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Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family

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"Petey Chops wasn't kicking up. And if he didn't start soon, he was going to get whacked." So begins "Making Jack Falcone, " the extraordinary true story of an undercover FBI agent's years-long investigation of the Gambinos, which resulted in a string of arrests that crippled the organized crime family.But long before Joaquin "Jack" Garcia found himself wearing a wire with "Petey Chops wasn't kicking up. And if he didn't start soon, he was going to get whacked." So begins "Making Jack Falcone, " the extraordinary true story of an undercover FBI agent's years-long investigation of the Gambinos, which resulted in a string of arrests that crippled the organized crime family.But long before Joaquin "Jack" Garcia found himself wearing a wire with some of the Mafia's top capos, he was one of the FBI's unlikeliest recruits. A Cuban-born American, Jack graduated from Quantico standing six-foot-four and weighing 300 pounds -- not your typical G-man. Jack's stature soon proved an asset as the FBI looked to place agents undercover with drug smugglers, counterfeiters, and even killers. Jack became one of the few FBI agents dedicated solely to undercover work. Using a series of carefully created aliases, Jack insinuated himself in the criminal world, from the Badlands of Philadelphia, where he was a gregarious money launderer, to the streets of Miami, where an undercover Garcia moved stolen and illicit goods and brought down dirty cops. Jack jumped at the opportunity to infiltrate the shadowy world of La Cosa Nostra, but how would the Cuban-American convince wiseguys that he was one of their own, a Sicilian capable of "earning his button" -- getting made in the Mafia? For the first time, the FBI created a special "mob school" for Jack, teaching him how to eat, talk, and "think" like a wiseguy. And it wasn't long before the freshly minted Jack Falcone found himself under the wing of one of the Gambinos' old school capos, Greg DePalma. DePalma, who cared for an ailing John Gotti in prison, introduced Falcone to his world of shakedowns, beatings, and envelopes of cash, never suspecting that one of his trusted crew members was a federal agent. A page-turning account of the struggle between law enforcement and organized crime that will rank with such classic stories as "Donnie Brasco, Serpico, " and "Wiseguy, Making Jack Falcone" is an unforgettable trip into America's underworld through the eyes of a highly decorated FBI veteran.


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"Petey Chops wasn't kicking up. And if he didn't start soon, he was going to get whacked." So begins "Making Jack Falcone, " the extraordinary true story of an undercover FBI agent's years-long investigation of the Gambinos, which resulted in a string of arrests that crippled the organized crime family.But long before Joaquin "Jack" Garcia found himself wearing a wire with "Petey Chops wasn't kicking up. And if he didn't start soon, he was going to get whacked." So begins "Making Jack Falcone, " the extraordinary true story of an undercover FBI agent's years-long investigation of the Gambinos, which resulted in a string of arrests that crippled the organized crime family.But long before Joaquin "Jack" Garcia found himself wearing a wire with some of the Mafia's top capos, he was one of the FBI's unlikeliest recruits. A Cuban-born American, Jack graduated from Quantico standing six-foot-four and weighing 300 pounds -- not your typical G-man. Jack's stature soon proved an asset as the FBI looked to place agents undercover with drug smugglers, counterfeiters, and even killers. Jack became one of the few FBI agents dedicated solely to undercover work. Using a series of carefully created aliases, Jack insinuated himself in the criminal world, from the Badlands of Philadelphia, where he was a gregarious money launderer, to the streets of Miami, where an undercover Garcia moved stolen and illicit goods and brought down dirty cops. Jack jumped at the opportunity to infiltrate the shadowy world of La Cosa Nostra, but how would the Cuban-American convince wiseguys that he was one of their own, a Sicilian capable of "earning his button" -- getting made in the Mafia? For the first time, the FBI created a special "mob school" for Jack, teaching him how to eat, talk, and "think" like a wiseguy. And it wasn't long before the freshly minted Jack Falcone found himself under the wing of one of the Gambinos' old school capos, Greg DePalma. DePalma, who cared for an ailing John Gotti in prison, introduced Falcone to his world of shakedowns, beatings, and envelopes of cash, never suspecting that one of his trusted crew members was a federal agent. A page-turning account of the struggle between law enforcement and organized crime that will rank with such classic stories as "Donnie Brasco, Serpico, " and "Wiseguy, Making Jack Falcone" is an unforgettable trip into America's underworld through the eyes of a highly decorated FBI veteran.

