Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-05-20
- Reviewer: Staff
A Newsday reporter working the criminal justice beat depicts the sensational trajectory of the flamboyant and lethal New York crime boss Vincent “Vinny Gorgeous” Basciano from a neighborhood kid “who hung out with mobsters” to the pinnacle of the Mafia world. Hollywood handsome with the cold edge of a killer, Basciano loved the mob life and assumed the lead role of the Bonanno crime family when its former boss, Joseph Massino, wound up in federal detention. But then, in 2004, Massino turned informer—the first boss of the Cosa Nostra’s Five Families to do so—and a wired meet-up between the two landed Basciano in court. Throughout the book, DeStefano (Mob Killer) describes his subject as smart, naturally charismatic, and lucky—at least for a while. After managing to avoid conviction due to legal irregularities in his case, Basciano was finally found guilty of murder in 2011 and sentenced to life in prison. This is a dark, informed, and effective bio, and DeStefano is a master at cutting through the secrecy of the Mafia hierarchy. B&w photos. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. (July)