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Paperback Book Details
  • 10/2019
  • 9781733526401
  • 406 pages
  • $21.95
Joe Broadmeadow
Author, Service Provider
It's Just the Way It Was: Inside the War on the New England Mob and Other Stories
n It's Just the Way It Was: Inside the War on the New England Mob and other stories, Joe Broadmeadow and Brendan Doherty take you inside the investigations, covert surveillances, and murky world of informants in the war against Organized Crime. Make no mistake about it, it was a war targeting the insidious nature of the mob and their detrimental effect on Rhode Island and throughout New England. Indeed, the book reveals the extensive nature of Organized Crime throughout the United States. From the opening moments detailing a mob enforcer's near death in a hail of gunfire to the potentially deadly confrontation between then Detective Brendan Doherty and a notorious mob associate, Gerard Ouimette, this book puts you right there in the middle. Most books on the mob tell a sanitized story of guys who relished their time as mobsters. As Nicholas Pileggi, author of "Wiseguys," put it, "most mob books are the egomaniacal ravings of an illiterate hood masquerading as a benevolent godfather." This is not that kind of book. This is the story of the good guys. It's just the way it was.
Reviews
Doherty, a retired Rhode Island state trooper, recounts his life and career fighting New England’s old-school mobsters in this low-key collection of anecdotes anchored by short historical interludes. Doherty started his career in 1980, but his familiarity with the state’s notorious mobs began far earlier. He had family members on both sides of the law and grew up with an intimate understanding of how men in the mob operate. His career investigating organized crime and public corruption coincided with a sea change in organized crime: the end of old-school, omertà-style loyalty along ethnic and family lines and a new generation of tech-infused criminal entrepreneurship.

Mentioning but not analyzing this cultural evolution, Doherty, aided by author Broadmeadow (Silenced Justice), focuses closely on the colorful characters he encountered over his storied career. Some of these, such as Raymond Patriarca Sr., will be familiar to anyone with an interest in New England’s Mafia families. Doherty expertly depicts the psychology of men steeped in organized crime from their childhood, demonstrating insight and sympathy. The pages are populated with men of inner duality, brutal killers who donated monthly to their churches and cried during their mothers’ funerals, who flagrantly broke the law but respected the troopers who enforced it.

The authors briefly mention big events such as the Rhode Island credit union crisis but don’t discuss them in depth. Without this context, the anecdotes don’t offer much for readers of history. Doherty is a delightful storyteller, but his tales sometimes wander and feel repetitive, and his personal experiences can’t carry 400 pages alone. This memoir is a beach read for true crime fans, less intense than a thriller but with plenty of humor and character to keep the reader entertained.

Takeaway: These loosely organized reminiscences of a Rhode Island state trooper who took on the mob will entertain New England Mafia history buffs.

Great for fans of Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill’s Whitey, Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier’s Crimetown podcast.

Production grades
Cover: B-
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: B
Editing: C
Marketing copy: B-

Amazon

"Brendan Doherty & Joe Broadmeadow's new book " It's Just the Way It Was: Inside the War on the New England Mob and other stories" is a gripping, in-depth, insider point of view from the lawman who saw it all. The Federal Hill politics of the street law & order, decided with the barrel of a gun, will never be told better... " 
Joe Pantoliano
Ralphie Cifaretto from 
The Soprano's

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 10/2019
  • 9781733526401
  • 406 pages
  • $21.95

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