Alphaville: 1988, Crime, Punishment, and the Battle for New York City's Lower East Side

Michael Codella and Bruce Bennett, St. Martin's/Dunne, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-59248-6
Setting his story against one of the grittiest New York City neighborhoods of the late 1980s, Codella, a retired detective sergeant in the NYPD, with ghostwriter Bennett, relates how a tradition-rich district still populated by aging Polish and Ukrainian immigrants was threatened with destruction by the heroin trade. Codella describes his own origins in Brooklyn's Canarsie neighborhood, where old-time mob capos and cops lived side-by-side, as a prelude to his joining the police crusade against a ruthless drug kingpin, Davey Blue Eyes, and his loyal gang of smack dealers, "The Forty Thieves." They dominated the part of lower Manhattan known as Alphabet City. Written in a hyper-noir style reminiscent of Richard Price and George Pelecanos, this memoir features all the stuff of an excellent police procedural complete with drug gang rivalries, beatings, killings, and endless dealer collars and convictions. Raw, bloody, and very real, Codella's book is a historical snapshot of what was one of Gotham's most dangerous neighborhoods and the men who brought order to its frightening mayhem. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/13/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
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