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Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  495 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
"Petey Chops wasn't kicking up. And if he didn't start soon, he was going to get whacked." So begins Making Jack Falcone, the extraordinary true story of an undercover FBI agent's years-long investigation of the Gambinos, which resulted in a string of arrests that crippled the organized crime family.

But long before Joaquin "Jack" Garcia found himself wearing a wire with
ebook, 416 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Touchstone (first published January 1st 2008)
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Jason Koivu
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part of me wants to be a mobster. Part of me wants to be an undercover agent. Most of me is scared shitless to do either, so I'm happy to live vicariously through the exciting life of Joaquin "Jack Falcone" Garcia.

FBI Agent Garcia spent two and a half years undercover infiltrating the Gambino crime family, specifically targeting capo Greg DePalma, an old school mobster newly out of prison and on the rise within the regime.

Garcia relates his exploits in a conversational fashion that is jovial an
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joaquin 'Jack' Garcia spent 24 of his 26 year career undercover, the last part of it juggling multiple identities plus a young family in real life. Unfortunately, everything I could find in a brief search about this was from Garcia himself or his book. It would have been interesting to see the other points of view, that of his superiors. Perhaps they were paper pushers with no understanding of under cover work, but he sounded like he was wrapped pretty tight. Not surprising given how stressful a ...more
Ron Kopp

I enjoyed this book. Very interesting. Book was well written. If you're into the mob, give it a read. Hi Jessica and Jennifer!
Beth Clarke
Jack's story is very interesting, but the writing is terrible. I wish he had hired a ghost writer to write the book.
Tracy Toth
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is like sitting down with someone from the neighborhood over a beer. Garcia speaks casually, as if he's spewing his tales from the top of his head. It's a sort of a "day in the life of an undercover agent" who happens to be working more undercover cases at once than any agent in history. You get his colorful perceptions of all the dubious characters involved in the criminal enterprises he's slated to take down - from corrupt cops & politicians to drug pushers & mobsters. The ma ...more
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fictiom
Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family by Joaquin "Jack" Garcia with Michael Levin. I have had this book since 2008. I am trying to read through books that I have owned for years and have not read. This was an engaging story of an affable undercover agent in the FBI, who infiltrated the Gambino family in New York. Joaquin "Jack" Garcia was born in Cuba and moved to the United States when he was a young boy. He wanted to be an FBI agent at a time when the FBI was n ...more
Mar 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book, Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family, is highly entertaining.

The book is the story told by Joaquin Garcia, an FBI agent, for 25 years. For almost his entire 25 years as a law enforcement officer, he acts in an undercover role.

Garcia is much like the personality of the book I read recently by Jay Dobyns, No Angel: My Harrowing Undercover Journey to the Inner Circle of the Hells Angels , who was an undercover DEA agent for most of his career as well. The
Paul Pessolano
Jack Garcia was a Cuban immigrant that spent twenty-six years as an undercover agent for the FBI. At six foot four and weighing over 300 pounds not only was he an imposing figure, but also one that would be highly recognizable.

His story borders on the unbelievable in that he was able to infiltrate the Gambino criminal organization, and become so trustworthy that he almost became a "made man", which would have given him unprecedented access to Mafia information.

While he was infiltrating the Mafia
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, justice, jobs
An agent with 25 years’ experience in the Bureau shares some of his greatest busts, from his days as a Cuban émigré to being the FNG (fucking new guy) no one wanted around to becoming only the second FBI plant to be recommended as a made man in the Gambino family – though the operation was shut down and arrests made before that could happen.

It’s a very enjoyable and informative memoir. Garcia doesn’t waste a lot of time with irrelevant early childhood, like too many autobiographies. Instead he
Chris Aylott
Nov 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A retired FBI undercover agent tells the story of how he nearly became a made man with the Gambino family, along with a few side trips into other investigations. Lots of good procedural stuff here, and a compelling portrait of Greg DePalma, an old-school Mafioso who still believes in going to trial and denying the existence of La Cosa Nostra.

What's impressive is how he was able to juggle identities -- sometimes several at once -- over a period of months or years, apparently without ever raising
Jan 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
yeah, it's true crime...
yeah, it's an oral history of an undercover FBI navigating his way into the Mafia...
yeah, it's just chock full'o'annecodotes...
and yeah, I really liked it, Do We Understand Each Other?!