30 review for Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Part of me wants to be a mobster. Part of me wants to be an undercover agent. Most of me is scared shitless to do either, so I'm happy to live vicariously through the exciting life of Joaquin "Jack Falcone" Garcia. FBI Agent Garcia spent two and a half years undercover infiltrating the Gambino crime family, specifically targeting capo Greg DePalma, an old school mobster newly out of prison and on the rise within the regime. Garcia relates his exploits in a conversational fashion that is jovial an Part of me wants to be a mobster. Part of me wants to be an undercover agent. Most of me is scared shitless to do either, so I'm happy to live vicariously through the exciting life of Joaquin "Jack Falcone" Garcia. FBI Agent Garcia spent two and a half years undercover infiltrating the Gambino crime family, specifically targeting capo Greg DePalma, an old school mobster newly out of prison and on the rise within the regime. Garcia relates his exploits in a conversational fashion that is jovial and engaging. You almost forget he's working alongside ruthless, violent criminals who would likely end him if they discovered the wire he wore to record their every word. However, the tension is often high and, as a reader looking for a thrill, I was happy to find my nerves rattled more than a few times. The life of a mobster sounds not entirely unappealing at times, if you believe what Garcia has to say about it. He seemed to fit right in, as if he was made for the role. In fact, though it's never stated, one gets the sense that DePalma saw in "Jack" the son he wished he'd had, as witnessed by DePalma's desire to have "Jack" made. That is flat out amazing, to have an FBI agent not only be able to work incognito with the mob, but to fool them so thoroughly that they wish to make the agent one of them! Garcia was clearly unhappy with the FBI. For its part, the FBI may have jerked Garcia around a bit because they felt he was enjoying his assignment a little too much. Whoever was in the right, the fact is that some readers may be turned off by the amount of sour grapes vented through out the book. For me, that hardly dampened my enjoyment. I got the chance to learn about the modern day mob and it felt like I was getting to be a good fella for a couple hundred pages, and that to me is a good read I can't refuse.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Joaquin 'Jack' Garcia spent 24 of his 26 year career undercover, the last part of it juggling multiple identities plus a young family in real life. Unfortunately, everything I could find in a brief search about this was from Garcia himself or his book. It would have been interesting to see the other points of view, that of his superiors. Perhaps they were paper pushers with no understanding of under cover work, but he sounded like he was wrapped pretty tight. Not surprising given how stressful a Joaquin 'Jack' Garcia spent 24 of his 26 year career undercover, the last part of it juggling multiple identities plus a young family in real life. Unfortunately, everything I could find in a brief search about this was from Garcia himself or his book. It would have been interesting to see the other points of view, that of his superiors. Perhaps they were paper pushers with no understanding of under cover work, but he sounded like he was wrapped pretty tight. Not surprising given how stressful a single, mundane assignment would have been. On top of that, he was overweight & had a heart problem. In any case, they pulled the plug & apparently treated him pretty poorly. This was a good book until the end when he rants & becomes quite repetitive, but I suppose that can be forgiven considering how it all ends. While it mostly concerns his time with the Gambino family, he strays often into other cases. It was educational in many ways. The sorts of crime weren't any real surprise - very little was graphic & there was almost no violence. He's a big guy, but never busted heads. Instead, he was an affable giant who had no need to. The biggest surprise was his feelings toward it all. He's living in constant danger, keeping up an incredibly taxing schedule, & is actually friendly with those he intends to bring down. There's a lot there in the subtext. His conflicting emotions & attitudes were brilliantly read by Dick Hill. He really brought an additional feeling of reality to this memoir. Thank goodness there are people like Garcia, but I'll be damned if I understand them. Highly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Toth

