Hitman

The Untold Story of Johnny Martorano, Whitey Bulger’s Enforcer and the Most Feared Gangster in the Underworld
Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
4 out of 5 stars (121 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Brothers Bulger comes the story of Johnny Martorano, whom the FBI called “the most feared man in the underworld.”

Martin Scorcese’s The Departed barely touched his story, but radio talk show sensation, crime reporter, and Boston Herald columnist, Howie Carr, takes us into the heart of the life of Johnny Martorano. For two decades Martorano struck fear into anyone remotely connected to his world. His partnership with Whitey Bulger and the infamous Winter Hill Gang led to 20 murders for which Johnny would serve only 12 years in prison. Carr also looks at the politicians and FBI agents who aided Johnny and Whitey and at the flamboyant city of Boston which they so ruthlessly ruled. But most of all, Carr depicts Johnny—the most fascinating crime figure Carr has ever encountered. A plethora of paradoxes, he was Mr. Mom by day and man-about-town by night. Surrounded by fast-living politicians, sports celebrities and show biz entertainers, Johnny was charismatically colorful—as charming as he was frightening. After all, he was in the end…a hitman.

After graduating from high school, John Martorano turned down seven football scholarships and instead stayed in Boston.  Hanging out in the notorious Combat Zone, he fell under the guidance of Stephen Flemmi--high ranking Winter Hill mobster and close associate of James "Whitey" Bulger--and by the age of 25, Martorano was a professional killer.  He became one of the Winter Hill Gang's most prolific--and feared--enforcers.  This is the gripping true-life story of Martorano's years killing for the Winter Hill Gang, told in Carr's arresting inimitable style.

©2011 Frandel, LLC (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Howie Carr weaves a frightening tale of unlawful conduct, and it’s all true.” (Bill O’Reilly, Fox News commentator and bestselling author)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book but

I am a huge Howie Carr fan and love his writing (and radio show) but honestly the narrator of this book ruined it for me. He speaks in a fake wise guy manner which is only interrupted by an even worse fake Boston accent. As a life long resident of the area, I cringed each time he did it.

You might not be as affected by this as I was...and honestly it's a great story which is very well written. Worth purchasing but be warned..

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

My audible listening enjoyment has taken a hit

I usually like mafia books, but this one is below mediocre. Although the publisher promoted the book by saying Johnny Mortarano was an unlikely hitman, he's a psychopath, with the lowest moral character, who is among the likeliest to become a murderer and criminal.

The writing has no panache. The author introduces so many characters, that it is extremely difficult to keep track of them. The writing is merely a bland recitation of the events. The story is told through the cross examination of Mortarano through a defense attorney who is trying to impeach Mortarano's credibility. It's a good device - but hey- everything else about the book sucks.

Although the author says Mortarano never went to college, wikipedia says he played football for the Boston College Eagles. He's even listed on the Boston College Eagles, wikipedia page. WTF.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The other side of the story

It’s very interesting to hear a different prospective of the legend of Whitey Bulger and the corruption of authority helping the Boston underworld. This book sheds a lot of light on just how crazy and corrupt things were ran in Boston from top to bottom. If you love mafia books and have followed this gang and the associates in it, you will love it. It’s very detailed and the only thing I had a hard time with was alllllll the different names of alllll the people involved. Got confusing at times even for me and this is my 3rd book from this story. By the end you sort out who’s who and see the overall full picture. I hope or wished they made the movie from this book instead of Black Mass. This one paints the full picture way better.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thought it was great

I’m not from Boston so it was very informative for me. I see some people complained about the accent. I thought it sounded very close having seen Mortarano’s 60 minutes interview. If you like books on the mob you’ll like this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gruesome & Gritty

Grew up in Winter Hill so this was crazy, knew all the locations. Used to walk by the Garage on Broadway on my way to school every morning. Had my first kiss on Marshall St.
Best accent by somebody not from Boston that I've heard. He should get a roll in all Boston movies. Only thing, I cringed everytime, he said "Bahhh-stin", Its "Baugh-sten" with an "awe"...the AH sound is for words with ar in them. The town of Wouborn is "Wuu-ben" and Worchester is "Wuh-sta".
Book is violent and depressing. crazy that it's a true story. Now I need to read something inspiring and uplifting to restore my faith in humanity.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Could not stop listening!! Loved it!

a very interesting Vue into the world of crime that can take place right under our noses. an awesome insight into such a dangerous time in Boston's past and perhaps their future as well. an awesome story about the events that took place. awesome awesome I could not stop listening I loved it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Real life is can be crazier than fiction

It's amazing to to hear about the real hamsters of the world. The ruthlessness of the underworld is far beyond what movies portray.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Book and Story

Excellent reading! Only constructive criticism is that you need consultant from Boston to properly pronounce names and locations.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Howie Carr does it again!

Would you consider the audio edition of Hitman to be better than the print version?

Yes. I found it hard to follow all the little stories, within the story, but listening to the book made it understandable and I was able to follow it, completely.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hitman?

I loved the Q & A banter, between the Prosecutor and John.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book was very well written. I listen to Howie Carr on the radio, almost everyday.
The story was true in the telling and, descriptions clear. Read The Brothers Bulger, then this and get the full story of what happened in Boston's South-end.

Any additional comments?

Can't wait for The Rifleman, to come out in Audio.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A Rare Peak Inside The World of Organized Crime.

A good story. Johnny Martorano becomes an unlikely hero and the FBI takes a couple on the chin.

Illegal gambling, loan sharking, truck hijacking, fencing stolen goods and of course, murder. All in a days work for a tough old Southie guy and his pals.