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A Brotherhood Betrayed: The Man Behind The Rise And Fall Of Murder Inc.

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  84 reviews
The riveting true story of the rise and fall of Murder, Inc. and the executioner-turned-informant whose mysterious death became a turning point in Mob history.

In the fall of 1941, a momentous trial was underway that threatened to end the careers and lives of New Yorks most brutal mob kingpins. The lead witness, Abe Reles, had been a trusted executioner for Murder, Inc.,
...more
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published October 6th 2020 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  139 ratings  ·  84 reviews


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Char
Oct 22, 2020 marked it as dreaded-dnf  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 40%. This is usually the type of mob story that I adore, but for whatever reason, it's not keeping my interest at this time. Perhaps I'll try again in a few months.
Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for the opportunity.
Valerity (Val)
This is a well-written mob story about Murder, Inc. that I enjoyed recently. It tells the tale of the group that was formed to handle the punishments or hits for the mob after the families became equal under the Commission. This was brought about by Lucky Luciano when he killed the last of the Mustache Petes, who insisted on doing things the old way, with one boss having to be in charge over everyone. This cleared the way for Jews to now be part of it too, among other changes.

The families could
...more
Janet
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book and many more today. (I have played a "zillion games" of scrabble, done a "zillion crosswords" and I AM BORED!!!)

I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the
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3 no 7
Nov 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
A Brotherhood Betrayed documents the history of Murder, Inc. probably the worst ring of killers in American history. The tale begins at the end on November 12, 1941, in Brooklyn; Abe Reles, the assassin-in-chief, plummeted from a hotel room to his death on a roof below. What follows is a look at how the participants came to this point in time, how the mob came to wield so much power and wreak so much havoc on the world. It is compelling and frightening. The dark true-life opera unfolds as ...more
Dee Arr
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
I had heard of Murder, Inc. before but, other than a rudimentary knowledge of being connected with the Mafia, I had never bothered to investigate further Author Michael Cannell gave me what I needed, and more.

The book goes into great detail starting when Abe Reles was just another punk on the street to his eventual rise as the shot caller of Murder, Inc., and all the way to his time in court and his eventual demise. While the description talks about the court case, the majority of the book
...more
Kristin Sledge
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you so much to the publishers and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

A Brotherhood Betrayed follows the rise and fall of Abe Reles, one of the main members of the notorious Murder Inc. This book follows his life and how he would eventually turn on those he worked for and become an informant with law enforcement, only to be found dead before he could testify in court.

Let me begin this review by saying that this is not my usual genre for reading. I am almost completely
...more
Misty
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review!
Ive read many mafioso books since my mafia history my class at IUB. I find it fascinating that a large group could run the government, town and community based on their money and scare tactics. Especially when there is that much power and the law can get someone to turn on that said power.
This book does a great job fleshing out what it took to have the guts to testify and become an informant. Unlucky for our guy, he doesnt
...more
Casey Wheeler
This book is an engaging history of the development of the Commission, by Lucky Luciano, which comprised the five main Mafia families and the role that Abe Reles played in the organization of Murder, Inc. which took care of problems for the Commission and his role in bringing down some of the major players by becoming a snitch for the District Attorney. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the events that took place involving the battle between the Commission and the Law.

I
...more
Laura Gavel-Kanalas
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Netgalley, Michael Cannell and St. Martin's Press for the ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

If you are a fan of Goodfellas, Boardwalk Empire, or just a lover of American history.. especially the darker side, this one is for you! The story itself, is fascinating and fast paced the character research is well developed ,I had to remind myself several times that this is a true story. All too many times movies sensationalize lives of gangsters, the author does an amazing job
...more
Philip Zozzaro
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
November 12, 1941-Coney Island, New York

A body is found, having plummeted six stories from his room at the Half Moon Hotel. His voice is silenced, the damage had been done, but the Made Men could finally sleepFor Now.

