Joaquin "Jack" Garcia is a retired 26 year F.B.I. special agent, and this is his undercover story. He infiltrates the (post John Gotti era) Gambino crime family. And after finishing this book you will know why some wiseguys obtain nicknames like, Jimmy "No Neck", Sonny "The Gut", Salvatore "Sweet Tits" and Frankie "Lard Ass". There is so much eating in this damn book it is amazing. When not trying to rip off their fellow Italians these guys eat all damn day.
On this journey Jack rubs shoulders with all sorts of nefarious gangsters and many underground characters. One of the most noted characters is Greg Depalma. Depalma is one of the last remaining "old school" Mafia hoods who still holds to some of Mafia lore "values". You know exactly what "values" I am referring to. No snitching, no lusting for the another Made guy's wife, the "family" comes before your real family, everybody must "kick up" money to the top and many other things that require a quotation with them.
While pushing the boundaries of his cholesterol level and blood pressure Jack also has to worry about incessant nagging from his superiors at the F.B.I. I mean damn, what more can you ask from a guy?! He is risking his life everyday hanging out with these criminals and they are chewing his ass for being overweight. What? Priorities people. Jack is an amazing multi-tasker. Taking on many different undercover cases, one of my favorite being the police corruption in Florida, while continuing to work the crow jewel, the Gambinos. These sub-plots work well and break up the constant complaints of Greg Deplama, who takes a liking to him and eventually takes Jack under his wing. This is Greg's only mistake. And for that one mistake costs him and the entire family's secret or not so secret activities.
Many readers will make comparisons of this tale and Donnie Brasco. Well, from what I understand, that isn't necessarily bad company to be compared to. Embarrassingly though, I haven't viewed Donnie Brasco yet, so I honestly cannot comment. The novel almost reads like a movie. Matter of fact, on the cover there is a sticker indicating that it has been optioned and apparently will be directed by none other than Stephen Solderberg (Traffic).
As mentioned in my Listal profile, I love Mafia Non-Fiction books. This novel (big surprise) is right up my area of interest and a must read if you enjoy these type of books. Just try to remember and "kick up" a few dollars here and there, the boss is asking questions.
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