Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family by Joaquin "Jack" Garcia
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
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