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The Sting Man: Inside Abscam Paperback – December 2, 2013
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About the Author
A veteran reporter of over twenty-seven years, Robert W. Greene was a Senior Staff Investigator for the New York City Anti-Crime Committee and an investigator for the U.S. Senate. As a reporter for Newsday, he headed investigative teams that twice won the Pulitzer Prize gold medal. He was also president of the Investigative Reporters and Editors Group. He died in 2008.
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Well it's not. This book is a narrative and despite having a captivating topic Green's writing is dull. This story is just series after series of tedious and drab sting scenes. At times it feels that Green literally rewrote evidence files and tapes and paid absolutely no attention to setting the scene, building characters or giving the reader what could have been an electric atmosphere.
If you enjoy reading about dubious characters and elaborate set-ups then you should give this book a go but if you like your stories written with some flair and style you're better off giving this one a miss.
The real story is much more complex and entertaining than the imaginings of the script writers for the movie. You'll learn a lot about different sorts of scams - with gems of wisdom interspersed from Mel on how to get away with them. In the movie - the Mayor of Camden was portrayed as a semi-innocent likeable pawn in the machinations of Abscam. In fact - he was really the central character who made it all happen. And he was not at all innocent, his hand was out from the minute he was approached, and although he was likeable, he was also a crook.
It appeared about that time (has anything changed? I sort of doubt it..) that any politician in NJ at the time had a price and was happy to be on the take. While several politicians did turn down the bribe offers - not a single one ever reported the offers to the authorities. Not a one. It seems as the case that NJ had the best politicians money could buy, but they weren't alone in that - other politicians from other states were approached, some participated and were arrested, some demurred - but again - not a one ever reported it.
Great and entertaining - at times very funny - book. Highly recommend it.
It is a fast read with plenty of names dropped. If reading the f- bomb a lot bothers you this may not be for you. There are a large number of direct quotes by people whose language evolves around that word and its derivatives.