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By Mike Hudson

THE ALUMNI SIX, by J.P. Tacconi. Trafford Publishing, Victoria, B.C. 165 pp., paper.

Niagara Falls native J.P. Tacconi, better known as "Uncle Joe" to his many friends here, has written his first novel, a fast-paced potboiler entitled "The Alumni Six."

The title refers to six former college football players whose friendship leads them to go into business together as securities and insurance brokers in New York City. High-flying deals and a knack for being in the right place at the right time make them all wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.

Their complicated personal lives come under police scrutiny when, early in the story, a close associate turns up dead, shot execution-style in an underground parking garage.

Each of the six is a potential suspect in the case and, given the fact that ex-wives and former girlfriends seem to be regarded as community property, they all might have a motive.

The worlds of big business, politics, organized crime and collegiate and professional sports collide, and itÕs safe to say that the reader wonÕt be able to guess the outcome until the bookÕs final pages.

There is little of the self-consciousness that often characterizes works of fiction by first-time authors, and Tacconi tells his story briskly and assuredly. His first effort is nothing if not a real page-turner.

With "The Alumni Six," J.P. joins the growing list of Western New York authors who have benefited from the explosion in the field of "on demand" publishing, a phenomenon that has transformed the publishing world by greatly reducing the costs associated with getting a book to market.

Niagara Falls Reporter www.niagarafallsreporter.com Oct. 12 2004