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Publisher's Summary

From an award-winning investigative reporter: the shocking story of the mob killer who terrorized the streets of New York City for decades...while working for the FBI.

In Deal with the Devil, five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter Peter Lance draws on three decades of once-secret FBI files and exclusive new interviews to disclose the epic saga of Colombo family capo Gregory Scarpa, Sr., who spent more than 30 years as a paid top-echelon FBI informant while wreaking havoc as a drug dealer, loan shark, bank robber, hijacker, high-end securities thief - and killer.

A Mafia capo who "stopped counting" after 50 murders - earning nicknames including "the Grim Reaper" and "the Killing Machine" - Greg Scarpa was enlisted by the FBI as early as 1960. His detailed debriefings on Mafia practices and activities went straight to J. Edgar Hoover and revealed the structure of Cosa Nostra long before the celebrated Valachi hearings. In 42 years of murder and racketeering, Scarpa served only 30 days in jail, thanks to his secret relationship with the Feds. But Scarpa's most deadly reign of terror came in the period from 1980 to 1992, when more than half his homicides occurred - even as Scarpa was serving as a paid informant under Supervisory Special Agent R. Lindley DeVecchio, who ran two organized crime squads in the FBI's New York Office.

The celebrated case agent on the 1985-1986 Mafia Commission prosecution, DeVecchio had persuaded Scarpa to return to the fold as an informant, under laws that explicitly forbid organized crime insiders from committing murder or other crimes while receiving compensation from the Bureau. And yet, drawing on secret memos that went to every FBI director from Hoover to Louis Freeh, Lance documents that Scarpa not only continued his violent rampage during these years, but actually launched a new war for control of the Colombo crime family - a conflict that left 12 dead and dozens injured.

Before he died of AIDS, contracted through a tainted blood transfusion, Scarpa committed or ordered 26 murders - including the violent rubout of his own brother Sal in 1987 and the drive-by slaying of his nephew Gus Farace, which triggered a 500-agent manhunt - all while serving as an informant for Lin DeVecchio. When DeVecchio himself was indicted on four counts of murder in 2007, Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes called the case "the most stunning example of official corruption... I have ever seen." Yet the murder charges against DeVecchio were dismissed a short time later - even as a New York State Supreme Court judge described the FBI's association with Scarpa as a "deal with the devil."

After the case's abrupt dismissal, Lance started peeling back the layers on what defense attorneys called Scarpa's "unholy alliance" with the FBI. Through exclusive interviews with Scarpa's son, Greg Jr., and former Lucchese boss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso, among others, as well as more than 1,150 pages of confidential briefing memos, many revealed here for the first time, Lance traces links between the Scarpa case, the infamous Mafia Cops case, and more.

Written with the same astounding capacity for penetrating criminal networks that marked Lance's previous books, Deal with the Devil is a page-turning work of investigative journalism that reads like a Scorsese film.

©2013 Tenacity Media Group Ltd. (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

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If you enjoy books on the mob, this is a goodie

What made the experience of listening to Deal with the Devil the most enjoyable?

Well written and the author did his homework.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Glad they got caught

Any additional comments?

If you like books on the mob, this is a god addition to your listening library.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story line not so great narration

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The "quote" " end quote" got so old" had dick hill or others read the book it would have been masterful!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good Story. Terrible Reader.

Greg Scarpa's life story is so engrossing that I put up with the awful reading performance. Speed and tenor never varied to the point that it may as well have been Stephen Hawking. Worst though was his instance on saying "Quote" and "Unquote" when reading direct statements. This is a nonfiction book. There are A LOT of direct statements. Three or four per page. "quote" and "unquote" is said nearly as much as "the". Buy the paperback.

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Rubed out by monotony

Not since Masters and Johnson has an academic taken such an interesting subject and made it so boring. If you like the words redactied and airtel your in for a treat because he use these words are in every paragraph. The whole book is a series of monotone quotes from other books and FBI internal memos (airtels).

The book’s subject was a brutal mobster and his life had many stories of fraud, murder, sex and gambling. It also is the story of the FBI looking the other way to protect this source. This book reads it out like the encyclopedia.

By chapter ten I switched off after ripping my headphones out of my ears. My mind was going numb and my eyes were crossed, it was like studying for a law school final. Such a shame.

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Great must read

Great overview of the mafia, its players, and events that have happened throughout the families since the 50s. A must read if one enjoys mafia books and can draw similarities between Lin Devecchio and John Connolly Whitey Bulgers handler.

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  • JG
  • 07-25-16

Great content, horrible narrator

What did you like best about Deal with the Devil? What did you like least?

For the fan of mob content, this is a great book. I have read hundreds of mafia related books and this is one of the most in depth I have come across. They did an amazing amount of research and present over 19 hours of it. The only minus is the author read the book. As we audiobookiphiles know, the person reading the book is more important then the book contents. A person like Scott Brick or R.C.Bray and others in their catagory, can make even a bad book enjoyable. This author is the most monotone person I have come across so far. I can only listen to this book in 15 min segments because the drone starts to put me to sleep.

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Excellent Insight into FBI & Cosa Nostra

There is a reason why Greg Scarpa barely spent anytime behind bars despite the fact he was a high-ranking member of the Colombo borgata. Peter Lance shows the impact of the unholy alliance between Scarpa and the FBI's "Mr. Organized Crime" Lindley DeVecchio on the people around them. Scarpa was given free reign to commit murder, extortion, and robbery as a top echelon informant for the FBI. Fascinating, yet disturbing read.

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Made me MAD

Whenever I wanted to get upset I'd listen for 3 minutes just hear to the author's monotone voice and use of the word "quote".

The worst audio experience I've ever had to endure. Wow.

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Terrible performance

Could not get past chp 6. Terrible performance. Too many references to personal site. Dry and stilted reading.

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not bad. lousy storyteller<br />

not too bad or good. if u r into mob books its not worth the money.

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  • STUART WOODHOUSE
  • 03-23-16

Goes on a bit!

Story goes on a bit often repeating itself several times, if there's a abridged version this would work better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-21-17

Don't bother

It's like listening to court files / court cases....it's just all a bit clerical and definitely not a gritty look into mob life. Not great. Far to much information about court cases and prosecution files + cases. Draining to listen to

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  • Stephen Cullen
  • 07-05-16

Excellent

Had read the book previously so knew the story but purchased audiobook. very well researched true story which deals with the unholy alliance between Scarpa and his FBI agent handler. Long and entertaining listen.