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Veteran Detroit-Area Author Ghostwrites Mobster Thriller

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WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) - Berl Falbaum, a Detroit area veteran journalist and author, has ghostwritten a mobster thriller which focuses on the principle of “omerta” — the code of silence — for Giovanni Gambino of Brooklyn, New York.

The novel “Prince of Omerta” has been published as an e-book by Club Lighthouse Publishing, sells for $6.99 and is available through several major Internet sites.

Falbaum said the book is entirely fiction, saying “Giovanni told me stories he heard from relatives and friends, and I developed those.”

The book is written with wry humor and has as its main character Johnny Valenti, a hit man, who goes to prison for a murder he did not commit. He took the fall, refusing to talk, but when he’s released he gets even with the killer who framed him, using the skills of his profession.

Then he goes to work for the capo crimini (boss of bosses) who rules out of Sicily. The two clash, and Valenti devises an ingenious plan to get rid of the “boss of bosses”, leave his employers, and develops a strategy to assure he will never be hounded by the cops again.

Gambino, 37, the youngest of five children, was born in the province of Palermo in Sicily. His family moved to Bensonhurst in southwestern Brooklyn in 1985 where he continued to be regaled by the stories he has written about in his novel.

Gambino is also working on a movie script and a pilot for a reality television show. He and his wife, Jennifer, live in Brooklyn with their two children.

Falbaum was a political reporter for The Detroit News; wrote speeches in the Michigan governor’s office and three major U.S. corporations; and operated his own PR company for more than 20 years. Falbaum has published six books of his own, and had one play produced by the Theatre Guild of Livonia-Redford. His Op-Ed articles, primarily on politics and the media, appear frequently in Michigan newspapers.

Falbaum lives with his wife, Phyllis, in West Bloomfield, Michigan. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.

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