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Reviewed by Philip Zozzaro for Readers' Favorite
“Welcome to the county of the kings, now watch your back!” begins the countdown of the most infamous 100 citizens in the history of Brooklyn. In Brooklyn's Most Wanted: The Top 100 Criminals, Crooks and Creeps from the County of the Kings by Craig McGuire, readers learn that John Wilkes Booth may not have hailed from Brooklyn but there is a faint possibility that he made plans to flee to Europe via Brooklyn after his brazen assassination of President Lincoln. A rogue rabbi utilized force to coerce recalcitrant husbands into relinquishing their wives when the marriages folded. The birth of the American Mafia begins with Brooklyn denizens like Frankie Yale and Al Capone, with their ruthless ambition leading to the bloody rise in organized crime. There are killers, fraudsters, and crooked cops featured, but there are also those whose infamy may supersede them in the hearts of dyed-in-the-wool Brooklynites, such as Walter O’Malley, owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Brooklyn’s Most Wanted by Craig McGuire is a thorough accounting of the rogues who were either Brooklyn born, called it their stomping ground, or briefly passed through the lively borough. The research done in charting the personalities who mainly resided in the criminal underworld is comprehensive. The book features a key to sites of notoriety in Brooklyn involving the various featured characters. Besides being an informative true-crime tale, this may serve as a window for further research into the highlighted villains. The key to this book’s readability is the variety in each consecutive entry on the list, with some being familiar to readers and others completely unknown. An A-plus book.