All it takes is one mistake.

For Jimmy Paccini, savvy and cool-headed, it was joining the Brooklyn mob, the easy way out of a nowhere life that – for arranging the execution of the head of a rival crime family – rewarded him with a quarter-century of hard time.

For Milena Cossutta, sexy and smart, it was selling out her dreams to marry a handsome but hot-headed made man, Vinnie DeNunzio, which left her on the run from the feds in Sicily, a stranger in a strange land.

And sometimes the mistake is crazy, forbidden love – like the one between Jimmy and Milena. Or could it be their salvation?

Spanning three decades and two continents, soaked in passion, blood and the garish colors of the mean streets, Lowdown is a vivid, gripping romantic thriller that follows a twisting road strewn with sorrow and desire, deceit and ecstasy, shocking violence and intimate tenderness, to arrive at a surprising, bittersweet redemption.



“A worthy, character-driven crime novel… Schneider avoids pathos in this affecting tale of two star-crossed lovers as he paints a vivid picture of a crime family’s values, rules, and pecking order.”

Publishers Weekly


“Absorbing… almost non-stop reading because you care about the main characters, even if they’re not good. And they’re not, in Anthony Schneider’s new novel, Lowdown. They’re Mafia, but as The Godfatherand Tony Soprano proved, complex goodfellas can fascinate. Yes, there’s violence, but there’s also a love story here, that’s not only believable but heartwarming. What’s more, Schneider shows he can not only do blunt action prose but lyrically evocative descriptions. Schneider’s achievement is to exploit and somewhat romanticize our vicarious attraction to such perverse purveyors of The American Dream. Think Jay Gatsby. Lowdown, which sizzles with insider savvy, suggests that we know that the crime syndicates may still be running much of the country. Something to think about as you zip through to the end and maybe start wondering who should be cast to play Jimmy.”

— National Public Radio


“I loved this book! It’s a great crime novel, balancing past and present, love and criminality, the desire for liberty and the exigencies of forgiveness. If you love crime/mafia stories like The Godfather, Dennis Lehane or Gillian Flynn, this is a book for you.”

International Review of Books

Lowdown is evocative of past and present, as real in its depiction of mobsters as it is in showing the modern-day worries of a modern-day wife, and as vivid in its portrayal of old Brooklyn as in the beauty of Sicily. It’s a story that draws the reader in with convincing dialog, haunting clarity, and enthralling hope. In the end this lowdown, for all its gritty reality, aims for the high notes and finds them.”

Sheila’s Reviews

“A suspenseful novel for all fans of organized crime stories but also for anyone who appreciates a tale of second chances, true romance and—ultimately—life’s elemental pleasures.”

— Joanna Hershon, author of A Dual Inheritance

“A brass knuckle knockout of a gangster novel. If you like crime stories to ring true, with characters you can care about even if their moral compasses got shattered somewhere along the way, you’ll want to read Lowdown. And, also it’s a love story.”

— Ed Falco, author of The Family Corleone and Toughs

“A novel to fall in love with. A love story with a rugged sense of humor and a tender criminal at its heart. It’s also a story of forgiveness, and the novel’s final pages will leave you a little bit breathless, a little bit trying not to cry.”

— Hannah Pittard, author of Visible Empire

“Rapid-fire and richly imagined, Lowdown is the street-smart tale of the misdeeds, regrets, and passionate longings of Jimmy, a made man who surfaces in present-day Brooklyn after decades in prison. Sense-soaked memories of a long-gone city and an ardent, dangerous love affair mix with of-the- moment Mafia menace and mayhem. The result: a deliciously addictive urban crime thriller with a dark, deep heart and soul.”

— Debra Immergut, author of The Captives