Book Analysis





This papercoherently and rigorously analyses various books as listed below. Itgives a critical review and sophistication of the insight the bookspresent to readers.

  • The Ice Man (Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer) by Philip Carlo

  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

  • The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

  • The House of Grief by Helen Garner

  • Wise Guys by Nicholas Pileggi

  • Murder Machine by Gene Mustain &amp Jerry Capeci

  • The Story of Roy Albert DeMeo

  • Blood Covenant by Michael Franzese

  • All Souls by Michael MacDonald

  • An Irish Mafia Story (The True Story of the Infamous West End Gang)

  • Telling True Stories by Mathew Ricketson

  • Five Families (Mafia Gangs)

Inthis regard, the analysis takes each book separately and evaluatesthe intricacy of the narrative work presented in it. Mostimportantly, these are non-fiction books.


1.The Ice Man by Philip Carlo

PhilipCarlo is a novel and non-fictional author who wrote many books onserial killers and hit men. The Ice Man was one of the successfulnon-fictional narratives about the confessions of a mafia killerworking on paid contracts. The Ice Man was a psychopath and a killernamed Richard Kuklinski who lived a double life. He started off asserial killer who killed victims for his personal pleasures then wenton to be employed by the New York Mafia organization who offered himmoney for contractual killing missions. He tortured many of hisvictims before killing them, and this gained him respect and bonusesfrom the mafia. The author paints out a clear picture of the murderline that follows Richard who started killing since he was 14 yearsof age. His double life comes in when Richard is compassionate abouthis family, women and children as we. He treats his family with theutmost respect and avoids any suspicion of his other “dark life.”He holds barbeque parties at New Jersey and invites friends andneighbors to celebrate with him thus his personality changesdepending on the circumstances. Anyone else was fair game. Richardwould kill bad drivers or even tried his new weapon on innocentpeople.1

Thebook starts off by introducing the early life of the killer and hisfirst “killing sprees.” Richard killed one of the mercilessmobster associates, Roy DeMeo, and this is seen as true complicationsof a mafia who can also be killed by another mafia. The book becomesvery intriguing after Polifrone the undercover police knows thatRichard had the intention of killing him. He learned this in thephone call taps, but did not give up on following his trails giventhat Kuklinsli was a feared man. The narrative is a big puzzlebecause Richard was secretly killed in prison just days before himtestifying in the case against Sammy Gravano, his accomplice in themurder of Paul Castellano.2

Thisbook is not recommended for the faint-hearted ones as it is amentally disturbing story. The narrative is written like a novel, butthis is a true-based story. It is highly recommended for readers oftrue crime. However, Philip Carlo brings the stories backrepetitively and makes it dull because he shares the same storiesfrom the previous chapters of his book.3

2.In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

The book introduces us to thefirst killings committed by two unknown killers. It happened in therelatively smaller town of Holcomb, Kansas in 15th of November of1959. The four members of the Clutter family were brutally killed bya shot gun closely held away from their faces. This was an act ofruthless murder because it involved their children as well (Nancyaged 16 and Kenyon aged 15) killed for no apparent motives. Theauthor, Truman Capote blend the non-fiction story with fictionalaspects just to refer to it is a “fictional novel.” The vividimagery and the technically built suspense brings out the beauty ofreading this narrative. The author brings the Clutter family intolife in the introductory chapter by pointing out the good that theydid in their neighborhood. He reviews the background of the fourvictims and the two murders as a character study. One of the murderswas Smith, who had suffered from a violent upbringing and sociopathictendencies. In Cold Blood is regarded as the first True Crime book.4

3.The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

Thisbook is actually riveting, and one can never wish to put it down onesyou have started reading it. The author, Ann Rule was in friendshipwith Ted Bundy before he was suspected of countless terrible crimes.The book revolves around the behaviour of Ted Bundy who Ann describesas Charming, handsome and intelligent though inwardly he was anantisocial person. He had great hatred for women until he could notcontrol his impulses and he ended up attacking for of them andkilling two. He ended up in jail where he was accused of murder, andhe was given a death sentence.5

4.The House of Grief by Helen Garner

Thisbook seems to be work of fiction as it makes me reflect on thefragility of human condition regardless of their culpability. Thestory also emphasis on the fact that things do change drasticallyjust like a blink of an eye, for good and for worse. In my opinion Isee the book quiet disconcerting to the notion that some moments oftime, it reveals life to alter its direction resulting to anirrevocable change in its course. The book of Helen Garnertherefore, gives us a food for thought about how we present ourselvesto the world on daily basis. The moral teaching of the story is thatour actions may permanently affect our lives.6

5.Wise Guys by Nicholas Pileggi

WiseGuys is an excellent and a nice book that is worth the time. NicholasPileggi tells us a story in a career criminal of Henry hill. The bookprovides the reader with an insight of the violent life that Hilllead. This story is not intended to make the reader feel more aboutthe unconventional life of Hill but not to make the readersympathetic to him. It is quite a miracle that Hill survived onhindsight.7

