The Black Hand: The Epic War Between a Brilliant Detective and the Deadliest Secret Society in American History

Stephan Talty. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-544-63338-4
Talty (Black Irish) spins a gripping tale in this true crime account of one man’s crusade to combat organized crime in early-20th-century New York City. His hero is Joseph Petrosino, one of the first Italian-Americans hired by the New York Police Department, who ultimately sacrificed his life in an effort to defeat the Black Hand, an Italian organized crime group that terrorized the city through its kidnappings of children, extortions, and murders. Talty anchors the arc of Petrosino’s career in 1883, when the man who became known as the Italian Sherlock Holmes was just 23 years old. His diligence and extraordinary memory led to a rapid ascent within the force, and by 1904 he was leading a squad within the NYPD to combat the Black Hand. Petrosino was murdered while on assignment in Sicily in 1909; the depth of his impact and popularity was manifested by a turnout of over 250,000 people for his funeral. Talty’s fast-moving and well-constructed narrative gives the law enforcement hero and pioneer the recognition he deserves. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/13/2017
Release date: 04/25/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-544-63535-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-5436-1944-7
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-1-328-91119-3
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