an action thriller about reflection and revenge. Matt Sasso, a Tribeca fashion photographer, finds himself in the position of having to kill someone or be killed himself. His intended victim is a Mafioso, who dumps toxic waste and poisons the drinking water of millions of people, making Matt's decision easier - but not easy - to commit premeditated murder. To do this violent act, Matt must recapture the ferocity and skills he had as a kid growing up on the mean streets of Manhattan's Little Italy. He also has to justify his actions to himself, to the woman he loves, and to his God.
Premeditation is a first novel by Northwest writer and Writers Guild of America west member, Albert Da Silva, who grew up in Lower Manhattan - the location for much of this exciting story.
Lower Manhattan -1995
Twilight faded into a cloud shrouded November night as Matt Sasso, in his old bedroom, comforted by childhood memories, slipped into a deep sleep.
Outside his window, a black late model Buick with two men inside drove up Mulberry Street. The thick driver, who fit snugly behind the wheel, blew smoke out the window, while the leaner one next to him screwed a fat silencer onto the muzzle of his full- weight Colt .45.
A short time later, in the East Village on a street scarred with graffiti and littered with trash, a long line of rowdy punk-rock fans waited impatiently to get into Lizards, a popular dance club. The banner strung above the entrance blazoned a special sundown performance by the band, I Nailed Lucy. There was a roar protesting the delay, and the line surged forward pressing those up front into the door. The oppressed pushed back when the door, with a lizard's tongue painted on it, swung open, flicking loud music into the street. A broad-shouldered bouncer appeared in the entryway, counted the first ten in line and motioned for them to enter. After this group had been swallowed inside, the door shut, and the pierced, tattooed crowd howled again in protest. In stark contrast to the denim and leather-clad gathering were the two hit-men, who walked past, dressed in silk-blend suit jackets and black fedoras. Avoiding eye contact with the angry queue, they made their way to the narrow alley where the side entrance to Lizards was located.
The corpulent thug banged on the door. When it opened, he struck the security guard across the forehead with a hard rubber sap, knocking him to the ground. After taping the hands, feet, and mouth of the groggy rent-a-cop and stuffing him in a dark corner behind a jumble of wooden set-pieces, the two thugs inserted earplugs and followed the loud music to the back of the stage. Hidden in the shadows, they watched the four members of I Nailed Lucy pound their instruments and scream their lyrics, inciting the flailing dancers into wilder gyrations.
The club, like a huge breathing organism, fed off the energy of the young bodies in motion. The walls, ceilings, and floors had their own pulse, and the large space was thick with a moist mixture of sour sweat and sweet perfume. The drinkers and posers by the bar moved in place, bumping and grinding, while those on the dance
floor worshipped the gods of chaos. They threw themselves at each other, smacking into and head butting one another, inflicting and receiving pain. Squirming torsos were raised overhead and passed above the crowd by a sea of arms, then dropped to the floor and stepped upon. The dancers were urged on to greater pandemonium by the refrain Nails, the group's leader, and Lucy, the lead guitarist, shrieked at them. The devotees knew the words well and chanted along.
"Punish me, punish me - I need reaction! Punish me, punish me - I need sensation! Punish me, punish me - I need attention! Punish me, punish me - I need affection!" Dressed in black leather from head to toe, Nails roamed the front edge of the stage, slamming chords on his electric guitar and spitting at the crowd, who spat back. It was a pagan ritual with the true believers loving and hating the high priests. They adored yet wanted to smash their idols: the source of good and evil. Nails protected his temple from those who stormed the gates and kicked them off the
stage, back down into the roiling mass of worshipers.
But even more sovereign than Nails were the two hit-men, who decided it was time for real punishment to take place. They stepped forward to Nails' amplifier, alongside the drummer, who was too absorbed in his racket to notice the menacing pair. The squat thug bent down and yanked the electric cord attached to Nails' guitar, spinning him around. When he spotted the two hit-men and recognized the danger, Nails' wrath turned to fright. He froze all movement, except for his widening eyes, as the tall sinewy gangster pointed the .45 at his forehead. Nails saw the blurred projectile burst from the smoking barrel just before the bullet ripped into his brain.
The force of the single hollow point splattered blood onto the crowd, and Nails' body flew backward off the stage. His corpse was caught by outstretched arms and passed above the heads of the delirious throng. The dancers reacted to the spurting blood and exposed gray matter as if they were fake and the martyr act a new addition to the group's show. The crowd loved it and took part. Some stroked while others beat at Nails' flesh. Even the drummer and bass player believed it was staged and pumped up the rhythm, abetting the riotous blood orgy. Only Lucy understood what had happened. Her cries were full of real pain and horror, but no one noticed the difference in her voice.
In the small bedroom on Mulberry Street, Matt felt Rita pushing his arm, trying to wake him. But he didn't open his eyes. He didn't want to hear what his sister had to tell him. He didn't want to know for sure that his life had changed in a most dangerous way.
When did things turn so bad? When was the last time I was happy and excited to be alive? The questions drew him back to the cloudless night Laura had come to dinner. He recalled the simple pleasure of preparing the meal and the swelling anticipation of her company. Then came the black smoke, and after that, Thanksgiving Day, when his life careened horribly off course.