The treacherous world of the Mafia was gobsmacked with the defection of hitman Abe Kid Twist Reles in 1940. Reles was the cog in the murder machine dubbed Murder, Incorporated. Murder, Inc was composed of a hodgepodge of Jewish and Italian men who murdered at the whim of their
...more
Harold
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
The definitive work on this subject is "Murder Inc." by Sid Feder and Burton Turkus. It was First published in 1951 and is still available. Turkus was the actual Assistant D.A. who successfully prosecuted seven of the members of Murder Inc. All seven went to the electric chair, including Lepke Buchallter, who was the first high up (and so far...only) organized crime figure to get the death penalty. Abe Reles, the main subject of "A Brother Hood Betrayed" was the informer who made the ...more
Donna Boyd
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to #NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for providing me with a digital copy of this book prior to publication in exchange for my honest review. A Brotherhood Betrayed is a well researched, well written true story about the history of Murder, Inc., a name that journalist Harry Feeney of the World-Telegram gave to organized crime during the 1930s and 1940s. Started by Louis Lepke Buchalter in 1933, the group of executioners would basically kill anyone for money, and they killed ...more
Jo Beth
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review: A Brotherhood Betrayed (The Man Behind the Rise and Fall of Murder, Inc.) by Michael Cannell

My thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

The man referred to in the title is Abe Reles. I chose to read this book, because I am a huge fan of stories, movies, podcasts, and articles, about organized crime and the criminal elements involved in such activities. I actually enjoy almost all true crime TV shows and podcasts, but these about organized crime
...more
Bonnye Reed
I received a free electronic ARC of this telling of intimate details of the rise and fall of the Murder, Inc. crowd from Netgalley, Michael Cannell, and St. Martin's Press - Minotaur Books. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this history piece of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of the work.

Michael Cannell takes us into the inner reaches of the New York mob connections during the 1940s. And he does take us there, with colorful prose and
...more
Paula
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Michael Cannell put a lot of research into this book and all the underworld bosses. There are quite a few names, but it doesn't get confusing the way it's laid out.

Murder Inc. was created to take care of the snitches, insubordination or anyone who went against the grain. Sometimes it involved someone they grew up with and were best friends with. Sometimes it went all the way up the chain to judges and DA's.

This was a very interesting book and had a lot of interesting information in it.

Thank you
...more
Karen Parisot
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely riveting true crime story about the campaign to destroy organized crime and racketeering in New York City in the 1940s. For me, its the best kind of nonfiction, that which is written in a narrative style. The author has done his homework and this book reflects that. His writing draws you in, and never lets go. It reads like a thriller wrapped around a mystery. I cant recommend this enough. It will blow you away! ...more
Debra Pawlak
Jun 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance reading copy (arc) of this book from NetGalley.com in return for a fair review. Let's face it...gangsters can be fascinating and a group of gangsters who arranged murders at the request of mob figures are even more intriguing. This book details the elite group of killers known as Murder, Inc. They worked out of a New York candy store known as Midnight Rosie's. Honest! Here they sat waiting for a phone call, a message, or a visit that would send them out on their next ...more
Jo Beth
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review: A Brotherhood Betrayed (The Man Behind the Rise and Fall of Murder, Inc.) by Michael Cannell

My thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

The man referred to in the title is Abe Reles. I chose to read this book, because I am a huge fan of stories, movies, podcasts, and articles, about organized crime and the criminal elements involved in such activities. I actually enjoy almost all true crime TV shows and podcasts, but these about organized crime
...more
Monica
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love True Crime books and this one I enjoyed a lot. Who doesn't like a book that makes you wonder who did it?

Michael Cannell wrote a well researched book on Murder, Inc. Murder, Inc. was the mafias way of getting rid of snitches, people who offended them, or just anyone they wanted to get rid of. It was told what who needed to go by the Commission. The Commission were the Italian and Jewish bosses in the 1920's to the mid 1940's.

Abe Reles, who the book is about, was the leader of Murder,
...more
Mary Scanlon
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first mob-related book and I found it fascinating. The story delves into the growth of the mob family in Brownsville, New York - a neighborhood in Brooklyn. Abe Reles, a mob murder man and enforcer, works his way up through the ranks to become the enforcer that everyone turns to, this gives him an unimaginable of power over those below - and above him. When Reles feels the law is coming for him, he quickly starts to sing. Thanks to a memory most people would be jealous of, Reles ...more
Jordan
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I received an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review of the book.

