Saturday, May 13, 2006

Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger's Irish Mob

About The Book

In Kevin Weeks, mobster James "Whitey" Bulger thought he had found the perfect deputy. For 25 years, Whitey's handpicked assistant performed every task he was assigned: digging graves, witnessing executions, collecting protection money, running phantom businesses. When Bulger decided to go underground, it was only natural that Weeks would provide him with a fake ID and keep him current on gangland gossip. There was only one problem: Whitey's right-hand man was a career FBI informant.

What the Critics Say

"Weeks lands a knockout punch with this compelling look at one of the most intriguing figures in the American underworld."
— – George Anastasia, bestselling author of The Last Gangster

"Rarely have the nuts-and-bolts of ‘the gangster life’ been laid bare in such shocking, unvarnished detail."
— – T. J. English, New York Times bestselling author of Paddy Whacked and The Westies

"Mesmerizing and fascinating ... no organized crime fiction I have read has anything on this book. I couldn’t put it down."
— – Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author of The Society

"…most interesting and accurate. When Weeks talks about Bulger, he’s got the goods and he makes clear the others don’t."
— – Boston Sunday Globe

Buy book at Amazon / Barnes & Nobles

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Street Soldiers

For decades the FBI let Whitey Bulger get away with murder. In exchange for being left alone to control his criminal enterprise, he provided the agency with information until the arrangement went sour and Bulger, now on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, went on the lam. Throughout the 1980s, the author, "Eddie Mac," was one of the Mob's, and Bulger's, enforcers. Complex, intelligent, and seemingly perennially doomed, he tells a tale of ruthless mobsters, turncoat FBI agents, and other criminal associates, many of them with links to trials or scandals still in the news today. Accompanied by black-and-white photographs, this riveting narrative not only delivers the goods on Eddie Mac's one-time boss and the Irish Mob in Boston, but also chronicles MacKenzie's parallel search for family, respect, and acceptance amidst a life of crime.

Click here to buy the book

Upcoming Dates of Book Signing for BRUTAL


Tuesday, May 16th, Spirit of 76 Bookstore, Marblehead, MA. 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 20, Borders, Marlborough, MA. 7 p.m.
Monday, May 22, The Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA, 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 25, Borders, 1024 School Street, Boston 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 3, Borders, Providence, R.I. 4 p.m.
Friday June 9, Borders, Methuen, MA. 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 19, Borders, Shrewsbury, MA. 4 p.m.
Friday, July 21, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Phoenix Review

Kevin Weeks, the number two man in Whitey Bulger’s mob, served a three-year sentence for racketeering, money-laundering, extortion, and drug conspiracy, and was released from the Allenwood Federal Correctional facility on a Friday in February, 2005. By the following Tuesday he was singing like a canary to a diminutive grandmother, young-adult novelist, and journalism professor from Newton named Phyllis Karas.
The two made an odd pair. Weeks, a burly Irish brawler from Southie, was one of the most feared enforcers in Bulger’s employ. According to the Globe, “Bulger groomed [Weeks] as his successor and treated [him] like a son.” Karas, for her part, never intended to consort with hit men. “I live in the suburbs,” she thought to herself. “I’m a doctor’s wife. I’m an adjunct professor at Boston University. What am I doing hanging out with the mob?”
But now, as their Brutal: The Untold Story of My Life in Whitey Bulger’s Irish Mob sits comfortably atop the New York Times bestseller list, with a 60 Minutes special under their belts, Karas and Weeks carry on like an old married couple.
“He mumbles,” Karas tells an audience at a Barnes & Noble in Kenmore Square.
“I don’t mumble,” says Weeks. Then he explains why he’s learned to speak softly: it’s an occupational technique he’s used his entire adult life to evade bugging equipment.
Old habits die hard. Though he’s traded in his brass knuckles for J.Crew sweaters, he says it’s hard to let go of his criminal instincts. “We may seem like the nice guys. People always want to be around us,” he tells the audience, waving an arm over the podium, “but the whole time we’re only trying to get something from you.”
Phyllis Karas has a petite frame and wide brown eyes, and her profile at the AEI speakers’ bureau suggests two topics you might like to hear her speak about: “The Onassis Women,” and “The Boston Mafia Underworld.” Neither subject was in her repertoire nine years ago. In fact, nothing in her background suggested she’d one day pen a book that graphically describes the role of potato peelers in the art of interrogation. She’d had a long and unbloody career: she worked as a stringer for People magazine, freelanced for Vogue, and contributed a regular column to the Herald. She won an award for a series on teenage pregnancy. She wrote a teen novel, A Life Worth Fiction, for Avon. She interviewed Drew Barrymore and Sandra Bullock.
On her 30th wedding anniversary Karas took a trip to Greece. One day she struck up a conversation with a woman named Kiki Feroudi Moutsatsos, who at one time had been Aristotle Onassis’s private secretary as well as a close confidant to Jackie O. They made small talk, but months later their chance meeting blossomed into something big: a book called Onassis Women: An Insider’s Intimate Portrait. “It was serendipity,” Karas realizes. “You never know which stories are going to come up.” Putnam bought the book for a million dollars.
When Karas met with her agent to discuss her next project, she expected to write another young-adult novel. Instead her agent proposed a change of pace: that Karas write the life story of an Irish mobster named Eddie “Mack” Mackenzie. Mackenzie was offering an insider’s view of Bulger’s gang, but that didn’t mean much to Karas, who’d learned most of what she new about the mob from watching The Sopranos. “I knew nothing about Whitey, or as much as anyone else. He was a crime boss.” She learned quickly.

Click here to read the full review.

Boston Globe Review

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