Among the Bros: A Fraternity Crime Story

Harper. Nov. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780063099531. $32. CRIME
Investigative journalist Marshall intertwines the history of fraternities with a portrayal of Michael “Mikey” Schmidt, who was accepted into the Kappa Alpha Fraternity at South Carolina’s College of Charleston. The book portrays Schmidt as one who enjoys fraternity life, takes Xanax, and skips classes. Eventually, he decides to get into the trafficking business, which later included cocaine transactions. The 2016 murder of a student instigated an investigation by local police, which resulted in the confiscation of $150,000 worth of pills, $200,000 in cash, and several arrests, including Schmidt, who took a plea deal that landed him 10 years in prison. The author initially thought he was investigating a small-time crime, but he ended up spending four years researching this major drug bust. While the book is meticulously researched, it occasionally gets bogged down with details from Marshall’s interviews with more than 180 individuals. Readers learn about the murder halfway through the book, and Schmidt’s arrest is detailed in the final third.
VERDICT Parts of this book stretch the story longer than necessary. But this is still an important title for community college or university libraries since it offers difficult-to-find details about the culture and history of fraternities.
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