A memoir of a law enforcement agent’s illustrious career, including his role in the investigation of Mafia crime boss John “Junior” Gotti.
Debut author Perrotta was born in 1967 in Mount Vernon, New York, the child of Italian immigrants. He was a rambunctious child—at 13 he stole his father’s revolver to intimidate some local toughs. His parents eventually purchased a deli—the consummation of the American dream—and working there provided the author valuable practice honing the observational skills central to his later investigative work. After graduating from Fordham University with a degree in political science and a philosophy minor, he received an Army commission as a second lieutenant. He trained in, among other things, military intelligence. Perrotta landed a job with the Bronx County District Attorney’s Detective Investigators Bureau and was eventually assigned as a special investigator to the New York State Organized Crime Task Force, where he participated in the pursuit of infamous organized crime boss John “Junior” Gotti. This chapter in the author’s life is the dramatic centerpiece of the narrative, and Perrotta chronicles his role in the investigation—including surveillance and wiretapping techniques—in microscopic detail. The author joined the Secret Service in 1995, investigating financial crimes like check forgery as well as providing protective services to high-level political figures. He was also sent on various missions to Italy and Bulgaria. Perrotta discusses the culture of the Secret Service like an anthropologist—the hierarchies that form within the agency, the kinds of watches worn and luggage used, and the tension between the investigative and protective details. The author writes in straightforward, clear, but also lively prose, delivering anecdotes with both precision and friendly informality. His career is a genuinely fascinating one—cinematically gripping—and much of the remembrance reads like a true-crime drama. The author covers so much ground in a single volume that the material following the Mafia investigation, while thrilling in its own right, seems anticlimactic in comparison to the battle with Gotti.
An insightful look at the world of criminal investigation.