Cover Image: The Burden of Innocence

The Burden of Innocence

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Member Reviews

I received this ARC for my opinion. If you are ready for a crime book this is it! It will keep you on your toes! the story was well developed and it kept me entertained for the whole time I was reading it! I highly recommend it!
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The Burden of Innocence is the 2nd book in Ray Infantino’s private investigator series. However, it can be read as a stand-alone. It is a true 

The Author John Nardizzi uses his private investigator and criminal background to paint a picture of Boston riddled with Mafia. An innocent man is convicted of the rape and murder of a woman named Katie Donnegan. Fifteen years later, Ray Infantino and Tania Kong, reopen the case because they believe this innocent man was framed by questionable witnesses

Their journey is incredible to follow. There's someone trying to stop the investigation at all costs. I found myself gripped to the story and not being able to put it down. The author did a great job of keeping us hooked, and characters felt realistic and authentic. With a multilayered storyline, this book has the ability to transform your surroundings and if you are looking for a book filled with gangsters, cops and investigation, do pick this one up!

4 / 5 ⭐

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the book!
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An innocent man is put behind bars and fifteen years later, the case is reopened. Ray and Tania are determined to find out the truth of what really happened so many years ago.

John Nardizzi uses his background as a PI to really pull you into the story. It’s fast paced and gritty and I couldn’t put it down. I loved the timeline jumps and the characters feel real and believable. 

If you enjoy a crime thriller, definitely check this one out.
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A great book from start to finish! Excellent book with a lot of solid police procedure. It gave me everything I like in a crime novel. I also really enjoyed being back in Boston for a while. Innocence is pain—when you're locked in a cage. This begins the story of Sam Langford. Poor Sam is in jail for a crime he didn't commit. I know as a reader and listener to all crime podcasts that this happens a lot. The main character is private investigator Ray Infantino who has a long history in the Boston area. The author takes his time with great details in placing clues and various crimes throughout the greater Boston area.  

The corruption side of the story is completely amazing! The plot moves along a a steady pace. Once you see how deep this goes you will be shocked. The book shows from page one that Sam is innocent. That is no secret. How it happens, well that is a page turner. 

Ray goes about doing his job, interviewing  old witnesses and shaking the trees to see what rotten fruit falls and it is a lot! The only thing I didn't like was that Tania really comes in to help Ray in the last 1/4 of the book. She is not a main character and the book would have been fine without her. 

Personally I liked the author's style of writing. If you like gangsters, cops and a good Private investigator then grab this one. I highly recommend it.
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John Nardizzi’s The Burden of Innocence is a solid ‘neo-noir’ mystery weighed down by unnecessary viewpoint characters and some laughable tough guy antics.
As a lover of noir and the so-called ‘neo-noir,’ I went into this book hoping I’d love it; I picked it up because the blurb quote compares Nardizzi to Chandler (in fact, suggests Nardizzi might be better than Chandler, which in hindsight should have been a warning sign).
The book is a solid private investigator mystery. I got tired of all the unnecessary points of view; I think authors do this because they think it makes their work more literary and/or profiles their virtuoso craft. In this case, it does neither; the miscellaneous points of view bog the story down. On top of that, add Ray acting like a cartoon tough guy sometimes (when someone calls him old, he throws a punch that he masterfully stops an inch away from the wise guy’s face), and I was done. Not the book for me.
Recommended for people who don’t mind over-the-top PIs with excess character baggage.
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I received this book as an ARC and what a roller coaster it was. I finished it in a day. I absolutely loved the white knight hero aspect, with some revenge tactics. Would love to have read more on the background of the father of the hero, but it completely makes sense why Ray was so determined to put these men behind bars. The ending was wonderful, and my heart bleeds as I know this has actually happened to men/women in real life. What a wonderful, mysterious, nail biting book! Absolutely recommend!
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The Burden of Innocence
PI Ray Infantino Series, #2
John Nardizzi
Weathertop Media Co., December 2021
ISBN 978-1-7376876-0-3
Trade Paperback

Private investigators Ray Infantino and Tania Kong take on the case of Sam Langford, framed for a murder committed by a crime boss at the height of his powers.

But a decade later, Boston has changed. The old ethnic tribes have weakened. As the PIs range across the city, witnesses remember the past in dangerous ways. The gangsters know that, in the new Boston, vulnerable witnesses they manipulated years ago are shaky. Old bones will not stay buried forever.

As the gang sabotages the investigation, will Ray and Tania solve the case in time to save an innocent man?