6.Murder Machine by Gene Mustain &amp Jerry Capeci

Thisbook written by Gene Mustain and Jerry Capeci is extremely brutal,and it will remain unforgettable in all of its gory. The main themesof the book include ambition, revenge, hatred, blood lust amongothers. The unending disputes reveals a day-to-day life of nasty andvicious in crime group in Canarsie that was associated drug dealing,car robbery, loan sharks and even porn peddlers among others. Thoseheroic law enforcing agents were eventually brought that utterly andcontinually gang down the Demeo crew who was involved in over 200homicides within 1975-1983. Most of the victims were never found andthey were subjected to gruesome and ritualistic. 8

7.The Story of Roy Albert DeMeo

AlbertDemeo whos wrote this book was the son of Roy Demeo, and it containslots of fanatics. In his book known as the Sins of My Father, he hasdescribed him as the boss of the toughest car theft gang in the NewYork history. The book also explains the life of a mobster and thecontradictions brought about in families when dealing with reporters,money, and the police. The book also describes Roy as “wise guy”.Every chapter will leave you with a suspense of wanting to know moreand to continue reading.9

8.Blood Covenant by Michael Franzese

MichaelFranzese wrote about money power and prestige in his book Bloodcovenant. This book is about the mafia of today’s time. MichaelFranzese is frankly and honestly telling us his story. His father wasranked second to the top mob boss of the crime family in the countryof Colombo. After the accusation, his father was sentenced 50 yearsin prison. The story also mentions more about other people in thegang who were also arrested for example John Gotti, Rudi Giuliani,Frank Sinatra and others who were also accused of crime. By readinghis book, I believe that his conversions are genuine, and hisdecision of converting to Christian was influenced by a youngChristian woman who later became his wife.10

9.All Souls by Michael MacDonald

MichaelPatrick was brought up in a better place where almost 85% of theresidents of the country obtained welfare. He is trying to take usthrough a secret heart of Southie. The book is also giving us aninsight of the contradicting world, where the citizens areoverwhelmed gung, but they refuse to admit the problem. All Souls isreally sharing a message of hope and redemption, and it is worthreading.11

10.An Irish Mafia Story (The True Story of the Infamous West EndGang)

AnIrish Mafia is a quiet interesting book though it seems to a bitcontradicting as it focuses on other groups of mafia that it does toits title’s mafia that is the Irish. It puts much focus on HellsAngel and Italians mafia that has made it difficult to follow theplot of the story. Therefore, the book is good though it is notperfectly done.12

11.Telling True Stories by Mathew Ricketson

Thebook etched our nervous alleyways that we cannot afford to livewithout. Mathew argues that these are the things that make us humanbeings. He has used a tone of non-fiction throughout his story. He isgiving a true story of one of the character know as Capote’s andhow he managed to maintain editorial independence. The book revealsthe techniques of some successful international practitioners fromthe United States, Britain, and Australia. It shows how to enhancememorable and authentic writing.13

12.Five Families (Mafia Gangs)

Thebook “Five Families” provides a good history of arranged crimesthat originated in New York City (NYC). These crimes were organizedduring the summer season in 1931 by Salvatore Maranzano, who took onafter the murder of Giuseppe Masseria. The book is worth reading foranyone who may wish to understand the warn1ingsof the American Mafia and their activities in the US.14


Ann, R.(1980). TheStranger Beside Me.New York: W.W. Norton &amp Company.

An IrishMafia Story (The True Story of the Infamous West End Gang) Retrieved4thNov, 2015 from

FiveFamilies (Mafia Gangs) Retrieved 4thNov, 2015 from

Gene, M., &ampJerry, C. (1992). Murder Machine. NAL Publishers

Helen, G.(2014). TheHouse of Grief.Australia: Australia Broadcasting Corporation.

Mathew,R.(2014).TellingTrue Stories. New York. Allen&amp Unwin publishers.

Michael, M.(1996).AllSouls. United States: BeaconPress.

Michael, F.(2003). BloodCovenant. U.S:WhitakerHouse.

Nicholas,P. (1990). WiseGuys.U.K. PocketBooks.

Philip, C.(2006).TheIce Man (Confessionsof a Mafia Contract Killer).St Martin’s Press. 1stEdition

Truman, C.(1965) InCold Blood.Random House Publisher

The Storyof Roy Albert DeMeo Retrieved 4thNov, 2015 from

1 Philip, C. (2006). The Ice Man (Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer). St Martin’s Press. 1st Edition

2 ibid.

3 ibid.

4 Truman, C. (1965) In Cold Blood. Random House Publisher

5 Ann, R. (1980). The Stranger Beside Me. New York: W. W. Norton &amp Company.

6 Helen, G. (2014). The House of Grief. Australia: Australia Broadcasting Corporation.

7 Philip, C. (2006). The Ice Man (Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer). St Martin’s Press. 1st Edition

8 Gene, M., &amp Jerry, C. (1992). Murder Machine. NAL Publishers

9 The Story of Roy Albert DeMeo Retrieved 4th Nov, 2015 from

10 Michael, F. (2003). Blood Covenant. U.S: Whitaker House.

11 Michael, M. (1996). All Souls. United States: Beacon Press.

12 An Irish Mafia Story (The True Story of the Infamous West End Gang) Retrieved 4th Nov, 2015 from

13 Mathew, R. (2014). Telling True Stories. New York. Allen &amp Unwin publishers.

14 Five Families (Mafia Gangs) Retrieved 4th Nov, 2015 from