Includes members of the various crime syndicates - Gallo, Usher, Walker - plus assorted others.
Paul Gallo: Gallo runs the biggest syndicate in Brink City from the twentieth floor of the downtown Wrecker building: cocaine distribution, hijackings, contract skimming, and illegal sports betting. Legitimate businesses include prime real estate at Golden Lake, a restaurant, a casino, and a club.
Melanie Gallo: Born into wealth and privately-educated, Melanie Gallo has built a vast property portfolio that her husband knows nothing about. Counting the days until her father, Alfred Bo Johansson, is eligible for parole.
Sophie De Falco: Gallo’s estranged sister, a realtor, has recently relocated to the northeast, ready to rebuild their damaged relations.
Ben Weinman: “… a little old guy with bushy eyebrows and tufts of gray hair, eyes bright behind thick-rimmed glasses.” Paul Gallo’s confidante, ally and key adviser within the syndicate.
Kenny Donato: To many, Gallo’s underboss. Selling a chunk of his stake in his sanitation business to bail out the then cash-strapped syndicate, these days his money, his men, and his presence make for a strained relationship with Gallo at Wrecker.
Casper Valinsky: “Balding with a goatee beard and Gucci shades tucked into his shirt pocket and a lot of girl’s phone numbers in his cellphone.” College-educated and business-minded, Gallo relies on Valinsky for his discreet and assured handling of business matters around Brink City.
Devon Williams: A dark-skinned black guy, tall and heavily built, Devon is another key Gallo ally.
Jack Maitland: “In a room where a lot of these guys in their suits and their Italian shoes had flat noses or visible scars, Jack Maitland, just into his twenties, had the look of a college grad at a job interview. He was tall, with a fresh face and thick blond hair and soft hands.”
Lou Sarcona: “He had slightly-creased features, and some gray showing in his hair. He looked like a guy who might clear glasses in a bar, and make an extra hundred a week selling marijuana from a basement that smelled of whiskey.” Sarcona is part of the Donato half of the Gallo crew.
Vinny De Franco: “De Franco, on a bad day, like a guy in his forties who’d once been more than okay looking. Today, glancing in the mirror, smoothing his glossy dark hair with a couple of gentle strokes, was one of the better days, he figured.” Driver for the Gallo syndicate.
Frank Cafferty: “Cafferty had been many things, from failed NASCAR driver to mob enforcer, but he’d never boxed and he’d never taken a fall. He just acted sometimes like he’d done all those rounds, but some guys are born that way.” Driver for the Gallo syndicate; frequent business trips with Vinny De Franco.
Chief Ludwig Gertz: “One of those big-boned, barrel-chested types who, in his mid-fifties, had the crinkly blond hair of a young man, and the thickset features of years of high living.” Gertz and Gallo years ago formed the new order in Brink City, where the professional elite pay the police department for the right to do business.
Curtis Hulstra: “This man was not quite fifty, not more than medium height, and not completely smiling. His hair was black, upswept and his skin very pale, as though he disliked the rays of the sun.” The Commander of Criminal Investigations at Brink City PD.
Mayor Dinah Lewis: “A statuesque blond in her forties, twice divorced, two grown-up children, both at university out of state.” A friend to the Gallo syndicate.
Usher: “Usher’s silver-gray hair, streaked dark in places, was combed in a shark-fin ridge above a leathery face of crevices and a deep scar.” Loan sharking, shakedowns, extortion and prostitution. A sour deal with Gallo some years ago has strained relations between downtown and uptown to breaking point.
Jimmy Walker: “Walker, approaching seventy, was tall and lean and almost gray, and moved more with the purpose of a man who believed that he could go anywhere he wished, than an elderly con whose home for the next few years was a six-by-eight cell.” A mentor of sorts to Paul Gallo.
Jim Long: “Long was a big man, over six feet tall, and a little more than two-hundred pounds, with wavy brown hair and a little salt-and-pepper moustache that appeared larger on some of the graphics adorning his condiment range.” Gallo crew, close to Donato. Owns two downtown restaurants.
Brian “the Pick” McGraw: “McGraw, who was around fifty, his short dark hair mostly gray like steel wool, scowled at Capodanno as he sat down. Above average height, he looked like a Pennsylvania strip miner who worked his shift with busted ribs and a hangover.” Gallo crew; tough and dependable, no matter the job.
“Marvelous” Marvin Reynolds: “The lot was streaked with frost, and as Gallo stepped out he saw one of the crew, Marvin Reynolds, shoveling salt around the asphalt. Reynolds a tall, bearded guy with a squint, who ran the junkyard on Boone Avenue with his friend, Tommy De Santos.” Gallo crew.
Al Fortunato: “Fortunato slouched there with a beer in his hand. His jacket lying on the floor, an undershirt on, his tattooed shoulders and arms bulging with muscle.” Still out of favor with the Gallo syndicate after taking a recent fall. Considered a thug by some of the crew.
