Franceschini, a New York cop for 35 years, headed up the Queens detective bureau that hounded the head of one of the most infamous families, Gambino boss John Gotti. Franceschini's prose style echoes his career, hard-hitting and forthright, and his emotional yet businesslike approach to police work makes the reader root for him and his fellow officers as well as Queens D.A. John Santucci all the way. Despite his love of police work and his fellow cops, Franceschini acknowledges that corruption was present in the NYPD, and maintains he lost out on arrests through interdepartmental battles with the FBI and overzealous federal attorneys. The author traces his own early heroism in a gun battle with a subway punk, and moves on to infiltrating the Mob (police and criminals alike never call it the Mafia). Undoubtedly, however, the most magnetic personality here is Gotti. Franceschini grudgingly acknowledges the personal charisma of the "Teflon Don," but also points out the graphic underside of Gotti the Boss. In one memorable sequence, Gotti loses his legendary cool when he discovers police surveillance outside his house and tears outside in a jogging suit and loafers--hardly the image he'd so carefully cultivated--to confront the cops. There's no backing down here . . . not from the Mob or the cops.