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The Brass Wall: The Betrayal of Undercover Detective #4126

Kocieniewski, David

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ISBN 10: 0805065334 / ISBN 13: 9780805065336
Published by Henry Holt & Co, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2003
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Flash Books (Audubon, NJ, U.S.A.)

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New Unread Hardcover. 1st-Edition-Stated. 1st Printing-Full # Line. Not price clipped. Not a remainder. BEAUTIFUL copy of Book & Dust Jacket. COLLECTOR'S COPY. Bookseller Inventory # 001675

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Brass Wall: The Betrayal of Undercover ...

Publisher: Henry Holt & Co, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


In the tradition of Serpico and Prince of the City, a brilliantly reported true story of power and betrayal in the NYPD set against the worlds of the Mafia and big-city politics

In 1993, Vincent Armanti, Undercover Detective #4126, agreed to infiltrate the branch of the Lucchese family responsible for the homicide of a beloved fireman. Already a legend for successfully posing as a hit man and arms smuggler, Armanti transformed himself into Vinnie "Blue Eyes" Penisi-a veteran hood with an icy stare. Yet, once under cover, Armanti found that the wise guys he was chasing had access to classified police information. Stakes accelerated when the informant was revealed to be the son of the commander of NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau. Again and again, IAB's detectives compromised Armanti to protect the powerful man's son, but even the police commissioner ignored the situation. Like the fireman who took an oath to serve, Armanti stayed on the job, even when it was clear his life was in danger.

David Kocieniewski, former New York Times police bureau chief, reveals every moment of Armanti's effort to break through the wall enforced by the cops' top brass. Here, with all its compromises, is the city of New York. Here, in all his humanity, is an unforgettable hero, battling for his honor and survival. Here is a remarkable story that ranks with the great police classics.


The cover of David Kocieniewski’s The Brass Wall, featuring a shadowy figure walking down a dark urban street, is plenty stylish. But one wonders after reading the book if they should have gone ahead and constructed it out of actual celluloid instead of paper since the story it tells seems to have been ripped from a movie screen and placed on the pages of a fascinating true crime story. Detective Vincente Armanti (think a young Pacino or possibly Johnny Depp) is on a deep cover assignment in an area of the Bronx notorious for ties to organized crime and he’s trying to track down whoever set an arson fire that killed a highly regarded New York firefighter. Armanti, according to author and New York Times journalist Kocieniewski, is a highly regarded detective renowned for how seamlessly he infiltrates the world of his suspects and posing as Vinnie "Blue Eyes" Penisi, a Brooklyn hood looking to lay low, he befriends a gang of Mafioso who frequent Sebastian’s bar. All is going well until some loose conversation makes Armanti realize that someone within the NYPD has tipped off his suspects to the investigation, a particularly troublesome development given how enemies of these gentlemen often seem to end up in not one but several garbage bags. In time, that informant is revealed to be the son of one of the top commanders in the NYPD Internal Affairs, necessitating an effort by Armanti to not only save his own life but also root out high-level corruption. The day-to-day details and countless dangers of undercover work are explored in fascinating depth and passages where Armanti realizes he is very close to being killed are packed with suffocating dramatic tension. Since the story is true, there are a few cinematic clichés missing: Armanti loses the girl early and never gets her back and the climax is not a gun fight or a car chase but a satisfying public expose. But these details can be worked out once Martin Scorsese gets a hold of it. --John Moe

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