Robert Fitzpatrick & Jon Land
Forge, Jan 3 2012, $24.99
In 1980 Washington, FBI Assistant Director Roy McKinnon assigns one of his best field agents Robert Fitzpatrick to go to Boston to “kick ass”. Fitzpatrick had success in the 1970s in Miami and previously to that worked on the KKK bombings in Mississippi (Burning) and the King assassination. Being Irish-American was the other trait that made him perfect for the job of turning Boston “straight and narrow.” His agenda is to clean out the corrupt field office that went Boston Irish native for three decades and put away Irish mob chief James “Whitey” Bulger and his top enforcer Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi. The two murderers killed anyone in their way, gun trafficked with the IRA and had high political and FBI protection. Three years with trying to bring down Bulger and clean the agency led to Fitzpatrick, getting no cooperation, lost his job for allegedly embarrassing the agency. Still he returned to the Mount Loretto Orphanage in Astoria, Queens where he first dreamed of being an FBI agent and visited the gravesite of Father Kenny knowing his mentor would believe he acted honorably.
The timing of this autobiography is sadly perfect with the scandal at Penn State as a reminder that the institution and its entrenched always protect themselves by maintaining the status quo even when that includes covering up horrific crimes. Betrayal provides a well written cautionary realism that reminds the readers that the truly courageous like Agent Fitzpatrick never give up your values in order to keep an organization’s “reputation” safe.