sometime in August.

Warren G. from Whitestone, NY: How do you think organized crime has changed in recent years? Are there still neighborhood mafiosi in Hell's Kitchen? Does the recent rash of arrests of Mafia kingpins and underbosses mean we will no longer see the fascinating mob stories and movies we all love to love?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: A cop gave me a great answer to your question. He once told me that in the old days we used to have organized crime. These days we have disorganized crime. But the stories will always be there. They just won't be as funny.

Vin Obermeier from Flatbush, Brooklyn: What kind of mind-set do you have to get into to write? How many hours a day?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: I write every day. With the books, I'll put in as much as six hours a day. With the scripts, I'll do about four. Very often, I'll work on two at the same time -- a book and a script. The rest of the time I work out, read, and am Mr. Mom with the kids.

Mark Appeal from New York City: Lorenzo, let's say that when you created the APACHES, they not only came to life on the page, but also in the flesh. Could you identify with them? What would you all say to one another?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: In my mind, they are alive. I've just spent six months in their fictional company, but they were there every day with me in my office. Some days were more fun than others.

Gonzalo Curbelo from New York City: Besides THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, which other book is your favorite?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: From my youth, I loved everything by Dumas, Hugo, Sabatini. They were great and still are. The hard part now is getting my kids to read them.

Elliott Shea from Boston, MA: Lorenzo, it is said that writing about difficult events in one's past is cathartic and really the only way to be at peace within oneself. Do you share this philosophy? Or is there more? Another way that you have made peace with your memories?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: That was true with my first book. When I finished A SAFE PLACE, I felt at peace with my father. SLEEPERS was the reverse. When I finished it, I couldn't shake it and still have problems stemming from its writing. So I guess it depends on the book and subject. Writing fiction, there was a sense of total freedom, which explains why I love APACHES as much as I do.

Mark from New York City: How do you feel about the online interview format? Ever been online before in this way?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: I've done it once before, two years ago. It's really neat. You get to answer more questions in an hour than you do in most interviews, and you answer them from the only people who really matter -- the ones who buy your books.

Julie from Buffalo, NY: I am originally from New York City, and I love your books. How do you think Mayor Giuliani has been doing so far? Do you think he is responsible for the revamping of Hell's Kitchen? I hear it is now a hip neighborhood to live in. What do you think of the current state of Hell's Kitchen?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: I think Giuliani is doing a terrific job, and if I were living in New York City I'd vote for him -- twice.

Dan Lerman from Eugene, OR: Lorenzo, I love you books, man. Who influenced you to write?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: My first big influence was Pete Hamill, who is a great writer and very generous with his talent. He made me want to write for newspapers. Harry Crews, Elmore Leonard, George v. Higgins are all writers to go to school on.

Mark from New York City: Do you enjoy writing screenplays? Ever wanted to move to Hollywood? -)

Lorenzo Carcaterra: I love writing screenplays, but I don't need to move to Hollywood. I go out there about every six weeks, stay a week, have a great time, and head right back home. Perfect situation.

Gonzalo Curbelo from New York City: In general, what was the reaction of your friends in Hell's Kitchen in regards to the book SLEEPERS? Also, to those who aspire to become writers (maybe even become as good as you), what would you say to them?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: My friends loved the book. I'll tell them what Pete Hamill told me years ago -- to learn how to write, you must first learn how to read. It's a good lesson.

Rory from Florida: Hey Lorenzo, I have three questions for you 1) I am planning to write a book of commentaries soon (I am going into the eighth grade at the end of August and thought that December would be the perfect time to start). Anyway, when I start writing this book, should I think of what commentaries I want to write? Do some research? What should I do? 2) How do you overcome writer's block? 3) How much time do you spend writing? Thanks a bunch!!!

Lorenzo Carcaterra: Just what I need, more competition. Just kidding. Write every day, Rory, and read every day. And good luck.

