MAFIA ENFORCER by Cecil & Thomas C. Renner Kirby


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Odd monologue by ""outlaw biker turned key enforcer"" as assembled by a veteran journalist on such topics (Mafia Princess: My Life in the Mafia). The old-fashioned term for ""enforcer"" was ""informer,""and the pseudonymous Kirby hardly comes across as a sympathetic type. Most of this narrative is preoccupied with braggart-style macho biker ethics and tales of beatings: ""This time I kicked him in the head to keep him down. It was like kicking a block of wood."" In another passage, the protagonist ""beats the hell"" out of another person: ""He couldn't open his eyes for a week. In fact, he had to use a seeing-eye dog."" The author has had to settle in Canada under an assumed name, for fear of Mafia reprisals. This is confusing, as the sentences the criminals of gangland received after Kirby's testimony were comically light: most got a year or two. This unsatisfying end to the story makes one question both the value of the narrator's witness and his probity. Coauthor Renner unfortunately seems to take Kirby at his own heroic self-evaluation, which lessens the value of a book that might otherwise be an interesting exposÉ of the ways of gangland.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1987
Publisher: Villard/Random House