Lord High Executioner: The Legendary Mafia Boss Albert Anastasia

Citadel. May 2020. 320p. ISBN 9780806540139. $27. CRIME
Dimatteo (The President Street Boys) and Benson (Betrayal in Blood) tell the story of Albert Anastasia (1902–57), one of the founders of the modern American Mafia and Murder, Inc., an organized crime gang of hit men in New York City. The authors promise “never-before-revealed” facts about the man nicknamed the Lord High Executioner and the Mat Hatter, stories that apparently come from Dimatteo’s personal family connections. Dimatteo and Benson do deliver, albeit roughly. The writing is unpolished, and the book relies heavily on page after page of invented dialog, and there is no source material cited. While the information may be new to readers, there are more readable accounts of Murder, Inc.’s crimes, such as Burton B. Turkus’s classic Murder, Inc.: The Story of the Syndicate. Readers do gain insight into this sociopath’s life, death, and many, many crimes, but it’s a tough read.
VERDICT This title will please Mafia fans looking for gruesome details, but collections that already have robust Mob material should skip.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month