Fifteen years is a long time to spend in prison and it’s an eternity when you’re not guilty as Sam Langford has been claiming all along. Sam is lucky enough to have people who believe him and, now, private investigator Ray Infantino has been hired to prove his innocence but doing so means finding the real killer and/or the reasons behind Sam’s conviction for rape and murder, a task that turns out to be very dangerous.

Southie has long had a reputation as the dark underbelly, the haven of gangs and assorted perpetrators of corruption in Boston. The more Ray delves into this old crime, with his apprentice Tania Kong’s help, the more obvious it becomes that certain parties don’t intend to let any light shine on what really happened and why.

I don’t normally read noir crime fiction but Mr. Nardizzi got my attention and held it with his clear knowledge and understanding of this gritty world and his vivid evocation of the setting. That, in turn, brought a sense of real life to his characters, good and bad, and I was compelled to keep reading into the night with the hope that Sam Langford would get justice, whatever that might mean.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, January 2022.
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Fabulous story that I could not put down.  Would highly recommend to fans of this genre.  Great writing, and I will look for more from this author.
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DNF. Following tense in this story was difficult. I wanted to like it & finish it, but I just couldn't.
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Ray Infanto grew up in South Boston and has succeeded in a career as an investigator for criminal defense lawyers.  In The Burden of Innocence, he takes on a case for the principle involved.  Sam Langford has been in jail for fifteen years for a rape and murder he did not commit.  What's more, it looks like the people who set him up had ties to the police and to organized crime.  In this book, it's less a question of whodunnit and more a story of what happened and how a whole bunch of characters, vulnerable people, evil people, powerful people could do whatever they wanted to the victim and to their next victim, picked randomly as the perpetrator.  Nardizzi gets the tone of the story and, in particular, his characters just right.  He also tells a good story.  This is well worth a read!
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The Burden of Innocence is the 2nd book in the Ray Infantino’s private investigator series, but can be read as a stand-alone.  John Nardizzi uses his private investigator and crime background to create a book that takes Boston to a place where the mafia has taken over.  An innocent man is convicted of rape and murder of a woman named Katie Donnegan.  Fifteen years later, Ray Infantino and Tania Kong, reopen the case because they believe this innocent man was framed by questionable witnesses. What they go nd is unbelievable! The stakes are high enough that someone will try to stop his investigation at any cost. This book will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and the adrenaline pumping like you drank a whole pot of coffee! It is very hard to put down. The author did a great job bringing you into the underworld of informants, strips clubs, the persons whose palms get “greased” and who the connected big guys are. The author created characters that are realistic and authentic.  Using his expertise as a private investigator, he writes with such reality, you are transported to the streets of Boston and can place yourself in the scenarios. The story flows well and the descriptions of Boston can bring the sights and sounds to life for the reader. With a multilayered storyline, this book holds your interest without confusing the reader.  In this book, dirty cops, the mafia and the gangs have danger lurking in every corner.  But there is a twisting revelation between Ray and his past that brings even more intrigue to the investigation. Can Ray and Tania solve the case in time to free an innocent man or will all their hard work be for nothing when the mafia calls the shots? Thank you to #NetGalley and #partnersincrimevbt  for an ARC of this book.  All opinions here are mine alone.
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One of my favorite authors is Dennis Lehane. I love the majority of his books and they always take you on a wild ride. When I first started reading The Burden of Innocence, it also reminded me of Lehane and that’s not a bad thing. John Nardizzi has a similar writing style and both authors write about Boston’s crime world. 

Anyway, the plot and writing style drew me in very fast. Sam Langford was the unwittingly fall guy for a rape and murder of a woman. 15 years later, he’s still in prison but maintains his innocence. Ray Infantino is the PI that’s hired to find out the truth. The reader knows what’s happening and who the actual murderer is early in the book but all the machinations that surround what happened get played out. And of course, in the book, the line between the crime world and the police is a muddy one at best. The ending was a little unsatisfactory because I wanted to see more punishment doled out but overall, I thought the book was very good. 

Thank you to NetGalley, Weathertop Media Company, and John Nardizzi for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I actually read the first Infantino Files novel before this one and can say this book is a lot better than the last. The writing is much better, the plot is more exciting, and the ending was expected but not boring. 

I enjoy that the author did adapt to the current times in this book. In the first book, I found it to be cheesy at times while using misogynistic verbiage (every female character’s breasts were mentioned at some point). While this book discusses current issues like rape, violence against woman, corruption, dirty cops, and the prison complex. With that being said, I do find the extensive rape scenes to be unnecessary and very obvious that they were written by a man who has never dealt with such a violent act. If we are going to include rape scenes in literature they should be done in better way (i.e. not showing it from the point of view of the rapist who claims it was a moment of weakness). 