Frank Gerard from Houston, TX: Lorenzo, I have read that APACHES deals very graphically with the abduction and rape of a young girl. Is it difficult for you to write about such unspeakable horrors?

Lorenzo Carcaterra: It's always difficult. But I feel that fiction should be as real as possible, the sounds, the look, the feel, the situations. We live in a violent world, and I try to reflect that world.

Gonzalo Curbelo from New York City: I always wanted to write...but I always lacked some inspiration, but I must say that you have really inspired me, and through reading your books I have received a lot of inspiration. Thank you, and good luck in your career. One thing is for sure, there will be many behind you...and one of them is me.

Lorenzo Carcaterra: Thank you, Gonzalo. I could use as many fans as possible. And I always appreciate it.

Moderator: Thank you for joining us tonight, Lorenzo Carcaterra, and thanks to all who participated. Goodnight.

Lorenzo Carcaterra: Thanks for having me on, and thanks to all of you for reading my books and supporting my books these past years. Take care, all, and stay well. Goodnight.

Customer Reviews

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Apaches 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Apaches is a dark, gritty story. At times you will find yourself flinching or gritting your teeth at the abominations that some of the characters perform upon their victims. The author uses great detail and has a way of keeping you entranced in the story, always wanting more. The basic premise is simple and one that has been told dozens of times. The pace is beyond fast, which is good and bad. You want more and I felt like the flow was too fast. The story went from one plot to the second major plot too quickly. Carcattera is a good author who is able to keep you fascinated with the darkest possible scenarios. I look forward to his future work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The BAD guys & women are SO awful that they make make the VERY flawed, semi-heroic "good" characters look angelic. Although some scenes (e.g., the AZ "battle to the death") are ridiculously over the top, you definitely get your money's worth tenfold in this tsunt, fast-paced, noir crime thriller! aj west
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
goldieinaz More than 1 year ago
I have read every book by Lorenzo Carcaterra and am dissapointed that he hasn't written any more. Great characters, great story. Highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys a great book.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Apaches is one of the greatest books I've ever read. Very emotional and gory but you'll be glad you read it. It gets you up close to the characters. Apaches makes you realize how sick some people are and how thankful you are to have brave heroes out there to stop them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book thinking every character will have a near death experience and then live happily ever after. . . like 99.9% of books out there.How much wronger can a person get.This book makes u think. . . and I mean seriously think.If u are in the need of a book that can wrap u up and never let u go GET THIS!!!!This bopk will wrap u up in the life of 4 cops, 1 bomb expert,a phone tapper, a 12 year old girl, 2 twisted kidnappers, and a notorius drug lord. Be aware though this isn't your every day book.U may find yourself up at 3:00A.M reading to figure out who'll get shot in chapter 12's gun fight. . . but then again that's just Apaches's magic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An absorbing novel about a group of former cops who operate outside the law in order to stop a very dangerous criminal. Satisfying in part because this group doesn't have to worry about police procedure and protecting the rights of criminals. Very graphic but equally good; whether you love it or hate it, it will stick in your mind long after you put it down which is what all great novels should do
Guest More than 1 year ago
Carcaterra is a gifted crime fiction writer. The characters are larger-than-life and the plot is riveting. I read it in a single night...and enjoyed every minute of it. If you like crime fiction, then you'll love this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
APACHES is brimming with tragic heroes and dastardly villains. Carcaterra has crafted a true masterpiece of modern crime fiction.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down....great characters with fast moving plot. This book every bit as good as sleepers...Cant wait for more from this author!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lorenzo Carcaterra is a great author, and he created a great novel with Apaches. Here's a little about it. Boomer, Dead-Eye, Rev.Jim, Mrs.Columbo, Geronimo, Pins. They all were cops, the best at what they did. But they were taken out of the job they loved too early. But when Boomer looks for a kidnapped girl with Dead-Eye, they find the girl, but stumble on to something bigger. Which brings these cops back onto the street, doing the thing they do best. Fight the bad guys, and protect the innocent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked this story very much...