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19
3.5 out of 5 stars
The Enforcer - Spilotro: The Chicago Mob's Man Over Las Vegas
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 13 July 1998
Growing up in the Chicago area, I am familiar with some of the charecters in this book. Roemer has written a good book here, but not one that is as good as the book he wrote on Accardo. It could be because of the subject matter, I think that is the reason why. Even though Spilatro was just a soldier, he was responsible for a very large territory and had to answer to the boss himself. The book does show how Tony let this responsibility go to his head and how he thought he was bigger than he really was. All in all it is not a bad book, I think that it could of been a little more focused. Roemer seemed to jump from setting to setting, losing the reader.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 1999
roemer does a good job informing the reader of the happenings of the chi-town mob and its links with the rest of the mid-west families and of course las vegas. even though i enjoyed this book, roemer jumps around too much and seemed content to "blow his own horn" too many times. i wish he would've stayed focused on "The Ant" instead of patting himself on the back and jumping back and forth throughout the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 1999
I thought that this book is great for anyone who wishes to gain a better understanding of the Chicago Mafia, organized crime, and law enforcement in general. When people think of the Mafia, they tend to lean towards New York as "the model". Little do they know that Chicago, commonly referred to as the "Second City", has a serious history, and are forces to be reckoned with. Bill Roemer Jr. tells all in this book, from an FBI agent's point view of course. He weaves a web of important players in the Chicago Outfit, with chilling accounts from characters such as Tony Accardo aka "Joe Batters", the outfit's most respected and feared leader/counselor. The inside scoop on Sam Giancana, Joey Aiuppa, and Joe Ferriola a few of the many Mob Bosses depicted. A must read chilling chapter on "Mad" Sam DeStefano will leave the insides of your stomach churning! You will see how Tony Spilotro(the cover boy)fits into the scheme of things, and after reading this book and watching CASINO, you will see how the two resemble each other almost identically, scary!! Pick this book up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 1998
Actually the 5 stars are for Roemer himself, HE actually suggested I read this. We both had a FOIA request on "The Little Guy" since 1991, both of us intent on writing on this paradox of a man. Although I tend to agree with Smithp@nevada.edu, in that Roemer fails to capture the essence of this extraordinary and YOUNG figure in LCN. Spilotro rose quickly in the ranks and very well could have made it to the top if he hadn't succumbed to his own desires. I must admit, even though he "beat me to the punch" in writing on "The Ant", Roemer did misquote a few dates in Tony's life. But this is a must-read book for anyone wanting info on the Chicago MOB as it was then. New York now has the upper hand in Las Vegas affairs. But then again, is it ANY surprise Roemer passed away exactly TEN years to the DATE Spilotro did? Way to go Roemer ^i^ You were a fine G man, no matter what anyone says! And about the only one who knew how to "stick it to" the top Outfit guys and do it with CLASS :)
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on 26 March 2014
This book is the most well written account of the Mob`s activity in Las Vegas. The author tells the story from first hand account in most instances as he was involved in the investigation of Tony Spilotro from early on in Spilotro`s "career". Although the book is mainly about Spilotro, the author did a great job of telling the story about how Las Vegas went from being a small desert town to the gambling mecca it became and how the mob helped build it along the way and eventually infiltrate its casinos, as well as fascinating details off how the casinos were "skimmed" by the mob. There is very good background information about the situation prior to Tony`s arrival in Vegas and the book also gives a very good insight into the inner workings of the Chicago Mob (and the main players at the time) based on the authors first hand experience investigating some of them.

The book is written like the author is sitting there with you recounting the story to you over drinks ! Its quite refreshing and Roemer shows a great sense of humour while recounting this story. This book reveals the true nature of how Organized the Outfit is. There is also fascinating details about how Chicago mobsters controlled the famous Teamsters union pension fund and how the US government went after various crime families in the Mid-West such as the Cleveland , Kansas and Milwaukee crimes families which were answerable to Chicago. There is also details about the Mobs activity in California and overall I would say this book not only is a good biography about Spilotro but also about the Mob in general from Chicago going all the way to the west coast. A thoroughly enjoyable book !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 1997
The author tried to capture the complex character of Anthony Spilotro on paper. Despite the effort, the Spilotro in the book is almost an ordinary hoodlum. He was, in fact, an extremely successful criminal who stayed out of jail most of his life. Roemer's book misses the mark, as did Scorsese's "Casino" in capturing the enigmatic "Little Guy" of Las Vegas.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 1998
I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who ever saw the movie Casino. If you also love Las Vegas and the mafia, then Iwould recommend this to you also.
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on 5 June 2014
its just tedious. great big lists of agents and codenames where it should be about what actually happened. roemer was no doubt a fine agent but he's a terrible storyteller, and his ghostwriter wants shooting for putting his name to this. roemer also apparently - he says this in the book - had no direct involvement with spilotro later and the book really tails off toward the end. the beginning isnt too bad but we don't really find out much about spilotro when he was at his peak. nicholas pileggi's casino is a much better book on the same subject.
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on 4 September 2015
Having many many Mafia books I was rather disappointed with this one,it seemed a large part of it was devoted to telling us how good the author and his colleagues were their job and lets face it their job was partly done for them by the turncoats.icant give it more than 3 stars who ratted on their "freinds". I cant give it more than 3 stars as it did nothing different than other mob books for me,it just did it slower and although I stuck with it I would not recommend it to any devotee of Mafia books.
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on 29 January 2014
Avoid.cop records of the ant, dont really get you closer to the subject and the hidden workings of the mafia in vegas.j roemer was not even based in vegas and to say he was a constant thorn in the side of the subject is laughable.the style of writing roemer uses is very irritatating after awile with constant reference to police politics and procedures which would interest only cops themselves.surprisingly few details of how and why tony became this man who ran las vegas.truly dissapointing book
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