Takedown: The True Story Undercover Det Who Brought Down Billion Dollar Mafia Cartel
Douglas Century / Author, Rick Cowan / Author Grosset & Dunlap
In 1992, New York City detective Cowan was investigating a truck bombing at a Brooklyn garbage transfer station when the""mobbed-up"" thugs responsible for the crime showed up to further intimidate Sal Benedetto, the facility's owner. Thinking fast, Benedetto introduced Cowan as his""Cousin Danny,"" thereby averting disaster--and allowing Cowen entry into a landmark investigation in which he went undercover as Danny Benedetto to expose the Mafia's billion-dollar monopoly of the city waste removal business. By the time the grand jury indictments were handed down, Cowan had spent years on the case, helped put away dozens of mobsters and incurred lasting emotional trauma from the strain of leading a double life. Recalling it here in vivid, riveting detail, Cowan (aided by journalist Century) reconstructs a time when he was deeper undercover in the garbage""cartel"" than any city cop had ever been, with the close calls to prove it. Whether he's boosting a wiseguy's car to plant a bug, navigating confrontations with goons wielding two-by-fours and baseball bats or suffering through a Mafia Christmas party with a malfunctioning radio transmitter burning into his leg, Cowan's exploits play on the page like scenes from a well-mounted mob movie. The Hollywood producer with the rights to his story won't have to spend a penny juicing it up: this is a well-told, gripping tale of a heroic investigation.
Reviewed on: 10/01/2002