Alphaville: 1988, Crime, Punishment, and the Battle for New York City's Lower East Side

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Macmillan, Nov 9, 2010 - True Crime - 320 pages
3 Reviews

A raw, gritty memoir—part true-life cop thriller, part unputdownable history of a storied time and place—that will grip you by the throat until the explosive end

Alphabet City in 1988 burned with heroin, radicalism, and anti-police sentiment. Working as a plainclothes narcotics cop in the most high-voltage neighborhood in Manhattan, Detective Sergeant Mike Codella earned the nickname "Rambo" from the local dealers, as well as a $50,000 bounty on his head. The son of a cop who grew up in a mob neighborhood in Brooklyn, Codella understood the unwritten laws of the shadowy businesses that ruled the streets. He knew that the further east you got from the relative safety of 5th Avenue, Washington Square Park and NYU, the deeper you entered the sea of human misery, greed, addiction, violence and all the things that come with an illegal retail drug trade run wild. With his partner, Gio, Codella made it his personal mission to put away Davie Blue Eyes—a stone cold murderer and the head of Alphabet City's heroin supply chain. Despite the hell they endured—all the beatings and gunshots, the footchases and close calls—Codella and Gio always saw Alphabet City the same way: worth saving.

Alphaville, Codella's riveting, no-holds-barred memoir, resurrects the vicious streets that Davie Blue Eyes owned, and tells the story of how Codella bagged the so-called Forty Thieves that surrounded Davie, slowly working his way to the head of the snake one scale at a time. With the blistering narrative spirit of The French Connection, the insights of a seasoned insider, and a relentless voice that reads like the city's own, Alphaville is at once the story of a dedicated New York cop, and of New York City itself.


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Alphaville: 1988, Crime, Punishment, and the Battle for New York City's Lower East Side

User Review  - Karen Sandlin Silverman - Book Verdict

Former NYPD officer Codella's memoir opens with his childhood in Canarsie, Brooklyn, where kids mostly chose to become cops or criminals. While Codella had his share of youthful indiscretions, he ... Read full review

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Great book. Rings true to the times when 42nd Street was the slime capital of the world, and Alphabet City was the heroin meca and junkie heaven. Codella's account of a misguided youth in Brooklyn, and his tightrope walk while working as a cop made for a page turning tale that made me wish for more pages. The bad guys were as bad as they get, and to quote one of the authors that gave the book a great review "its characters are so colorful and vivid it reads more like a well-paced novel", Philip Carlo. 


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About the author (2010)

MICHAEL CODELLA was a New York City cop for twenty years. He worked and supervised in the DEA, Secret Service Task Force, Special Frauds Squad, Missing Person's Squad, Operation 8, and several other outstanding and prestigious units throughout the City. Mike retired from the NYPD in 2003 as a Detective Sergeant. He now divides his time between TV and film work, being a professional fight trainer, and running his Renzo Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy with his family. BRUCE BENNETT is a writer whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Sun; a guitar player who has performed and recorded with the A-Bones, Hasil Adkins, Action Swingers, Yo La Tengo, and Andre Williams; and the writer and director of two award-winning short films, both aired on the Independent Film Channel. A Manhattan native and twenty year resident of the Lower East Side -- including the period covered in ALPHAVILLE--Bennett now lives and works in Brooklyn.

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