Lisa's Reviews > The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer

The Ice Man by Philip Carlo
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's review
May 06, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, non-fic, true-crime, pass-me-my-pills
Recommended to Lisa by: My entire family raving about it
Read from May 03 to 06, 2012 , read count: 1

I got chills, they're multiplying....Nope, nothing to do with Danny Zuko but Richard Kuklinski (aka The Iceman) greased a hell of a lot of people, and this is a riveting, chilling account of his life and crimes.

Having had a truly horrific childhood that did away with whatever humanity he had to start with, Richard was already a killer by the age of 13. Discovering a fearsome talent for murder he was already killing for sport by the time he was tapped to carry out contracts for various Mob families, and continued indulging in his hobby alongside his mob work leading to a truly terrifying trail of dead people behind him. The likes of Gacy and Bundy seriously have nothing on this guy.

While he did have some form of a code - women and children were strictly off-limits (though that didn't stop him from being violently abusive to his own wife) - anyone else was fair game and you could terrifyingly find yourself killed for such misdemeanours as being a bad driver, flipping him off or even just for walking your dog down the street when he's got a new weapon he wants to try out. Even worse were the various tortures Kuklinski thought up for those who 'had to suffer'. When even hardened gangsters are sickened, you know you're in a different world altogether.

Compiled from hundreds of hours of interviews, while it's contents are sensational this never felt sensationalised and was instead written in an matter-of-fact, unhistrionic way with the author's voice never becoming intrusive, quietly putting you firmly in Kuklinski's shoes and giving you a picture of all the sides of the man, not just the killer.

Also looking at how he was caught, I have to admire the size of the balls on the detectives that went after Kuklinski, and particularly on Polifrone who got to chum up to him undercover, continuing to meet with him even knowing from the phone taps that the Ice Man was planning on killing him. That must have been some high-octane nightmare fuel...

Highly recommended, but this one's definitely not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.
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Reading Progress

05/05/2012 page 198
46.0% "So that's what happened to Jimmy Hoffa...yeesh."
05/06/2012 page 360
83.0% "These detectives must have nerves of steel...screw meeting him knowing he's planning on killing you!"

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Helen I really enjoyed this, and even found Richard weirdly likeable!

Lisa is a cracking read, I must admit, though I'm not too sure about the likeability factor! :-D

Helen Well, likeable as far as hit-men go! This is worth a watch if you've not seen it already

Lisa Thanks for the link Helen - I've seen a programme on him previously, but not that one. It's a great watch.

I know what you mean about him though - I can certainly empathise with him over certain things and, like most good sociopaths, he's very good at turning on the charm when he wants to. I'm just up to him courting Barbara...

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