Adam B. Vary
December 20, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Good Guys

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Bill Bonanno, David Fisher, Joe Pistone
publisher
Warner Books
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Ex-undercover FBI agent Joe Pistone is best known as Donnie Brasco, while Bill Bonanno once headed the crime family Pistone infiltrated for six years. Their ”novel” is a strange hybrid, a fictional Mob thriller punctuated with autobiographical reflections like ”for six beautiful years I didn’t have to fill out a single form,” and ”mostly the life picked us…. I lived it. I went to prison. I left it.” Weirdly, it sorta works, deftly alternating the point of view between the Italian Mafia and the FBI circa 1985 as the Feds search for a missing Russian-languages professor tied to the brutal Russian Mob. The Good Guys reads so well, you may begin daydreaming about what coulda been had Ness and Capone become pen pals.

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