After 14 years working for the Harrison Police Department, retired detective Marc DiGiacomo had a story to tell.
That story unfolds in the pages of "In a Small Town," a crime novel about a police detective fighting against a world of murder, rape and pedophilia hidden beneath the surface of a quiet Westchester community.
"I set out to capture the true essence of a police story," said DiGiacomo, 37, who retired from Harrison's police department in 2011. "Time and time again I have read books by famous authors, they just fail to show the realism of police work."
Set in Hutchville, NY, a fictional Italian-American community of about 10,000 people, the novel follows the story of Detective Matthew Longo, who is injured on the job and returns to find a growing element of crime in his community. Longo's story offers plenty of twists and turns as he battles corruption, crime and his own secrets.
With his partner Donny Mello away in Italy to attend the funeral of a family member, Longo is forced to answer questions from an FBI agent investigating his family business.
The book aims to capture "the dark stuff and grittiness of the job", DiGiacomo said. "From cover to cover, this book is as real as it can get for a work of fiction."
That realism is based on more than a decade of police experience. DiGiacomo said during his career he participated in investigations with agencies including the FBI and state police. Although the plot of the book is a work of fiction, DiGiacomo said he drew from that knowledge throughout the book to provide a rarely seen perspective.
"I would say I drew from lots of personal experiences," said DiGiacomo, who lives in South Salem. "Some stuff that I dealt with after the job and on the job."
DiGiacomo said he has had an interest in writing since high school, but wasn't able to find time during his active career. About a year ago he sat in front of a laptop and started writing.
"It just took off," he said.
One year later, the book is available online and in paperback.
"I really set out to write an amazing book," DiGiacomo said, "and I think I have."
Click here for more on DiGiacomo's book.