    This book is like sitting down with someone from the neighborhood over a beer. Garcia speaks casually, as if he's spewing his tales from the top of his head. It's a sort of a "day in the life of an undercover agent" who happens to be working more undercover cases at once than any agent in history. You get his colorful perceptions of all the dubious characters involved in the criminal enterprises he's slated to take down - from corrupt cops & politicians to drug pushers & mobsters. The majority o This book is like sitting down with someone from the neighborhood over a beer. Garcia speaks casually, as if he's spewing his tales from the top of his head. It's a sort of a "day in the life of an undercover agent" who happens to be working more undercover cases at once than any agent in history. You get his colorful perceptions of all the dubious characters involved in the criminal enterprises he's slated to take down - from corrupt cops & politicians to drug pushers & mobsters. The majority of the book focuses on Garcia's most famed case that involved 2 1/2 years infiltrating the mafia to put away 32 members of 3 crime families. Garcia becomes a sort of right-hand man to Greg DePalma, a slimy older made member of the Gambino family who entrusts Garcia, who is known to mafia members as Jack Falcone, to the point of wanting to have him made. DePalma is as mafia as they come, an easy-to-hate cliche of a tough guy with close to zero morals. All through his telling of the seedy world of the shysters he deals with on a day-to-day basis, you get to know the most colorful character, Garcia himself. As a gregarious 375-lb. Cuban-American, he simply doesn't fit the mold of an FBI agent - clearly an advantage in the undercover game he's playing. The mafia born-to-eat lifestyle doesn't help the poor guy, who at one point reaches 450-lbs. Like many working as part of a large, bureaucratic organization, Garcia struggles with red-tape, budget issues and what he feels are illogical decisions of management. In one part of the book he's complaining that his higher-up is demanding he lose weight, dodging his weigh-ins, while later on he's complaining that the FBI didn't force him to go to much-needed health screenings due to budget cuts. Additionally, he's 100 percent pissed off that bureau cut his mafia sting short, because he really, really wanted to have a story to tell about "getting made." While I see some of Garcia's complaints about FBI management as legitimate - especially one where he explains how the FBI failed to inform him that there was a $250K hit out on him - I start to feel by the end of the book that Garcia is simply a winger. I was really disappointed that he exited the FBI in order to "leave at the top of his career" rather than having to do the sludge work of a regular agent. I was hoping the book would end with Garcia wanting to change FBI management, perhaps bringing all of his knowledge and experience to transform the bureau. Instead, he pretty much explains that he had a taste of the good life undercover and now would like to become an actor. Despite feeling a little disappointed with the Garcia in the end, the book is entertaining and worth reading. I think the best part for me was that I could get a sense of the adventures Garcia experienced in the underworld without having to trudge through the gore, as Garcia was legally forbidden from being around when someone was being injured or killed.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ron Kopp

    What? I enjoyed this book. Very interesting. Book was well written. If you're into the mob, give it a read. Hi Jessica and Jennifer!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marc Therrien

    Fantastic! An epic accounting of real infiltration into the criminal world. I loved it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    C.L.

