COP WITHOUT A BADGE

THE TRUE STORY OF THE UNDERCOVER LIFE OF KEVIN MAHER

This overheated, romanticized account may be stretching things a bit too far in attempting to portray police informer Kevin Maher as a modern-day bounty hunter. Kipps (Out of Focus, 1989) does a decent job of showing how Maher's role as an informer grew out of his criminal career, but he tries to dignify it in light of Maher's stated childhood ambition to be a policeman. As a teenager in the Bronx, Maher served as ``wheel man'' in robberies and was arrested several times for autho theft. He went to prison in 1974 and became chums with Morris Weiss, of Murder, Inc., and other unsavory characters. When Sgt. Jim Doherty questioned him about some bank robberies, the two men ``bonded,'' with Doherty realizing that ``except for a few strands of DNA . . . Maher could almost be his son.'' Wearing a wire, Maher followed up on some of the contracts Weiss and others had put him onto. One case led to another, with Maher sometimes volunteering, sometimes being asked to get information on a crony. In one case, his assignment was to romance the wife of an accused hit man. In a scene that defies credibility, the hit man asks Maher to ``take care'' of his wife sexually while he's in jail. Maher repays his largesse by assisting the district attorney in two homicide cases against the man and moving in with his soon-to-be-ex-wife. Doherty had gotten most of the original charges against Maher dropped, but as late as 1987 and 1989, Maher was arrested again for carrying an Uzi, drunkenness, and assaulting a police officer. Kipps details Maher's cocaine habit, his messy relationships with hookers and strippers, and his numerous drug-related trips to Miami, sometimes under the auspices of the DEA. Kipps fails to objectively question Maher's motivation and actual role in these adventures: Is he a dutiful bounty hunter or a lowlife snitch? (First serial to Penthouse)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-7867-0246-X

Page Count: 336

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1995

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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