Cover image for The brass wall [the betrayal of undercover detective #4126]
The brass wall [the betrayal of undercover detective #4126]
Kocieniewski, David.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Audio Renaissance, [2003]

Physical Description:
5 audio discs (6 hrs.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact discs.

Subtitle from container.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :
Audiobook on CD


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV8080.U5 A7652 2003 Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

On Order



In the tradition of "Serpico "and "Prince of the City," a brilliantly reported true story of power and betrayal in the NYPD set against the worlds of the Mafia and big-city politics
In 1993, Vincent Armanti, Undercover Detective #4126 agreed to infiltrate a branch of the Luchese family responsible for the homicide of a beloved fireman. Already a legend for successfully posing as a hit man and arms smuggler, Armanti transformed himself into Vinnie "Blue Eyes" Penisi--a veteran hood with an icy stare. Yet, once under cover, Armanti found that the wise guys he was chasing had access to classified police information. Stakes accelerated when the informant was revealed to be the son of the commander of NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau. Again and again, IAB's detectives compromised Armanti, to protect the powerful man's son, but even the Police Commissioner ignored the situation. But, like the fireman who takes an oath to serve, Armanti stayed on the job, even when it was clear his life was endangered.
David Kocieniewski, former "New York Times" Police Bureau Chief, reveals every moment of Armanti's effort to break through the wall enforced by the cops' top brass. Here, with all its compromises, is the city of New York. Here, in all his humanity, is an unforgettable hero, battling for his honor and survival. Here is a remarkable story that ranks with the greatest police classics.

Author Notes

David Kocieniewski currently reports for The New York Times , where his stories frequently appear on the front page. He lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Part police drama and part expos? of corruption in the New York City Police Department, this book captures the divergent aspects of heroism and dirty politics that have become intertwined in the complex world of law enforcement. Kocieniewski focuses his story on Vincent Armanti, an alias for an undercover cop who, in the process of trying to take down a gang of drug-dealing, murdering mobsters, is betrayed by another cop whose father just happens to be a powerful NYPD inspector. During Armanti's struggle to have his betrayer brought to justice, he faces the NYPD's "blue wall of silence," the department's unspoken policy of protecting their own at all costs. The varied personal stories of Armanti and such people as FDNY Lt. Thomas Williams, Det. John Wrynn and the members of the Ferranti gang range from poignant to intriguing and demonstrate a paradoxical familiarity between cops and criminals. While the court cases and office politics of the book's second half dampen the thriller aspect of the tale, the author's experience working as the police bureau chief for the New York Times allows him to clearly portray and analyze the myriad lawsuits, backdoor deals, personal vendettas and political agendas that arise out of an undercover mission compromised by a dirty cop. Though the ending is somewhat anticlimactic-more front-page news than Hollywood blockbuster-it supports the book's premise that the world of the NYPD is a murky place. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

A former New York Times police bureau chief tells the scary story of Vincent Armanti, who went undercover only to discover that the bad guys he was chasing were being fed classified information from within the NYPD. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



From The Brass Wall: The instant Armanti set foot in Café D'Oro, he could feel the strands of the investigation beginning to unravel. A half-dozen of the café's usual suspects sat nervously around the poker table, but there was no card game going or music playing, just edginess heating up the place. Carlo Cuzzi, wanted by the police in at least one double murder, stood with his burly arms crossed-not exactly a harbinger of peace. "Up against the wall, Vin," Cuzzi demanded. "I've got to search you." Fear flooded through Armanti's body in a fast, hot wave. His first instinct was to laugh the whole thing off, scoff and order a drink. But the look on Cuzzi's face told him that this was not cocktail time. Less than an hour earlier Armanti had been fully wired-tape recorder strapped to one ankle, cord winding up to the microphone near his chest. A search would have earned him three quick shots to the back of the head. But the weather was so muggy that Armanti had ignored his backup team and removed the gear before hitting the café. What he hadn't removed, however, was the radio transmitter inside his box of Newport Light cigarettes. Excerpted from The Brass Wall: The Betrayal of Undercover Detective #4126 by David Kocieniewski All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.