    I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read and super interesting. What a world to have infiltrated... and to put one’s life on the line like that. Wow.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Jack's story is very interesting, but the writing is terrible. I wish he had hired a ghost writer to write the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family by Joaquin "Jack" Garcia with Michael Levin. I have had this book since 2008. I am trying to read through books that I have owned for years and have not read. This was an engaging story of an affable undercover agent in the FBI, who infiltrated the Gambino family in New York. Joaquin "Jack" Garcia was born in Cuba and moved to the United States when he was a young boy. He wanted to be an FBI agent at a time when the FBI was n Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family by Joaquin "Jack" Garcia with Michael Levin. I have had this book since 2008. I am trying to read through books that I have owned for years and have not read. This was an engaging story of an affable undercover agent in the FBI, who infiltrated the Gambino family in New York. Joaquin "Jack" Garcia was born in Cuba and moved to the United States when he was a young boy. He wanted to be an FBI agent at a time when the FBI was not recruiting people with ethnic backgrounds such as Jacks. He was able to fool the Italian Mob Families that he was Italian and almost was the second made man in the Mafia, after Joe Pistone who played Donnie Brascoe in the movie, Jack became one of a few FBI agents that dedicated his whole career (26 years) as solely an undercover agent. Graduating from Quantico at 6'4 and 300 pounds, the FBI used Jack's intimidating stature to place him as a gregarious drug smuggler and money launderer in the Badlands of Philadelphia, to the streets of Miami where he moved stolen and illicit goods. In Newark, New Jersey where working as an undercover we learn that the Chinese factories in China can illegally export just about any fake product there is. In North Korea, counterfeit money with the same ink and paper as the United States Treasury. The money was so authentic looking that the Secret Service could not tell the difference, yet 300 million was seized by Jack which if ever got on the Streets of the United States could cripple the economy. I found this to be very interesting, When Jack spent two and a half years under Greg DePalma, who cared for an ailing John Gotti in prison, Greg introduced Jack that the five New York Mafioso families are still thriving and running their schemes in New York. In this post John Gotti world construction companies, restaurants, many legitimate businesses are forced to kick up money to the five New York Families, With Jack's participation as Greg DePalma's underlings in the Gambino Family, fearlessly working undercover he was able to illuminate for the FBI the major players who were all eventually indicted. But sadly, as Jack says in this book when you take one out another one replaces him. A highly enlightening look into the underworld of organized crime, Not graphically murderous at all, But an interesting look into how this Mafia thrives today in a post John Gotti era, .

  9. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    The book, Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family, is highly entertaining. The book is the story told by Joaquin Garcia, an FBI agent, for 25 years. For almost his entire 25 years as a law enforcement officer, he acts in an undercover role. Garcia is much like the personality of the book I read recently by Jay Dobyns, No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels , who was an undercover DEA agent for most of his career as well. The The book, Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family, is highly entertaining. The book is the story told by Joaquin Garcia, an FBI agent, for 25 years. For almost his entire 25 years as a law enforcement officer, he acts in an undercover role. Garcia is much like the personality of the book I read recently by Jay Dobyns, No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels , who was an undercover DEA agent for most of his career as well. They both share these characteristics: larger than life personalities (both on and off the job), neither have physical characteristics that are anything close to what bad guys would expect a police officer would have (Garcia was 6 feet and 4 inches and his weight got over 450 pounds at one point), both played football in high school and after, both had the abundance charisma and were able to charm bad guys off their feet and booth loved their jobs and felt born to act their roles as bad guys. Joaquin Garcia was born in Cuba and his father worked for the government. When Castro came down from the hills and took over, the family escaped to Brooklyn, New York. When the movie Serpico came out in the early 70s, Garcia loved the movie and decided to be an FBI agent and go under cover. After several years of applying he is accepted into the FBI. After a rough start he graduates and becomes an agent. Soon after joining the force he goes undercover and never looks back. Due to his unique (large) size and ability to act many different roles he ends up working multiple cases simultaneously. His cases ranged from pretending to be South American drug lord to being inner city jeweler fence. In his final role he pretends to be an Italian mobster. He integrates himself into the famous mafia gangster family the Gambino’s. This book is highly entertaining and also gives a fascinating look inside the underworld. One of the best parts of the book is Garcia sense of humor. He is able to see the funny side of some fairly grim situations. The only part of the book that deserves some warning to the potential reader is the course language, not unlike my previous undercover story, the language of the underworld is past bad (as you might expect). With that said, I high recommend this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paul Pessolano

