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Covert: My Years Infiltrating the Mob Paperback – July 7, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Union Square Press (July 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402767145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402767142
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,010,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. NBA referee Delaney's fascinating account of his prior life as a New Jersey state trooper who infiltrated organized crime will be a must-read for those drawn to Joe Pistone's similar account in Donnie Brasco (or the movie adaptation starring Johnny Depp). In 1975, Delaney was a relative novice in law enforcement when he was tapped by a superior to help build cases against major Mafia families by creating and running a fake business, Alamo Trucking. With the aid of St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times sportswriter Scheiber, Delaney captures perfectly the daily routine and perils of undercover work, and describes the psychological challenges he faced during the three years of Project Alpha: The granite foundation of my self-image... had given way to shifting sands of doubt and worry. While less heralded than Pistone's work, Delaney's achievements—which yielded multiple convictions of members of the Bruno and Genovese families—were significant precursors to the Feds' massive 1980s assault on La Cosa Nostra. Becoming a basketball referee after these proceedings was a return to an early passion of the high school all-state forward and captain of his college team—but the fear, he says, still comes back sometimes. 8 pages of b&w photos. (Feb. 5)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Delaney’s story. . . becomes more intense than overtime in the playoffs.”—Boston Globe

 

“Delaney’s heroic performance during his perilous assignment represents the finest traditions of the New Jersey State Police. My father, the first superintendent of the New Jersey State Police Department, would have been proud of him.”—General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. Army (ret.)
 

“[F]ascinating...a must-read...”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 

“A slam dunk, a bull’s eye and any other glowing mafia or basketball metaphor you can think of.”—Kirkus

 

"Gripping...Fans of such undercover-themed books as Donnie Brasco, or organized-crime exposés like The Valachi Papers, will devour this one.”—Booklist

 

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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A true and gritty story that will keep the reader captivated throughout the entire book.
BillT1620
One part I enjoyed the most was the story about a brief run-in at an NBA game that Delaney was refereeing.
Daniel Yang
Bob Delaney has a story to tell that few people can truly appreciate, let alone relate to.
Mr. Samuel B. R. Monson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Rick Shaq Goldstein on February 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This autobiography of current NBA referee Bob Delaney commences on April 18, 1999 at America West Arena in Phoenix Arizona. As Bob was going through his normal last minute pre-game rituals, he heard a voice from the crowd yelling "Hey Bob!"... "Hey Bob!" Delaney was now in his second decade of refereeing NBA games, and as a veteran he had developed a second skin, or an emotional armor if you will, against hecklers. NBA ref's, just like umpires in baseball learned to simply ignore the boo's and the catcall's that inevitably came with the territory. He'd heard them all: "Hey ref, get it right for once!"... "Hey ref, eat me!"... "Hey ref, your fly's open!"... "Hey ref, you suck!"... "Hey ref, don't quit your day job!"... And one of his personal favorites that rated high on the creativity chart: "Hey Delaney, I've seen better referees at the Foot Locker!" Bob had trained himself not to look at hecklers because that would only encourage them and possibly add fuel to the fire. Then the same voice from the stands yelled: "ALAMO TRUCKING!" All of a sudden every muscle in Bob's body tightened. This fan had information no average fan could possibly have. Delaney's pulse started to race and a prior lifetime of "shadowy" thunder rumbled in his head. Then the same voice yelled: "ALAMO!" Bob looked to the stands into the mega-expensive courtside seats, and the fan is yelling "ALAMO! ALAMO!" Bob looked straight at him and at first had no idea who the fan was, but "ALAMO TRUCKING" was "a loaded reference to a time almost a quarter century before, and a place nearly three thousand miles away on the New Jersey waterfront."

"Bob... it's me... Pat from ALAMO." Then the name, the face, the place and time, all came together in Delaney's hidden memory, unlocking the combination to his secret inner vault.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer E. Lyons on February 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is the book that you can't put down, the one that you read all night long just to find out what's going to happen next. The words leap off the pages as if the events are actually unfolding before your eyes. It is gripping, the best combination of wonderful story and natural story-teller. It's a must-read. Get it today!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Dann on February 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Honestly, couldn't put "Covert" down ! Fast paced, intriguing, and with a happy ending, although my heart was in my mouth for a good part of it ! Writing was consistently superior...all in all, an A+ book!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By BillT1620 on February 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A young New Jersey State Trooper, author Bob Delaney, goes deep undercover in order to infiltrate organized crime at it's highest and lowest level. A true and gritty story that will keep the reader captivated throughout the entire book. Not only does Delaney give a true and closeup look at the mob, but relates how it affected him after working three years undercover. You don't have to be crime drama buff to enjoy this book. It's for everyone. A fantastic read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jim S. Melvin on February 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From childhood on, we all make choices in our lives, some inconsequential, others life-altering. Some of us, depending on what we're made of, make choices that are tough on ourselves but that benefit others. Often, the people who make these kinds of choices are labeled heroes.

Enter Bob Delaney. From early on, his love of family and friends and his respect for the law molded him into a person capable of self-sacrifice. A successful career as a law-enforcement officer was laid out before him, and that is unselfish enough. But Delaney took it further than that, going undercover at great physical and emotional expense to put "bad guys" behind bars. Once this complicated and dangerous deed was accomplished, no one could have blamed Delaney for going into hiding and living the rest of his life in the shadows of fear. Instead, Delaney chose to step into the limelight of professional sports and live life to its fullest.

Covert tells the amazing story of a heroic man who would claim to be anything but a hero. In Delaney's mind, he did a job that needed doing. In Delaney's world, good people fight on the side of good. It's as simple as that.

Covert is a great, thrilling read. But it's more than just a book about true crime or sports; it's a human drama. Delaney and co-author Dave Scheiber of the St. Petersburg Times create a ride that will keep you turning the pages from the time you pick up the book -- and ultimately uplift you.

To judge a man, you first have to walk in his shoes. In Delaney's case, these are big shoes to fill.

-- Jim Melvin, author of The Death Wizard Chronicles, a six-book epic fantasy
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Brunsman on July 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Entertaining read. His story is quite remarkable. You don't come across someone who has his life experiences very often. I would recommend this book very highly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bucky on May 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book by an author who has lived a diversified life, from under cover state trooper to NBA referee. Bob Delaney is a special guy who exposes the mob for the exploitative, amoral group of criminals they are.

Delaney tells a serious story with humor and a style that keeps the reader turning pages. I recommend this book to everyone interested in criminal justice or just a good nonfiction read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Yang on September 25, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading Bobby's book was riveting. Quite honestly, if the source had been made anonymous, it would have been too good of a book to be true. Instead, what we get is hard, no nonsense, mob life history. There's nothing I can say here without spoiling the book, but if you liked "The Departed", you'll love this book. One part I enjoyed the most was the story about a brief run-in at an NBA game that Delaney was refereeing. He recognized the old acquaintance as one that went into the witness relocation program, and there the guy was, 20+ years later, sitting in front row seats, in a nationally televised NBA game. Stories like that brought a smile to my face, and are used as breaks to soften the tense undercover work described in the rest of the book.
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