cover image Crusade: Undercover Against the Mafia & KGB

Crusade: Undercover Against the Mafia & KGB

Tom Tripodi, Author, Joseph P. Desario, With Potomac Books $22 (280p) ISBN 978-0-02-881019-5

Tripodi worked undercover for the CIA, the DEA and other federal drug-enforcement agencies. In this shapeless memoir, written with thriller novelist DeSario ( Limbo ), he recalls his experiences with paramilitary Cuban exiles in Florida and with Tibetan guerrillas in Colorado, and serving as a member of the interrogation team that attempted to establish the authenticity of KGB defector Yuri Nosenko. His most important assignment, he notes, occurred in 1978 when he undertook a precedent-setting solo mission to Palermo, Italy, to fight the Mafia heroin trade. Though Tripodi's reluctance to go much beyond generalities is perhaps understandable (he was, after all, an undercover agent), the memoir is frustratingly incomplete for readers expecting the usual plethora of dramatic anecdotes in a book of this kind. Tripodi retired in 1985 after 27 years as a federal agent. (Apr.)