Book Topics

Spingola Files’ Best True Crime Books of 2016

Today, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel book editor Jim Higgins released his list of the best books of 2016. If reading a Chinese novelist’s sci-fi trilogy is not something you would particularly enjoy, checkout this list of the best true crime books of 2016:

#1 Badge 387: The Story of Jim Simone, America’s Most Decorated Cop

This book completely debunks the Black Lives Matter cop-hating narrative. Badge 387 is an outstanding read and would make a great gift for any person considering a career in law enforcement.

https://www.amazon.com/Badge-387-Simone-Ameri…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

#2 Rogue Heroes: The History of the SAS, Britain’s Secret Special Forces Unit That Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War

https://www.amazon.com/Rogue-Heroes-History-B…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

This is a compelling story of a British SAS unit during World War II. These elite troops were dropped behind enemy lines in Africa to fight Hitler’s troops.

#3 You Gotta Be Dirty: The Outlaws Motorcycle Club In & Around Wisconsin.

An excellent book about a motorcycle gang that terrorized rival bikers, everyday residents, and even the police in Milwaukee. For those familiar with Milwaukee and Wisconsin, many of the names and places will certainly ring bell.

https://www.amazon.com/You-Gotta-Dirty-Motorc…/…/ref=sr_1_1…

#4 Wolf Boys

The story of two American teens recruited as assassins for a Mexican gang. The book focuses on the dogged determination of a Mexican-American detective and his frustration with corruption.

https://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Boys-American-Tee…/…/ref=sr_1_1…


#5 The Reporter Who Knew too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen
outlaws_book_cover_twitter

Released just four days ago, this is one to put on your holiday wish list. This story of Dorothy Kilgallen, a New York Post reporter who died of a suspicious drug overdose. Kilgallen was one of the few reporters who feverishly probed the Kennedy assassination. Some believe that her inquiry of the assassination led to her demise.

https://www.amazon.com/Reporter-Who-Knew-Too-…/…/ref=sr_1_1…


The Winner of the Spingola Files’ 1st Annual LEBOY Awards are…

No doubt, 2013 has been an interesting year for law enforcement. The Boston Marathon bombings, increased surveillance, drones, the NSA scandal, and police militarization, have all been hot topics.  As the calendar prepares to turn and usher in 2014, the staff at Spingola Files’ HQ spent the better part of a week sifting through books that represented the best in 2013 police related fiction and non-fiction.

So today, after considerable debate, SF has announced the winners of its first annual LEBOY (Law Enforcement Books of the Year) Awards.

Winner:               Non-Fiction

Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces

Author:                Radley Balko

Publisher:            Public Affairs

The brave new world of American policing is something that often divides old school cops from their contemporaries. The belief amongst the officers of yore is that the feds look down their noses at local law enforcement.  Since the attacks of 9/11, however, the federal government has spent billions of dollars constructing a national surveillance state.  To accomplish this goal, Uncle Sam has funneled grant money to local law enforcement in the hopes of purchasing Big Brother buy-in.

Journalist Radley Balko’s book, Rise of the Warrior Cop, spotlights how federal grant money and fear of terrorists lurking behind every corner has transformed the local police into virtual storm troopers.  Personally, as a critic of government spying absent a reasonable suspicion of wrong doing, I agree with about two-thirds of this book. I am, however, aware that many tactical enforcement officers view Balko’s assertions of the coming (if not already present) police state as “bunk.”

Nonetheless, Rise of the Warrior Cop is a book that judges, cops, journalists, attorneys, and policy makers should read.

http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Warrior-Cop-Militarization-Americas/dp/1610392116/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Winner:                 Fiction

Psychic Reprieve: Deception & Reality

Author:                 Mitchell Nevin

Publisher:            Lemon Press

With the exceptions of Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn (both of whom passed away this year), few can weave a fictional story with non-fictional topics like Mitchell Nevin.   His first novel, The Cozen Protocol, is a Milwaukee law enforcement classic. As such, the crew at SF thought Psychic Reprieve might not rise to the same level, but it clearly did.

Psychic Reprieve takes a look at the criminal justice system from the eyes of three offenders, one of which is a former Chicago police sergeant brought down by a corruption scandal. The novel explores some serious issues, like serial murders and terrorism, but also depicts the resiliency of the human psyche.  After all, nothing is more American than perseverance, self-deprecating humor, and a few good laughs that reflect back on society.

If you’re a casual fan of baseball, a person interested in psychics, are concerned about surveillance, or just enjoy one-liners, Nevin’s latest novel will not disappoint.

www.authormitchellnevin.com

Congratulations to the winners of the Spingola Files’ LEBOY Awards.  Hopefully, 2014 will bring more than a few interesting LE reads our way.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com  and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


With Government Scandals in the Headlines, New Book Takes a Swipe at Big Brother

Traditionally, June is a good month for new books.  Publishers typically offer some of their best titles in summer, when millions of overworked Americans search for good reads to knock down during vacations. With government scandals on the front pages of many news organizations’ Web sites (formerly the front pages of newspapers), authors of books dealing with issues of bureaucratic excess will likely get an unexpected boost in sales.

