Gambini is back! Hot on the heels of rescuing his cousin Bill and Bill’s friend, Stan from an Alabama electric chair, our wildly inappropriate hero, Vincent Gambini heads home to Brooklyn where he attempts to establish a successful law career. Meanwhile, Lisa aches to have a wedding band placed around her finger and her biological clock is still ticking away like mad. Vinny and Lisa have been together ten long years. She’s waited so very patiently for him to complete law school and pass the bar. Winning his first case was the last piece of the puzzle, and now nothing can stand in the way of true love, except that between them they don’t have two nickels to rub together, and Vinny is about as romantic as a box of frogs.
In the course of building his practice, Vinny is reunited with Joe, his walking, talking embarrassment of a brother, Lisa’s nudging parents, Ma and Augie, and his dear old friend Judge Henry Molloy, who refers him the mother of all capital murder cases.
Theresa Cototi is young and pretty but far from innocent, and darn her luck … her boyfriend has just been scraped off the pavement after taking a header from eight- stories up. You’d better believe she’s going to trial, charged with murder one.
Aided by Lisa and a ragtag team of misfits, Vinny defends his client against overwhelming odds. Our endearing neophyte attorney must match wits with a cunning DA and a formidable influence peddler, who appears to anticipate his every move. In the balance hangs the life of a woman he believes to be innocent. Or is she?
Yes, Vinny may have finally won his first case but his and Lisa’s story is far from over.
Am I sure?
Yeah! I’m pos-i-tive!
The Big Thrill had the opportunity to discuss BACK TO BROOKLYN with author, Lawrence Kelter:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
At its heart, BACK TO BROOKLYN is a mystery, one with twists, turns, and an ending I hope will surprise. And yes, it is most certainly a comedy. But if they look down deep, I hope readers will be able to look beyond Vinny’s quips and Lisa’s fiery rhetoric and see that they are two ordinary people dealing with life’s trials (no pun intended) and tribulations like any other couple, and that heros are most often conventional folks who at times rise to meet extraordinary challenges no matter how daunting they may seem.
The protagonists in this story are ordinary folks. Vinny is a trained lawyer … marginally. Okay, barely. This story begins not quite four months after passing the bar on his sixth attempt. And yet he is shrewd, tenacious, and I dare say, clever, even though he rarely makes a best first impression. Lisa is an out-of-work hairdresser. But together … no two people have ever been so instep. Together there is no case they cannot solve.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
In the world of satire it is so incredibly rare that voices are created with such endearing charm and personality that after decades they resonate with us still.
Yet Dale Launer did just that with the film My Cousin Vinny.
The film was released on March 13, 1992 and has become an iconic comedy classic, a tale about two wrongly accused young men who are defended in an Alabama murder trial by Vincent Gambini, an inexperienced, wildly inappropriate lawyer unaccustomed to southern rules and manners.
Mention the film by name or parrot any of the classic lines and you’ll find that practically everyone within earshot is immediately on the same page, going tit-for-tat with smiles plastered on their faces. “Are you sure? Yeah, I’m pos-i-tive.”
It’s rated the #2 all-time greatest legal thriller by IMDB, the Internet Movie Data Base, second only to John Grisham’s masterpiece A Time To Kill, and finishing ahead of The Firm. To this day, the film is still used by professors in law schools as reference material in the instruction of courtroom procedure.
Today, fans of the comedy are still tickled by the film’s wry sense of humor and sight gags. Personally speaking, I get sucked in every time the film pops up on my TV, and I laugh just as hard as I did the first time I saw it. It so good it just never gets old.
Bringing Vinny and Lisa back to life was the most enjoyable experience of my writing career. I could hear the pair in my head as I typed, talking, laughing, and jousting, their cat and mouse routine that had me smiling through every key stroke. I hope that you enjoy every moment as much as I did.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
It’s the individual works and not necessarily the names behind them that have influenced me the most, the masterpieces scripted by big names and small: The Silence of the Lambs, The Last Detective, Misery, The Gold Coast, Presumed Innocent, The Black Dahlia, Devil in a Blue Dress, and all the treasures I wish there was space to mention. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Nelson DeMille, who took the time to do some editing on my very first manuscript. Long before he ever said, “Lawrence Kelter is an exciting new novelist, who reminds me of an early Robert Ludlum,” he said, “Kid, your work needs editing but that’s a hell of a lot better than not having talent. Keep it up!”
Lawrence Kelter never expected to be a writer. In fact, he was voted the student least likely to step foot in a library. Well, times change, and he has now authored several novels including the internationally bestselling Stephanie Chalic and Chloe Mather thriller series. Early in his writing career, he received support from literary icon Nelson DeMille, who was gracious enough to put pencil to paper to assist in the editing of the first book, and felt strongly enough about the finished product to say, “Lawrence Kelter is an exciting new novelist, who reminds me of an early Robert Ludlum.”
He’s lived in the Metro New York area most of his life and relies primarily on familiar locales for story settings. He does his best to make each novel quickly paced and crammed full of twists, turns, and laughs. Please keep up with him on his website.