Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Book Review: Vegas Vendetta by Peter Castrillo

Synopsis: IT'S THE 1960S. War is raging in Southeast Asia, and the draft board is looming over every young man's shoulder, but recent high school graduate Peter Castrillo has a plan; enroll in college for as long as it takes to get a student deferment...and then head to Vegas! And Vegas is everything he dreamed it would be-parties at Sammy Davis's place, hanging out at the bar with Elvis, and flirting with Mia Farrow in the elevators. It's all bank-rolled lavishly by the clever cons that Peter and his pals devise, taking the casinos for a bundle in these low-tech security days. The drugs are plentiful, the girls are wild, and the glittery nights seem to go on forever. But when Peter makes the mistake of a romantic entanglement with the gorgeous trophy-wife of a venal Bulgarian mobster, his Vegas dream turns into a nightmare that he just might not survive. Based on true facts and dished out with equal portions of hilarity and horror, Vegas Vendetta tells one young man's story of his quest to evade the draft, make money, meet women, and find excitement back in the days when Vegas truly was Sin City...

       Available on Amazon e-book available at Friesen Press


Vegas Vendetta is a Hollywood movie wrapped in a book. Our narrator is Peter Castrillo himself and we find him in quite a scenario at the beginning, but let's rewind to find out how he got into this predicament.

Vega Vendetta then takes us on a memory trip which is truly what this story is that is quite dangerously sinful and eye-opening as we get to see a prominent era in history from a different cultural perspective tossed in with some sex, drugs, and Vegas to keep it exciting.
Vegas Vendetta is a double tale adventure as it is part memoir and part true crime. Not a fan of either, but Castrillo hold onto you and take you on an amazing ride. True crime lovers will gobble this book up.


The author grew up in a very narrow time period of social change that was brought on when the war ended. The large influx of immigration that was happening at Ellis Island that allowed the criminal element to enter and flourish with the daily numbers games, parlays, horse racing, and other non-violent crimes was a boon to the economy. Everybody in my neighborhood gambled and betting was a sport that gave hope of winning cash. It was common and accepted to play games of chance, and it was sometimes a relative, neighbor, or trusted family friend who booked the bet for you. It didn't matter that it was turned in to a fella who gave it to another fella, who drove it to Brooklyn to another fella. We trusted the source all the way up the line and felt they were family, after all, they came from Calabria, Naples or Florence...