Bill Bonanno, Author, Joe Pistone, Author, David Fisher, With with David Fisher. Warner $24.95 (372p) ISBN 978-0-446-52965-5

Despite the impressive credentials of coauthors Bonanno, billed as "the former head of the Bonanno crime family," and Pistone (aka Donnie Brasco), whose undercover work inside that Mafia organization while an FBI agent laid the groundwork for the historic federal organized crime prosecutions that decimated New York's five families, the collaborators have produced a routine FBI vs. the mob novel. Set in New York City in the 1980s, the story uses alternate chapters to focus on two FBI agents, Connor O'Brien and Laura Russo, and on Bobby Hats, a brutal thug aiming to become a made man. Their paths cross after the disappearance of a Columbia University Russian language professor, Peter Gradinsky, who may be connected with a rising Russian mafia syndicate working a fuel-oil scam. Fans of Pistone's recent nonfiction debunking of popular mob myths, The Way of the Wiseguy , may be disappointed by the romantic stereotypes about La Cosa Nostra (Bobby observes that his Mafia cronies provided "a level of friendship and trust, honor and pride, that he had never experienced before in his life"). Still, the pairing of two high-profile opponents in the New York crime wars of yore can't help generating media attention, which should translate into healthy sales. Agent, Frank Weimann. (Jan. 6)

Reviewed on: 12/06/2004
Release date: 01/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
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