cover image Where the Bodies Were Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World That Made Him

Where the Bodies Were Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World That Made Him

T.J. English. Morrow, $28.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-062290-98-4

English, who has produced some notable books on Irish organized crime in America, like The Westies (1990) and Paddy Whacked (2005), finally weighs in, in-depth, on the now familiar story of murder and corruption centered on Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, the inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s character in the film The Departed. English combines firsthand coverage of Bulger’s 2013 racketeering trial with flashbacks to the decades leading up to Bulger’s conviction in a court of law, and his account is enhanced by access to one of the jurors on the case. English’s passionate outrage at the corruption in the FBI and Department of Justice stemming from their reliance on confidential informants whose hands were as bloody as those they gave up is compelling, but he takes it too far; he concludes that since Bulger’s conviction by jury was a foregone conclusion the trial “could have been a legal exploration of the law enforcement policy that makes it possible for a man like Whitey Bulger to thrive.” His prose can also be over-the-top (“The defense lawyer misread the recipe and undercooked the main course, leaving the jury, paradoxically, both gaseous and malnourished”). Though English’s account adds insight to the trial, it is not the definitive account that fans of the author’s may have hoped. [em]Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Inc. (Sept.) [/em]