Overall, I would recommend this book as it was easy to read and fast-paced. I would say reading the first one did help to understand some of the personal plot points of the main characters, but the mystery/crime story is completely different and unrelated so it isn’t 100% necessary. I think if there were to be a third book the publishers should pay attention to how sensitive topics such as rape are being portrayed and if they help or hurt the already toxic rape culture women are living in.
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Infantino and Kong are my new favourite crime solving duo.  The balance of humour and genuine feeling in their relationship makes them so easy to engage with.  Add to this a classic detective plot line and you have a book which will please fans of dark  thrillers and traditional hard boiled case files.
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In The Burden Of Innocence, the second book in The Infantino Files Series, author John F. Nardizzi weaves an exciting crime thriller that transports the reader to the streets of Boston as they follow private investigator Ray Infantino on his latest case.

Ray is hired to uncover new evidence in a fifteen year old murder case in order to file a motion for a new trial and prove the innocence of Sam Langford, a man who was convicted of murder in the first degree of Katie Donnegan.

The Burden Of Innocence is an intriguing novel that easily draws the reader into private investigator Ray Infantino's latest investigative adventure. This fast-paced crime thriller transports the reader to the streets of Boston as Ray works to uncover new evidence to prove that Sam Langford was setup and falsely convicted of the rape and murder of Katie Donnegan. There's enough action, danger, and suspenseful twists and turns that keeps the reader guessing what will happen next as the investigation unfolds on the streets of Boston.

Author John Nardizzi utilizes his extensive legal and investigative experience to weave a thrilling tale that takes the reader on one heck of a roller coaster ride. He captures the essence of the setting with a very detailed descriptions of the sights and sounds of Boston. You can't help but feel like you are walking the streets with Ray as he goes about his investigation. There is a great mixture of intensity and humor to Ray's character, plus an intriguing cast of supporting characters, witty dialogue and dramatic interactions, and a riveting multi-layered and complex storyline that exposes dirty cops, mafia and gangs, and lying informants, danger around every corner, and the intensity to prove the burden of innocence. And if that isn't enough, there is a surprising revelation of a personal connection between Ray and his traumatic past with his current investigation that will easily keep the reader's attention throughout the whole book, it just doesn't get any better than that. 

If you are looking for a riveting dark noiresque crime thriller featuring a snazzy private investigator that will keep you sitting on the edge of your seat in suspense, then The Burden Of Innocence is the perfect book to read!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation ina virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.
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The Burden Of Innocence,” is Author John Nardizzi’s Second Ray Infantino private investigator novel and is a thrilling read! When private investigator Ray Infantino and Tania Kong are hired to look into a murder case that happened 15 years ago, they are not prepared for the trouble that begins. Boston was a different place when the murder occurred, so now they are not only fighting to prove their client innocent, but to save their own lives as well!
Author Nardizzi is fast becoming one of my favorite Crime thriller authors! Never one to skip on detail, Nardizzi has continued to keep me on edge throughout the entire novel! I am looking forward to see what this incredible author has planned for next! I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are truly my own!
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I received this ARC copy from NetGalley to read and give an honest review. I really enjoyed this book. I love a dark gritty crime book and this is what this is. Reminds me of a James Lee Burke novel which is great because he is my favorite author. I'd definitely recommend this for those who love similar books. Good writing and plot.
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It was an okay read but it seemed like things were out of place. We were in the present for a while and then one chapter was like the deep past and then the next few chapters were not as far in the past. It was kinda a little all over the place. But I liked the premise and righting the wrongs. Catching the real bad guys.
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In “The Burden Of Innocence,” Nardizzi’s Second Ray Infantino private investigator novel, he puts the “gritty” back in South Boston. It’s a tale of an innocent man framed and put behind bars by the testimony of some rather questionable witnesses and, fifteen years later, the mess that comes up stinks to high heaven and the stakes are high enough for someone to pull all the stops against Ray’s investigation. This is a adrenaline-loaded thrill ride of a novel taking the reader on a seamy ride into Boston’s dark underbelly of strip clubs, payoffs, informants, and connected-guys.

While this indeed fiction and not reality, Nardizzi makes it feel authentic and true. The writing is crisp and to the point. The characters feel genuine. Not a legal thriller, although it starts out appearing as if it would go in that direction.
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