    Jack Garcia was a Cuban immigrant that spent twenty-six years as an undercover agent for the FBI. At six foot four and weighing over 300 pounds not only was he an imposing figure, but also one that would be highly recognizable. His story borders on the unbelievable in that he was able to infiltrate the Gambino criminal organization, and become so trustworthy that he almost became a "made man", which would have given him unprecedented access to Mafia information. While he was infiltrating the Mafia Jack Garcia was a Cuban immigrant that spent twenty-six years as an undercover agent for the FBI. At six foot four and weighing over 300 pounds not only was he an imposing figure, but also one that would be highly recognizable. His story borders on the unbelievable in that he was able to infiltrate the Gambino criminal organization, and become so trustworthy that he almost became a "made man", which would have given him unprecedented access to Mafia information. While he was infiltrating the Mafia, he was also working several other cases. He was working on police corruption in Hollywood, Florida: a possible terrorist threat in New York; and a group in Los Angeles and Newark that was becoming a"one stop criminal shopping store" that was handling anything from guns to drugs. Garcia was not only traveling around the country with different aliases, but he was also trying to raise a family. One can only image what his wife and young daughter were going through. When he was home he could be called out at anytime and his family never knew where he was going or if and when he would be coming back. When Garcia was pulled from the Gambino job, the government was able to incarcerate the top thirty-two members of one of the most powerful organized crime families in the country. The book also tells of the problems Garcia had dealing with so called "administrative" personnel of the FBI. He actually, at one time, had to fight to stay undercover. If you enjoy "true crime" and have enjoyed "Donne Brasco", "Serpico", and "Wiseguy" you will certainly enjoy "Making Jack Falcone". The book gives a good account of what it is like to go undercover, and the workings of the criminal world, without going into the horrors of the murders committed by these people.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ensiform

    An agent with 25 years’ experience in the Bureau shares some of his greatest busts, from his days as a Cuban émigré to being the FNG (fucking new guy) no one wanted around to becoming only the second FBI plant to be recommended as a made man in the Gambino family – though the operation was shut down and arrests made before that could happen. It’s a very enjoyable and informative memoir. Garcia doesn’t waste a lot of time with irrelevant early childhood, like too many autobiographies. Instead he An agent with 25 years’ experience in the Bureau shares some of his greatest busts, from his days as a Cuban émigré to being the FNG (fucking new guy) no one wanted around to becoming only the second FBI plant to be recommended as a made man in the Gambino family – though the operation was shut down and arrests made before that could happen. It’s a very enjoyable and informative memoir. Garcia doesn’t waste a lot of time with irrelevant early childhood, like too many autobiographies. Instead he gets right into the meat of the story, detailing the dangers and details of the various undercover operations he was part of. He comes across as a jovial, informed narrator without too much of an axe to grind, except maybe the usual patrolman’s beef against the Bureaucrats who ran the ops without having a street-level view of what really goes down. I like to hear about the nuts and bolts of how an event comes about, not just the blow-by-blow afterwards, and Garcia gives a lot of interesting detail about the “Mob school” course he took in how to eat, walk, dress, and talk. I was also impressed and surprised that he, like other agents, did more than one undercover op at a time, which I imagine can be a very disorienting routine of character switching. More surprising, even troubling, is the idea that Garcia was constantly in danger of being umasked, since he’d made plenty of busts under his own name in New York at the time he was pretending to be Jack Falcone, mafia heavy. I guess I always assumed that these undercover things had more security than that – they’d start afresh in a brand new city, and so on. In any case, an engrossing and enjoyable read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chris Aylott

