cover image The Brotherhoods: The True Story of Two Cops Who Murdered for the Mafia

The Brotherhoods: The True Story of Two Cops Who Murdered for the Mafia

Guy Lawson, William Oldham. Scribner Book Company, $27.5 (511pp) ISBN 978-0-7432-8944-3

The trial of Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, two retired cops who were convicted of assisting the mafia during their long careers with the NYPD-in everything from providing information to murder-riveted New York and much of the U.S. earlier this year. Here, investigative journalist Lawson has captured the story of their downfall with the input of Oldham, the detective who caught them. Chronicling Oldham's seven-year investigation, and looking into the lives of two of the most crooked cops in the city's history, this book will fascinate true crime and mafia buffs, but is certainly vivid and compelling enough to capture a wide audience. Colorful mafia characters are a big draw, and Eppolito's strange, conflicted journey as the son of both a gangster and a cop is particularly intriguing. Because Eppolito and Caracappa remain stubbornly unknowable, however, the clearest character to emerge is Oldham himself. While the switch between a third-person account and Oldham's first person commentary could have been jarring, the detective's lengthy, articulate insights actually make the book; on his decision to move to New York twenty years ago, he explains, ""I didn't want to be famous or rich. I wanted to put people in jail. The attraction for me was the crime. ...Crime was everywhere, but in New York City it was for real."" Oldham's personal insight, and his keen ability to express it, makes Lawson's skillful, populist account truly riveting. Photos.