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Brass Wall

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  64 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
"A modern-day Serpico."
-"Entertainment Weekly" (one of the 10 best books of 2003-nonfiction)
In 1993, Vincent Armanti, Undercover Detective #4126, agreed to infiltrate the branch of the Luchese family responsible for the homicide of a beloved fireman. Already a legend for his past undercover work, Armanti transformed himself into Vinnie "Blue Eyes" Penisi-a veteran hood w
Paperback, 328 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Holt McDougal (first published 2003)
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Peter William Warn
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Summary: An Entertainment Weekly pick as a best non-fiction book of 2003, The Brass Wall is timely and important still. It will be as long as police officers go undercover.


Instinct kicks in when an undercover police officer hears a suspect use a bit of jargon that cops use when speaking to each other. The cop knows that he might be in danger because one of his colleagues on the force might have given information about him to criminals.

It gets worse when the undercover officer confirms his
Apr 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Throgg's Neck residents
Recommended to Michelle by: my Dada
An undercover detective, Vincente Armanti, uses a local Bronx bar as his hangout in an attempt to find the arsonist who set a fire in Queens that killed a fireman. He poses as Vinnie "Blue Eyes" Penisi and soon befriends some men he suspects set the fire. He eventually finds that the hoods he is seeking have been tipped off by someone in the NYPD and are aware of the investigation. Armanti soon fears his cover will be compromised and fears for his life. He finds out that the leak came from the s ...more
Debbie Evancic
True stories are the best. I cheated again and listened to the audio version, but it was interesting to listen to a step by step case regarding an undercover detective, Vincent Armani, in the NYPD. He worked in a narcotics investigation with "wiseguys" and pretended to be Vinnie "Blue Eyes" Penisi, an ex-con.

The name of the book comes from the effort made of Armani of trying to break through a brass wall created by the cops top brass. Armani tells of how he gets sold out by the son of one of the
Any Length
I got this book from the library and didn't realise till I read the first few pages that this was non-fiction. I found the book drawing me in yet disturbing me more and more because one wants to believe that the police is above corruption and if they found a corrupt one among themselves they'd be quick to weed them out. However in this story there is no happy ending in which all the bad guys end up in gaol. However, the bad boys have now been named and at least people can spit at their feet in p ...more
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very well-written and captivating book about the politics and workings of police corruption in New York City. I actually happen to know some of the people and places portrayed very well and David Kocieniewski has captured them very well. I highly recommend this book.
Jim Willse
Jan 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Just catching up with this, although written a few years ago. David K. does great job with a reporter's dream -- a full case file from a pissed-off cop, complete with wiretap transcripts. As a result, it's all on the record. Great narrative of how NYPD stonewalled one of its own.
Oct 01, 2014 rated it liked it
By the end I was so furious at the brass that my head hurt. The political game in law enforcement is something I've spent 20 years being really sick of. And for one dirty cop to turn on his brother makes my blood boil. I wish this wasn't a true story.
Apr 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book had grammatical mistakes and typos all throughout. It made it difficult to read.
Isaac Rodriguez
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very insightful and entrancing look into the world the organized crime and the dangerous life of undercover detective work.
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