    A retired FBI undercover agent tells the story of how he nearly became a made man with the Gambino family, along with a few side trips into other investigations. Lots of good procedural stuff here, and a compelling portrait of Greg DePalma, an old-school Mafioso who still believes in going to trial and denying the existence of La Cosa Nostra. What's impressive is how he was able to juggle identities -- sometimes several at once -- over a period of months or years, apparently without ever raising A retired FBI undercover agent tells the story of how he nearly became a made man with the Gambino family, along with a few side trips into other investigations. Lots of good procedural stuff here, and a compelling portrait of Greg DePalma, an old-school Mafioso who still believes in going to trial and denying the existence of La Cosa Nostra. What's impressive is how he was able to juggle identities -- sometimes several at once -- over a period of months or years, apparently without ever raising the suspicions of his targets. What's a little disturbing is just how thoroughly the Mafia and other corrupt organizations seem to be worked into the everyday fabric of life, at least in New York City. It makes you wonder about this whole "rule of law" thing, especially when the FBI seems to be all too willing to close down an investigation early and claim a smaller victory than it could otherwise have gotten.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sheehan

    yeah, it's true crime... yeah, it's an oral history of an undercover FBI navigating his way into the Mafia... yeah, it's just chock full'o'annecodotes... and yeah, I really liked it, Do We Understand Each Other?! hahaha Great biography, filled with the stories of how a Cuban-born boy comes to America, gets the Justice-bug, joins the FBI and ends up undercover and almost a made man in the Gambino Family...really how can you go wrong? Book is good because is chronicles the newer (less stereotypical)) ge yeah, it's true crime... yeah, it's an oral history of an undercover FBI navigating his way into the Mafia... yeah, it's just chock full'o'annecodotes... and yeah, I really liked it, Do We Understand Each Other?! hahaha Great biography, filled with the stories of how a Cuban-born boy comes to America, gets the Justice-bug, joins the FBI and ends up undercover and almost a made man in the Gambino Family...really how can you go wrong? Book is good because is chronicles the newer (less stereotypical)) generation of mafioso in the States who are getting away from the honor-based old world ways, and embracing a more Wire-esque, every man for himself substructure to the larger consortium of families...so that part was really insightful. If you like mobsters, you'll probably enjoy this brief biopic of an undercover Fed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Think Donnie Brasco, but in the 2000s. I read Donnie Brasco and loved it. I've ready 10 or 20 mafia related books (fiction and non-fiction) and this is one my favorites. After a short description of his early days in the FBI and how he got into undercover work, it delves into his infiltration of the mob. The book has that same stale ghostwritten feel, but the information and not the prose is what is attractive. Not only does it cover the several years he spent as part of the mob, but Garcia works Think Donnie Brasco, but in the 2000s. I read Donnie Brasco and loved it. I've ready 10 or 20 mafia related books (fiction and non-fiction) and this is one my favorites. After a short description of his early days in the FBI and how he got into undercover work, it delves into his infiltration of the mob. The book has that same stale ghostwritten feel, but the information and not the prose is what is attractive. Not only does it cover the several years he spent as part of the mob, but Garcia works several other undercover jobs simultaneously as he posed as a mobster, including a Chinese arms dealer, a corrupt cop case in Florida and a sting on the city council of Atlantic City. Only complaint: there aren't any surveillance photos to put some faces to the names.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jodie22

    Making Jack Falcone is the true story of how Joaquin Garcia infiltrated the Gambino crime family. I like to read about other cultures and lifestyles that I'm not familiar with. Mr. Garcia certainly took me to another world. At times, he contradicted himself. For example, he said they (the Gambio members he interacted with) had no idea who he was. Later, he says he was worried they suspected him. Also, he said the mob doesn't kill FBI agents, because it would bring the FBI down on them. Later, whe Making Jack Falcone is the true story of how Joaquin Garcia infiltrated the Gambino crime family. I like to read about other cultures and lifestyles that I'm not familiar with. Mr. Garcia certainly took me to another world. At times, he contradicted himself. For example, he said they (the Gambio members he interacted with) had no idea who he was. Later, he says he was worried they suspected him. Also, he said the mob doesn't kill FBI agents, because it would bring the FBI down on them. Later, when he was worried they suspected he was FBI, he was afraid for his life. Despite the contradiction and the repetition, I did enjoy the glimpse into the mafia lifestyle.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vince

