In the fall of 1941, a momentous trial was underway that threatened to end the careers and lives of New York's most brutal mob kingpins. The lead witness, Abe Reles, had been a trusted executioner for Murder, Inc., the enforcement arm of a coast-to-coast mob network known as the Commission. Michael Cannell's A Brotherhood Betrayed traces the history of Murder, Inc. through Reles' rise from street punk to murder chieftain to stool pigeon, ending with his fateful death on a Coney Island rooftop.
A book that can whisk you away to another world – even the Mob underworld – has pronounced value in apocalyptic times marked by a global pandemic, unprecedented wildfires and menacing hurricanes. Author Michael Cannell provides just such an escapist passport in his riveting true-crime gangster tale, A Brotherhood Betrayed: The Man Behind the Rise and Fall of Murder, Inc. ... What Cannell brings to this lurid banquet of a story is meticulous research and writing flair ... What Cannell has frozen in sparkling amber is a New York, and indeed a nation, from a century ago. It’s a fascinating and punishing place worth visiting from the comforts of a self-quarantined reading nook, if in part to distract us from the assaults of 2020.
Lucky Luciano, Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel, and a multitude of other criminal names are often recognized before the names are even spoken. But what about Abe 'Kid Twist' Reles? ... In A Brotherhood Betrayed author Michael Cannell introduces the reader to Reles in minute detail, starting with his minor league crimes in Brooklyn until he rises to 'assassin-in-chief for an underworld death squad loosely known as Murder, Inc.' ... Cannell winds up his story with what happened to many of the characters, and he closes the loop well. Cannell’s telling of this story is page turning. His research is unquestionable, his descriptions chilling, and his character development is absolutely visual ... This book is a fast read and informative.
Cannell takes readers along for the ride as he documents — in remarkable, often chilling detail drawn from newspapers and archival documents — Reles’ inexorable rise ... reads like a Brooklyn version of The Irishman, and Cannell’s riveting narrative unfolds with the simmering tension and explosive violence of a Scorsese movie ... another engrossing descent into the dark corners of the criminal mind, this time with a mystery that’s unlikely to ever be solved.