A thoroughly researched book that delves into the early days of organized crime when it was a lose outfit of various ethnic crews who come together as The Commission and "policed" by Murder, Inc. Most people associate organized crime, of The Mafia/Mob, with Italians and the more modern families, this book goes further back starting with the aid Prohibition gave to the small gangs. This book is both informative and
...more
Kami Boley
May 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Assuming that this book has been thoroughly researched and fact-checked . . . its a wealth of historical information about the mafia.

I write mid-century historical fiction heavily steeped in sultry southern Louisiana culture, including figures involved in the New Orleans based crime syndicate . . . I find this book is a valuable resource for connecting the major players to their fellow tradesmen further north.

Abe Reles was a man who knew too much, a mobster who turned informant, a voice that
...more
Cindy Lauren
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
The worst part of this book is that it is true. How or what has to happen to people to allow them to do such horrible, miserable and hateful things defies my understanding. Those that make it a profession are even more disturbing. So reading this book, with all the veracity it contained, was painful.

The hypocrisy of these people also reveals their depravity- hurting and killing people, and all the sorrow those acts bring with them- are the job. Yet when they have to consider consequences of
...more
Tom Schulte
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This is largely the engaging criminal career of Abraham "Kid Twist" Reles, the New York mobster hit man for Murder, Inc., the enforcement contractor for The Syndicate. Besides his crimes and that of his associates is their roles in testifying against each other. This includes much about the career of future  Governor of New York, Thomas E. Dewey, before the "Dewey Defeats Truman" headline. Also covered is the shady District Atty O'Dwyer and mobster Anastasia. It is interesting to read of the ...more
DP Lyle
May 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murder, Inc did exactly what its moniker would suggest. When the mafia powers needed to eliminate a problem or settle a score or deliver a message, they called on Murder, Inc. Abe Reles was part of the machine. A hitman with great skill and loyalty. But, then he became an informant, a rat as it were, and helped bring down the organization he helped build. This is a slice of Americana that many would prefer to forget but must remember. Michael Cannell has brought this story alive with novel-like ...more
Jennifer Barten
This isn't the type of book I would normally read but the photo and synopsis drew me in.
Overall it was a good book and taught me a lot about a world that I knew nothing about.
The book though had a lot of downtime in it and I found myself skimming parts of the book. It also had a lot of people mentioned and a lot of nicknames in it that made it hard to keep it all straight at times.
If this is a world you are interested in though, I highly recommend this book and am glad I read it, as I learned
...more
Cindy Stamm
There was so much information and such detailed accounts of events that this book was slightly confusing. I tended to get a bit weighed down by the content. The events were well researched, but I got a bit bored in the middle.
Ben Batchelder
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it

New York may never represent the best in America, but it has long been the most colorful.

Michael Cannell, a former editor at the New York Times, has now written a second love letter, packed with colorful details, to the New York that was. His appreciation of journalistic hacks in prior writings is now augmented by that of gangsters, specifically the Murder Inc. mobsters from Prohibition through WWII. Midway through the book I realized what a great read it is for these newly dark days of the
...more
Susan McGrath
Sep 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I received an Advance Readers Edition of A Brotherhood Betrayed by Michael Cannell from the publisher (Minotaur Books). A Brotherhood Betrayed is scheduled for release on October 6, 2020.

A Brotherhood Betrayed is the true story of one man (Abe Reles) who rose to prominence within the mob before turning and giving evidence against them. While in protective custody, Reles is found dead on the hotel roof under his window. Cannell explores how Reles actions as a mob man turned evidence might have
...more
Juli
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Given the many True Crime novels, podcasts and youtube videos that I enjoy....and my love of history...one would think that I probably would have learned a bit about the history of organized crime and the mob along the way. But when I first learned this book was coming out, I realized that organized crime, its origins, downfall, and key players are really a gaping hole in my knowledge of American history. I've pretty much avoided the subject and I'm not sure why. Instead of pondering why my ...more
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Michael Cannell is the author of three non-fiction books: "Incendiary: The Psychiatrist, the Mad Bomber and the Invention of Criminal Profiling"; "The Limit: Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit" and "I.M Pei: Mandarin of Modernism." Michael edited the House & Home section of The New York Times for seven years. He has contributed to The New Yorker, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and ...more

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