    Hey who doesn't love another mob tell all. Still instead of going over his whole FBI career, almost to the point of an overabundance of bragging, the author would have been better off sticking to the Jack Falcone part of his career and inserting much more detail. At the end of the book he announces his work in the post Gotti Gambino family brought down 32 LCN members but many of the ones he names as indicted we never or only briefly meet in the book. My guess is if the book sold well he could do Hey who doesn't love another mob tell all. Still instead of going over his whole FBI career, almost to the point of an overabundance of bragging, the author would have been better off sticking to the Jack Falcone part of his career and inserting much more detail. At the end of the book he announces his work in the post Gotti Gambino family brought down 32 LCN members but many of the ones he names as indicted we never or only briefly meet in the book. My guess is if the book sold well he could do a second part. Also where wee Gotti JR and many of the other Gambino family members, they never make the book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    I've long had a fascination for how the underworld operates, and seems to get away with so much. This is a twist, in that it chronicles a primo undercover FBI agent in his many undercover roles, bringing down hordes of bad guys for many a violation. Most notably, and reflected by the name of the book, "Jack Falcone" (undercover name for his Mafia persona) comes up through the ranks of the Mafia, and is almost a made man when the FBI pulls the plug. I read this book rather fast compared to my usu I've long had a fascination for how the underworld operates, and seems to get away with so much. This is a twist, in that it chronicles a primo undercover FBI agent in his many undercover roles, bringing down hordes of bad guys for many a violation. Most notably, and reflected by the name of the book, "Jack Falcone" (undercover name for his Mafia persona) comes up through the ranks of the Mafia, and is almost a made man when the FBI pulls the plug. I read this book rather fast compared to my usual pace.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    I heard Jack Garcia interviewed on the radio and couldn't wait to read his book. It was a fascinating look at how pervasive the criminal culture is in our society. Law enforcement is at a real disadvantage when everyone just kind of accepts the status quo. Even more upsetting is that Jack, like so many of us, worked for a government beuracracy. But following administrative nonsense for the FBI could put ones life in danger. I like that, at the end, her thanked his wife and daughter and realized I heard Jack Garcia interviewed on the radio and couldn't wait to read his book. It was a fascinating look at how pervasive the criminal culture is in our society. Law enforcement is at a real disadvantage when everyone just kind of accepts the status quo. Even more upsetting is that Jack, like so many of us, worked for a government beuracracy. But following administrative nonsense for the FBI could put ones life in danger. I like that, at the end, her thanked his wife and daughter and realized what heroes they were. It was a good read and I do recommend it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Because of this book's lack of literary style, I gave it four stars out of five. Based on the story line, that might not have been fair since this book is as much of a white-knuckler as it is an criminal-world exposé. As Jack Garcia proves here, you have to have nerves of steel, veins full of ice water, the patience of a saint, and a willingness to be VERY uncomfortable to infiltrate "the life" as effectively and frequently as he did. Poets might not enjoy this book. True-crime aficionados surel Because of this book's lack of literary style, I gave it four stars out of five. Based on the story line, that might not have been fair since this book is as much of a white-knuckler as it is an criminal-world exposé. As Jack Garcia proves here, you have to have nerves of steel, veins full of ice water, the patience of a saint, and a willingness to be VERY uncomfortable to infiltrate "the life" as effectively and frequently as he did. Poets might not enjoy this book. True-crime aficionados surely will.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mike F

    Worthwhile, simply because it's a true story about infiltrating the modern mob, with interludes about other undercover operations sprinkled in. I understand Garcia is not a writer, but the conversational style of writing grated on me. Also, this guy is a big fan of himself, which maybe he should be, but the boasting became distracting. The story also has an anti-climax so it never really builds to anything satisfying, but as the author makes sure to let us know, that wasn't his fault, and instea Worthwhile, simply because it's a true story about infiltrating the modern mob, with interludes about other undercover operations sprinkled in. I understand Garcia is not a writer, but the conversational style of writing grated on me. Also, this guy is a big fan of himself, which maybe he should be, but the boasting became distracting. The story also has an anti-climax so it never really builds to anything satisfying, but as the author makes sure to let us know, that wasn't his fault, and instead we get some good old fashioned bureaucratic axe-grinding to close out the book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lisala