Artie De Franco: “‘No, Jackie’s my brother. I’m Artie. Nice to meet you kid.’ He was late-fifties, with thick gray untidy hair and a creased suit. ‘This fella here is a good friend of mine. Now he’s a real tough guy. I’m moderate tough. So don’t go messing with either of us, kid, you’ll be leaving here in a fuckin’ carpet.’” No relation to Vinny De Franco, Artie is Gallo crew, and the older brother of Jackie De Franco.
Jackie De Franco: A tall, powerfully-built man, heavily bearded, Jackie De Franco leaves all the talking to his older brother, Artie. Gallo crew.
Barry Vernon: Pint-size burglar with a gentle touch. Occasional work for the Gallo syndicate.
Jim “King” Benson: “‘Last month I was on a date with Miss Torrent City and a Miss Swimsuit finalist in the same weekend,’ Benson said. ‘Not a bead of sweat. Pick ’em up in the Benz, tell ’em how wonderful they look I’m feeling cool as a sea breeze. This, though now this is a big deal.’ Bingo-parlor king of western Pennsylvania.
Sal “Diamonds” Carilli: “Carilli, tall with gray hair and gray skin and hooded eyes, was squinting as he looked past Gallo over the water towards the Wrecker building. ‘I dream of putting that place together for a decade, building the ultimate investment opportunity… and the moment it happens I get slapped with fuckin’ Murder Two and a side-dish of bribery.’” Like Walker, a mentor to Paul Gallo.
Len Rouse: “Rouse, five-two in pinstripe, his white hair an inch too long, was staring at both men across the table. ‘You look like hell,’ he said. ‘And you’re late.’” Mob bookie. Operates a wire room from a downtown laundromat.
D.D. Marsh: “Marsh, a big man, full at the waist, strode across to the carved-oak entranceway of his Elizabeth Avenue mansion in Raven Township, holding two carrier bags loaded with bottles of bourbon. A third bag bulged with cartridges for his new hunting rifle.” Road barrier and trench plate contracts with councils throughout Brink City, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Roxie (Amanda) Marsh: “Her dirty-blond hair clipped back and her lips a deep, shiny red…” A one-time Atlantic City restaurant hostess called Roxie, she married D.D. Marsh after her first husband died in an unexplained automobile accident.
Doug Kranz: “Tall, wiry and bald, he had a bear-handler’s mitts and a prison pallor that not even country air could freshen. Good with a gun, but even better with a knife, he was the sort of man who dreamed about getting into a road-rage fight or a neighborhood dispute.” Works for Marsh. Owns a pack of Bullmastiffs.
Saul Berkowitz: “Saul Berkowitz, a tall, lean man, still athletic-looking in his late fifties... The guy an export from a line of Milwaukee bootleggers, now living on a cliff-top mansion above rural Pike County.” A close associate of Paul Gallo.
Susan Berkowitz: “Susan was stroking her long blond hair and gazing at Gallo with her fierce eyes.” Many years married to Saul Berkowitz. Rumored swinger.
Bobbi De Falco: “She was early twenties and she was tall and wore slacks and heels, her long dark hair flowing across a brown leather jacket.” Gallo’s niece.
Annabelle Smith: “She was around five-six in heels, and had short red hair combed almost like a boy’s. Her face was pale and elfin and she didn’t smile any more than she had to. Her voice was slightly hoarse, slightly nasal, New York-lite, as though she’d already let go some of what tied her to that city.” New in town, and looking for thrills.
Duke Davis: “‘All right,’ Devon Williams said. ‘So lately I been figuring to bring my homeboy from the Scranton days into the pack, give him a second shot at life. Boy’s name is Duke. Duke is what you would call a rogue. See, these are the things that weigh on my mind.’”
Ray Covelli: “Covelli, fifteen years younger than Usher, his ponytail flicking across his suit jacket as he spoke, said, ‘There’s other ways to get at Gallo. This could go very wrong.’” Usher’s business partner at the downtown Burwood building.
Jackie James: “He wore a slate-gray three-piece suit and smelled of aftershave… His chest was broad and deep, his arms thick.” Reformed hellraiser. Friends call him Jesse. Sells guns from his pet store near Gramercy’s Bar, but he’s also ready muscle for the Walker syndicate. Signs of work on his face after years of tough living.
Floyd Sutherland, assistant chief of police: “His slack pale skin and his sunken face and a dark suit that might’ve been a size too large made John Rader think of Halloween.” Close to Chief Gertz, Floyd Sutherland has no interest in running the department.
Detective Hunter Dines: “Dines, strolling around the 750 sq-ft room, glanced from the girl to the bar, and over towards the windows that wrapped around the corner suite. Big-boned and barrel-chested with short fair hair and amused-looking eyes, he walked to his full height at all times, with a long, languorous gait.” Heading for Brink City PD. Don’t mess with Texas.
Grant Nicholson, Internal Investigations Division: Chief Gertz’s spy at Internal Investigations, Nicholson has been an investor in the Chief’s schemes for some years.
Officer Stan King: “A tall, sturdy-looking man with cropped hair and impassive features”, King is a rookie cop heading for fast promotion courtesy of his relationship with the Gallo syndicate.