Hard-boiled investigative look at murderous South Boston drug kingpin Whitey Bulger.
TV journalist and author Halloran (Irish Thunder: The Hard Life and Times of Micky Ward, 2007, etc.) gives a no-nonsense, nuts-and-bolts portrait of South Boston’s most notorious drug czar and mass murderer. Although there have been accounts of Bulger and his long and lethal reign over the Boston drug world, Halloran’s book is more specifically about the relationship between Bulger and Southie cocaine-peddling rival Steve Davis. Davis’ first inauspicious meeting with Bulger occurred when Davis’ brother accidentally began dealing coke on Bulger’s turf, a mistake that would make Davis a marked man and eventually lead to the violent death of Davis’ sister, Debbie Davis. At the time, Bulger was an informant for the FBI, while also making tons of money from simply targeting other less-prominent area gangsters and threatening to have them snuffed out if they didn’t pay him protection money. Throughout much of the book, Halloran keeps up a blistering pace in constructing this narrative of South Boston's gangland, where Bulger and his crew ran brutal shakedowns almost at will throughout the 1970s and ’80s. In the first third of the book, the author describes the lead-up to the brutal strangulation of Debbie Davis by Bulger and then the eventual, inevitable difficulties Steve Davis had for years in trying to investigate the murder due to Bulger’s FBI protection. It isn’t until the 2000s that enough red tape was cut to finally get to the point where Davis saw Bulger and his partner indicted for the murder of his sister.
A tough-as-nails portrait of the close-knit connection among organized crime, the FBI and the deaths of innocent people.