    I could not put this book down. If it had been fiction, this wouldn't have been as interesting a read, but being real, it was intriguing. I recommend this book if you enjoy Italian Mafia or crime fighting stories. It was neat to see inside the head of the undercover agent, how he carried himself even in fearful situations. His sense of humor and knack for telling the story is what made this one worthwhile.It's a darn shame that this guy put his life on the line to infiltrate and destroy the Ital I could not put this book down. If it had been fiction, this wouldn't have been as interesting a read, but being real, it was intriguing. I recommend this book if you enjoy Italian Mafia or crime fighting stories. It was neat to see inside the head of the undercover agent, how he carried himself even in fearful situations. His sense of humor and knack for telling the story is what made this one worthwhile.It's a darn shame that this guy put his life on the line to infiltrate and destroy the Italian mafia and never received recognition for his hard work.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Juan Sanchez

    this book caught my eye and had me intrested in reading more everytime. it really pulls you into the seceret violent underworld of the mafia through the eyes of an FBI agent. organized crime is a way of life and the path to big time easy but risky money and the author paints a clear image on every page. this was a good read and i reconmend it to anyone intrested in the on going battle between crime and justice

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    My dads good friend wrote this book. :) well written and keeps your attention the whole time. When reading this book, it really makes you realize how these agents put themselves in danger to make this world a better place. Also, being from South Jersey i recognized so many places these cases transpired. A plus was seeing my dads name mentioned, along with some other agents i know. If you like anything Mob related and true... its a must read!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Joaquin easily pulled me into FBI undercover work as that he's laid back, smart, likeable without having an ego to navigate. I was surprised by his size, which is what kept him from being discovered. This would be a helpful, insightful read for anyone wanting to better understand the mafia hierarchy or who are Godfather fans; I'm not that into the mafia but still found this a highly enjoyable read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    Interesting Inside Look I enjoyed reading the inner-workings of various Criminal organizations, how they were infiltrated and manipulated, as well as how "Jack" somehow kept his cool along the way. At times repetitive, I still thoroughly enjoyed the read. If you have any interest in Crime, the Mob, undercover work, or what really happens outside of the Movies - read this.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Clint Mccoy

    It was pretty good but as someone else has said... it was a quick read. The narrator seemed very likable so he did keep my interest throughout the novel. I do wish he was made though...would've been a helluva lot more intense. But all in all, if you are interested in true crime and la cosa nostra or anything along those lines you will probably enjoy this.

  27. 4 out of 5

    JASON

    This was an interesting read, wasnt at all what I expected. I thought it was going to be about one gaze inparticular although the book mostly covered Joaquins encounter with Greg Depalma it was interesting how he built up to that case and going through his history with the FBI. It also gave me some other good books to read on the mob.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jarrad Bock

    A great story about an unlikely undercover agent. "Jack" tells a well written story about his trouble with beauracracy as he tried to do his job. His loathing and disappointment shows through his writing while his ability to get so close to his target was unprecedented. A highly worthwhile read

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jocelin

    I have met Joaquin Garcia, so perhaps my review is not completely unbiased. However, I did enjoy this book, and I liked that his story was told in the manner which he speaks - it wasn't so completely edited that it sounded like someone else's voice. I'd already heard some of these stories, but really enjoyed learning about the bigger picture.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

    Interesting read. It seems a shame that in this day in age we still can't get rid of the mob. This is a must read if you like learning about undercover drug deals, money laundering, counterfeiting, and the Gambinos. A very quick read but fun.

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