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Blue Thunder: How the Mafia Owned and Finally Murdered Cigarette Boat King Donald Aronow Hardcover – November 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (November 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671663216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671663216
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #901,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Millionaire Donald Aronow was a handsome speedboat designer and world champion racer who hobnobbed with the rich and lived in the fast lane. In 1987 he was gunned down in a hail of bullets. In this fast-paced narrative that involves the Mafia, drug traffickers, and the U.S. government, Burdick and Mitchell say Aronow was fingered by the Columbian drug lords angered that he built drug-interception boats. The authors allege a cover-up that protects the mob, drug smugglers, and government agencies. Despite the sensational nature of the story, this book is first-rate investigative journalism and is recommended for public libraries.
- Ron Chepesiuk, Win throp Coll., Rock Hill, S.C.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 1998
Format: Hardcover
If you have an interest in offshore racing, take the time and read this compelling book about the father of the the industry. Ever heard of Thunderboat row? Find out the impact he had on some of the largest manufacturers in the country, and their attempts to to keep him out of the boat building business. You will learn about the rise and murder of Don Aronow and how state law enforcement of Florida(at the time led by the infamous Janet Reno) either bungled the investigation, or for whatever reason, let his death go unsolved. You will learn of the allegation that Don Aronow had ties to the mob, South American drug smugglers, and to the DEA. At the end you can surmise what you will of what his life was about, but you can't take away what he meant to the sport of offshore racing. Read it and pay homage.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Williams on April 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is wild speculation with absolutely no facts to justify the assertion that Don Aronow was a "Mafia-associated drug runner." Burdick assumes that because Don Aronow was successful as a businessman in New Jersey that he had to have ties to the Mafia. But he offers no real facts support this conclusion. Burdick has few, if any documents, just speculative quotes or opinions from people on the fringe of the investigation. He quotes one Mafia-type source in Miami as telling him that Ben Kramer's father Jack was married to Mafia kingpin Meyer Lansky's niece. Burdick just accepts this as a fact without bothering to check any offical documents, like marriage licenses or birth records. This is the type of slipshod reporting this book is filled with. After the book came out, several of Burdick's primary sources stated that Burdick took what they said completely out of context or just plain misquoted them. Also, Burdick chose to write and publish the book before the Miami Police released their file of confidential documents. He did not have access to these documents and when they became public, they completely blew his Mafia hit theory out of the water. The Miami Police investigators checked out the rumor that Aronow was involved with drug dealing and the Mafia and have always denied that they found any connection. Without doubt, the biggest blow to the book's credibility is that Burdick named the two Chicago hit men that he claimed killed Aronow. Since then, TWO OTHER MEN pled guilty to killing Aronow. It is clear that Thomas Burdick began his research with the conclusion that Aronow was owned by and killed by the Mafia, and he twisted the facts anyway necessary to support his theory. A much better book on this subject is the 1998 Arthur Jay Harris book "Speed Kills." Also, the 2003 A&E City Confidential program about Don Aronow's murder gives a clear and concise picture of how the killing actually took place.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ron in Atlanta on November 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have recently purchased a classic Donzi speedboat and have become very interested in the origins of the Donzi Boat Company and the designer, Don Aronow.

I was looking for a book about speedboats and the men who design and race them. "Blue Thunder" was not that book. This is a book about a murder and far too much detail about the investigation of the crime and far too little about the man and the boats he designed. In addition to reporting on the crime itself, this writer filled the book with his own or hearsay rumors and innuendo about what happened. Kind of reminds me of those late night TV "documentaries" about how aliens may have landed on earth and built the pyramids. Phrases like, "when seen from the air, the pyramids seem to align and could be pointing the way to Alpha Centauri!". That sort of subjective "reporting" fills the book.

Essentially, this is a book for conspiracy theorists, not a book for those who enjoy being out on the water with a classic boat and want to know more about its history.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book has to be the best summary of politics, drug running, the offshore powerboat industry, the Mafia, crime, corruption and intrigue that I have ever read!! Aronow was an old friend of my family's in New Jersey and when he got murdered we all waited for the book to come out, sure enough it did and was excellent. If you love the mob, fast boats, fast cars, fast horses and beautiful women, BLUE THUNDER is a MUST READ!! Enjoy . . . . .

H.L., Florida
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Klein on November 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written investigative reporting of an unsolved murder involving a who's-who list of characters including Don Aronow, Meyer Lansky, and George H.W. Bush. Fascinating true tale that finally solves the mystery, if the authorities wanted it to be solved.
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By DuWayne on December 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are into the Mob thing or interested in the history of powerboats industry you should enjoy. What I wonder is how many boats did he really sell?
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By samuel Rees on August 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book really goes into the detail of Don Arronows life and gives you a great insite into how Arronow was
in with the Mafia.
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By Maureen Fagan on March 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Burdick's journalistic flair is apparent; he draws in the reader by keeping the action flowing. His research into the mystery is extensive and he includes a cast of hundreds, if not thousands. Anyone familiar with the story has his or her own ideas about whodunnit and the author has presented most of the theories.
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