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Summary

Even in Chicago, a city steeped in mob history and legend, the Family Secrets case was a true spectacle when it made it to court in 2007. A top mob boss, a reputed consigliere, and other high-profile members of the Chicago Outfit were accused in a total of 18 gangland killings, revealing organized crime's ruthless grip on the city throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

Painting a vivid picture of murder, courtroom drama, family loyalties and disloyalties, journalist Jeff Coen accurately portrays the Chicago Outfit's cold-blooded - and sometimes incompetent - killers and their crimes in the case that brought them down. In 1998 Frank Calabrese Jr. volunteered to wear a wire to gather evidence against his father, a vicious loan shark who strangled most of his victims with a rope before slitting their throats to ensure they were dead. Frank Jr. went after his uncle Nick as well, a calculating but sometimes bumbling hit man who would become one of the highest-ranking turncoats in mob history, admitting he helped strangle, stab, shoot, and bomb victims who got in the mob's way, and turning evidence against his brother Frank.

©2009 Jeff Coen (P)2017 Tantor

Critic reviews

"[A] revealing, shocking book . . . superbly crafted." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Family Secrets

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Really Enjoyable, but...

I really enjoyed this book, but I never got a true sense of The Outfit's operations and how important Nick was, other than the fact he did pieces of work and was involved in extortion, etc. I would have liked to have heard his story better, rather than one told solely through Court transcripts.

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Very Good

An extremely well written & performed account of the Chicago Mob with no punches pulled.

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  • Esha
  • 08-07-19

“You Do It”

Great true crime story. The performance is the best part. You literally feel your there at the trial of Joey the Clown, Jimmy Marcelo, & Frank Calabrese Sr. I’ve listened to it 3-4 times.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon
  • 05-08-20

Really hard core .

Talks about many big name gangsters.Very informative one of the best mob books ever The Chicago outfit was is big.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joyelle
  • 16-06-18

good story tons of detail

good read holds your attention even though its full of detail it doesn't get boring.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Leslee Beyers
  • 10-01-19

I wouldn't......

This is hard to listen to, between the narrator and the story, it just doesn't hold ones attention.

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  • Michael Riismandel
  • 21-09-18

What a bore!

The book is way too verbose with trivial details. I wouldn’t read this again if a gun was held to my head.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jeffery D. Giuliani
  • 22-01-18

Not very good at all.

Would you try another book from Jeff Coen and/or Matthew Boston?

If your big into mafia and audio-books, you will hate this book. First, it sounds like a 1970-80's read. Second, the narrator is awful. But if you can get past that, the data it conveys is interesting. They go into a lot of nonsense that doesn't need to be in the book and duplicate things unnecessarily.

1 person found this helpful