Review

The Good Guys

Bill Bonanno and Joe Pistone, with David Fisher



Americans love the Mafia. It's an odd sort of affection, given our
reported high regard for moral values. But if actions truly speak
louder than words, then we have a serious wise guy addiction.
Consider the popular success of HBO's "The Sopranos," the return of
"Growing Up Gotti" for another season on A&E, and the fact that
Mario Puzo's GODFATHER saga no longer sleeps with the fishes,
thanks to the efforts of author Mark Winegardner. So let's be
stand-up guys and dolls and own up to it: we can't get enough
badda-bing badda-boom.

So who better to fill our minimum requirement of whacking and
wisecracking than a couple of guys with explicit knowledge of the
life? Bill Bonanno is a former high-echelon member of the Bonanno
crime family. Joe Pistone is a former FBI agent whose undercover
exploits as Donnie Brasco made their way from the page to the big
screen. This unlikely pair constitutes a kind of mob fiction dream
team, the product of which is THE GOOD GUYS.

Bonanno and Pistone, along with co-author David Fisher, have
crafted a surprisingly entertaining mystery that manages to combine
insider knowledge of the mob and the FBI with well-drawn characters
(including several large, dangerous men with interesting nicknames
like "Tony Cupcakes"), frequently hilarious dialogue, and enough
gunplay and violence to add a satisfying edge.

The story revolves around the search for the missing Professor G, a
Russian language educator. He's simultaneously being sought by FBI
agents Connor O'Brien and Laura Russo, and by Mafia career climber
Bobby San Filippo, aka Bobby Hats, aka Bobby Blue Eyes. The trail
to the missing professor leads through the Slavic Studies
department at Columbia to the Russian mob in Brighton Beach and on
to the trunk of an abandoned car into which is stuffed the enormous
and grotesquely mangled corpse of 320-pound Skinny Al
D'Angelo.

THE GOOD GUYS rewards readers with a crisp, tightly woven story
told at a brisk pace. It isn't Tolstoy, but then it doesn't have to
be. It's solid entertainment that will provide a lasting wiseguy
fix for even the most rabid Mob-o-phile. It's a good read, pally.
Caspisce?

Reviewed by Bob Rhubart on January 22, 2011

The Good Guys
Bill Bonanno and Joe Pistone, with David Fisher

  • Publication Date: January 6, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 0446529656
  • ISBN-13: 9780446529655