Great biography, filled with the stories of how a Cuban-born boy comes to America, gets the Justice-bug, joins the FBI and ends up undercover and almost a made man in the Gambino Family...really how can you go wrong?

Book is good because is chronicles the newer (less stereotypical)) ge
Dec 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Think Donnie Brasco, but in the 2000s.

I read Donnie Brasco and loved it. I've ready 10 or 20 mafia related books (fiction and non-fiction) and this is one my favorites. After a short description of his early days in the FBI and how he got into undercover work, it delves into his infiltration of the mob.

The book has that same stale ghostwritten feel, but the information and not the prose is what is attractive. Not only does it cover the several years he spent as part of the mob, but Garcia works
Making Jack Falcone is the true story of how Joaquin Garcia infiltrated the Gambino crime family. I like to read about other cultures and lifestyles that I'm not familiar with. Mr. Garcia certainly took me to another world.

At times, he contradicted himself. For example, he said they (the Gambio members he interacted with) had no idea who he was. Later, he says he was worried they suspected him. Also, he said the mob doesn't kill FBI agents, because it would bring the FBI down on them. Later, whe
Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hey who doesn't love another mob tell all. Still instead of going over his whole FBI career, almost to the point of an overabundance of bragging, the author would have been better off sticking to the Jack Falcone part of his career and inserting much more detail. At the end of the book he announces his work in the post Gotti Gambino family brought down 32 LCN members but many of the ones he names as indicted we never or only briefly meet in the book. My guess is if the book sold well he could do ...more
Dieses Buch erzählt die wahre Geschichte des kubanisch-stämmigen FBI-Agenten Joaquin Garcia, der unter dem Namen Jack Falcone in den New Yorker Gambino-Clan eingeschleust wurde. Von der Erzählart her ähnelt das Buch mehr einem Krimi als einem Sachbuch. Allerdings habe ich das Buch nicht selbst gelesen, sondern die ungekürzte Hörbuchfassung gehört. Ursprünglich habe dem Hörbuch wegen seines Unterhaltungswerts vier Sterne gegeben, nachdem ich jetzt aber das wesentlich besser geschriebene Buch "Ehr ...more
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because of this book's lack of literary style, I gave it four stars out of five. Based on the story line, that might not have been fair since this book is as much of a white-knuckler as it is an criminal-world exposé. As Jack Garcia proves here, you have to have nerves of steel, veins full of ice water, the patience of a saint, and a willingness to be VERY uncomfortable to infiltrate "the life" as effectively and frequently as he did. Poets might not enjoy this book. True-crime aficionados surel ...more
Nov 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could not put this book down. If it had been fiction, this wouldn't have been as interesting a read, but being real, it was intriguing. I recommend this book if you enjoy Italian Mafia or crime fighting stories. It was neat to see inside the head of the undercover agent, how he carried himself even in fearful situations. His sense of humor and knack for telling the story is what made this one worthwhile.It's a darn shame that this guy put his life on the line to infiltrate and destroy the Ital ...more
Nov 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard Jack Garcia interviewed on the radio and couldn't wait to read his book. It was a fascinating look at how pervasive the criminal culture is in our society. Law enforcement is at a real disadvantage when everyone just kind of accepts the status quo.

Even more upsetting is that Jack, like so many of us, worked for a government beuracracy. But following administrative nonsense for the FBI could put ones life in danger.

