Once Through the Heart

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Simon & Schuster, 1992 - Social Science - 352 pages
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New York City Detective Pat DeGregorio spent his days stalking the Mafia's top drug traffickers, and he was good at his job. Working undercover, the decorated veteran penetrated an international heroin ring - but he refused to recognize the addict and seller living under his own roof. When fate brought him face-to-face on the street with his 16-year-old daughter as she peddled pot, mescaline, and LSD to her schoolmates, DeGregorio was confronted by the toughest choice he ever had to make. Should he turn Mary Anne in and complete the ruin of a family already devastated by tragedy, or take on the daunting task of rescuing his daughter, coping with the collapse of his marriage, and rebuilding his own shattered life? In this wrenching and inspirational book, a prize-winning New York Times reporter tells a story with lessons for every family: Pat DeGregorio's boyhood in Brooklyn surrounded by a loving and close-knit Italian clan, his early days as a rookie on the beat and the senseless killing of a comrade-in-arms, the deterioration of his first marriage and the death of his six-year-old son, his dangerous and all-consuming work in narcotics, his second marriage to a courageous woman who was also an undercover cop, and the havoc that followed the discovery of his daughter's addiction. In his roles as son, husband, father, cop, and finally, savior of his precious daughter, Pat DeGregorio emerges as a man in torment who finds the faith and courage to vanquish his demons. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with DeGregorio and his family, friends, and colleagues, Once Through the Heart offers a revealing glimpse into the perilous life of a New York City cop, and triumphant and inspiringproof of the power of love - stronger than any drug.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Simpatico story of a narcotics detective who finds his teenage daughter selling drugs. Pat DeGregorio joined the NYPD in 1973 and was a standout patrolman, soon assigned to undercover work. His home ... Read full review

Once through the heart

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

The central irony in this account of the personal and professional life of New York City Narcotics Detective Pat DeGregorio is that he stumbled upon his own 16-year-old daughter selling drugs. While ... Read full review


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About the author (1992)

He has been reporting for The New York Times since 1964, his current beat is the Arts. In 1994 he led the Pulitzer Prize-winning Times team that covered the bombing of the World Trade Center.

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