I like that, at the end, her thanked his wife and daughter and realized w
Mar 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've long had a fascination for how the underworld operates, and seems to get away with so much. This is a twist, in that it chronicles a primo undercover FBI agent in his many undercover roles, bringing down hordes of bad guys for many a violation. Most notably, and reflected by the name of the book, "Jack Falcone" (undercover name for his Mafia persona) comes up through the ranks of the Mafia, and is almost a made man when the FBI pulls the plug. I read this book rather fast compared to my usu ...more
Mike F
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Worthwhile, simply because it's a true story about infiltrating the modern mob, with interludes about other undercover operations sprinkled in. I understand Garcia is not a writer, but the conversational style of writing grated on me. Also, this guy is a big fan of himself, which maybe he should be, but the boasting became distracting. The story also has an anti-climax so it never really builds to anything satisfying, but as the author makes sure to let us know, that wasn't his fault, and instea ...more
Tina Petry
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My dads good friend wrote this book. :) well written and keeps your attention the whole time. When reading this book, it really makes you realize how these agents put themselves in danger to make this world a better place. Also, being from South Jersey i recognized so many places these cases transpired. A plus was seeing my dads name mentioned, along with some other agents i know. If you like anything Mob related and true... its a must read!
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joaquin easily pulled me into FBI undercover work as that he's laid back, smart, likeable without having an ego to navigate. I was surprised by his size, which is what kept him from being discovered. This would be a helpful, insightful read for anyone wanting to better understand the mafia hierarchy or who are Godfather fans; I'm not that into the mafia but still found this a highly enjoyable read.
Juan Sanchez
this book caught my eye and had me intrested in reading more everytime. it really pulls you into the seceret violent underworld of the mafia through the eyes of an FBI agent. organized crime is a way of life and the path to big time easy but risky money and the author paints a clear image on every page. this was a good read and i reconmend it to anyone intrested in the on going battle between crime and justice
Clint Mccoy
It was pretty good but as someone else has said... it was a quick read. The narrator seemed very likable so he did keep my interest throughout the novel. I do wish he was made though...would've been a helluva lot more intense. But all in all, if you are interested in true crime and la cosa nostra or anything along those lines you will probably enjoy this.
Jarrad Bock
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography, crime
A great story about an unlikely undercover agent. "Jack" tells a well written story about his trouble with beauracracy as he tried to do his job. His loathing and disappointment shows through his writing while his ability to get so close to his target was unprecedented. A highly worthwhile read
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This was an interesting read, wasnt at all what I expected. I thought it was going to be about one gaze inparticular although the book mostly covered Joaquins encounter with Greg Depalma it was interesting how he built up to that case and going through his history with the FBI. It also gave me some other good books to read on the mob.
Nov 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was scary. True story about a guy who infiltrated the mob and was the reason for a lot of people going to jail. It took place around where we live and many places that we have frequented. Seems like we lived through the trial ourselves. Pretty interesting story-brave guy. Loved the nicknames for many of the characters. Can we eat in Bloomingdales restaurant again?!
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have met Joaquin Garcia, so perhaps my review is not completely unbiased. However, I did enjoy this book, and I liked that his story was told in the manner which he speaks - it wasn't so completely edited that it sounded like someone else's voice. I'd already heard some of these stories, but really enjoyed learning about the bigger picture.
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting Inside Look

I enjoyed reading the inner-workings of various Criminal organizations, how they were infiltrated and manipulated, as well as how "Jack" somehow kept his cool along the way.

At times repetitive, I still thoroughly enjoyed the read.

If you have any interest in Crime, the Mob, undercover work, or what really happens outside of the Movies - read this.
David Carraturo
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and not only because I was familiar with DePalma and the area he worked out of. This story was very well told and incredibly entertaining. My new book, Columbus Avenue Boys also has characters based off of Greg DePalma and his crew.
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“I couldn’t get on the phone and say, “Bim, I’m going to White Plains. Follow me.” Instead, I hoped that he would notice us heading away in my H2 and discreetly follow us. I drove slowly, as usual, so I wouldn’t lose my tail. My torpor behind the wheel always drove Greg crazy. “You drive like an old lady!” he complained. “Hurry up, Jackie boy! It takes you a fucking hour to drive what it takes me half an hour!” “I always go slow,” I told him. “I get flashbacks from an accident I had when I was a kid.” If Greg had been in a hurry, he would have told me, “We gotta get there fast. You’re not fucking driving.” I’d follow him and pretend to get lost, just to zing him. But that wasn’t happening this time. We were all in one car, my car, and I still had no idea what we were doing. On the way, Greg finally explained the nature of our mission. “We’re going to Bloomingdale’s,” he said. “We’re going to find that cocksucker Petey Chops.” Okay, so today’s not my day to get killed. That’s a positive. But why would we look for a recalcitrant Mafia soldier in a department store? Greg volunteered no more information, and as a member of his crew, I was in no position to inquire.” 0 likes
“Mob guys don’t buy retail.” 0 likes
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