One such book, A Government of Wolves: the Emerging American Police State, by John Whitehead, the president of the Rutherford Institute, was set for release on June 25.

http://www.amazon.com/Government-Wolves-Emerging-American-Police/dp/1590799755/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370058590&sr=8-1&keywords=a+government+of+wolves+the+emerging+american+police+state

With timing being the essence, the book’s publisher, SelectBooks, made Whitehead’s critique of post-9/11 America available on Memorial Day.  Inside, the author takes aim at the 77 federally subsidized Intelligence Fusion Centers, which have cost federal taxpayers at least $1.4 billion.  States and local government spent millions, if not billions, each year staffing these centers that use cellular telephone technology to follow and track citizens absent judicial oversight.

Whitehead further provides a scathing critique of the National Security Agency’s Utah Data Center—a mammoth $2 billion facility that records and stores telephone calls, electronic communications, and text messages, once a user types or utters one of 500 select words, many of which are rather benign.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/on_the_front_lines/nprs_all_things_considered_weekend_edition_spotlights_constitutional_attorn

To get an idea of just how widespread the reach of government surveillance has become, visit the below link:

https://www.rutherford.org/multimedia/on_target/pressure_points_the_electronic_concentration_camp/

MILWAUKEE-BASED CRIME NOVEL NOW AVAILABLE IN TRADITIONAL PRINT VERSION

Readers of the Spingola Files range in age from criminal justice students to veteran law enforcement retirees.  If you’re a member of the latter category, not that technologically savvy, or simply find reading from the screen of a computer or tablet annoying, here’s some good news: author Mitchell Nevin’s crime novel, The Cozen Protocol, an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel of the Year Award nominee, is now available in print.

Lemon Press—a publisher based in suburban Atlanta—has agreed to produce a second edition of this Milwaukee-based crime novel in print.

Some of you, especially those who have served as members of the Milwaukee Police Department from about 1970 to 2005, might recognize a few of the scenes from Nevin’s novel.  Although described as a work of fiction, I did locate at least three major incidents within The Cozen Protocol’s pages that are eerily similar to actual events.  In fact, the book’s new cover features a picture of a man killed by an arrow, an incident the appears premised on the slaying of Karl Lotharius—the former owner of Von Trier’s tavern on N. Farewell and E. North Avenues, killed when a 30 inch, wood-shaft arrow ripped through his abdomen on December 20, 1981.

The print version of The Cozen Protocol is available at Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com. Visit the link below for more details.

http://www.bookwire.com/The-Cozen-Protocol-9781936617180.html

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.


Spingola Files Print Edition Only Book Now Available

THUMBNAIL_IMAGE

In the past, I have fielded emails from a number of people who prefer traditional books to Kindle or Nook e-readers. Many have asked when the “Best of the Spingola Files” book series would be made available in paper.

I now have an answer.

Yesterday, my Wisconsin-based publisher, Badger Wordsmith, released Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II—a combined, print edition only book—currently for sale at Create Space and, within a week, at Amazon.com.

https://www.createspace.com/4189215

“Rick Sandoval, a highly regarded, second generation Milwaukee police officer, penned the book’s Forward,” an excerpt from a news release at CBS News reports. “Retired Milwaukee PD captains Mike Massa and Glenn Frankovis, attorney Kelly McAndrews, and nationally known liberty activist Kaye Beach, provided endorsements of “Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & 2…”

On the pages of this book I discuss about 40 matters of criminal justice import, including:

· The strangulation slayings of several women on Milwaukee’s north side

· The suspicious deaths of almost a dozen men in the hard-drinking college town of Lacrosse

· A recent uptick in violent offenses in the city of Eau Claire

· A brief history of La Costra Nostra operatives in Milwaukee and Madison

· A critique of the police investigation into the murder of UW-Madison co-ed Brittany Zimmermann

· The intrusive technologies of America’s post-9/11 surveillance state.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, please visit:

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013


The Wonderful World of Book Publishing

Whether it is teaching, criminal investigations, academic administration, or probing complex cases of financial fraud, publishing is admittedly one of the more difficult endeavors that I have undertaken.

In early December, my latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, went live at Amazon.com.  To be successful in the book business, an author must engage in endless self-promotion—the goal of which is making a writer’s name into a brand synonymous with a particular theme.

Prior to taking the writing plunge, I rarely, if ever, felt the need to toot my own horn. Instead, I preferred to have my body of work speak for itself. In the book world, however, where writers delving into the genre of crime have thousands of competitors, authors are always on the lookout for methods to improve their marketing platforms.

One of the ways to do so is assisting other authors, many of whom are struggling to reach the next rung on the publishing ladder.

Last October, Arcadia Books released Wisconsin author Gavin Schmitt’s book Milwaukee Mafia.  I was privileged to have an opportunity to write the forward for this interesting pictorial of Brew City wise guys (see the below link):

http://books.google.com/books?id=rN-AS0SNj_4C&q=steven+spingola#v=snippet&q=steven%20spingola&f=false

On Thursday, a young woman from my publishing company requested that I take a look at an outline and the first three chapters of a manuscript for a yet-to-be-named novel by Mitchell Nevin.

In the past, I’ve spoken highly of Nevin’s first book, The Cozen Protocol, and its Milwaukee-based theme that explores the political fallout from an ongoing gang war and the Milwaukee Police Department’s subsequent response. In Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, I noted that Mitchell Nevin is a pseudonym for the actual author.  On this blog, many current or former Milwaukee coppers later chimed-in to speculate about the author’s actual identity.

http://www.badgerwordsmith.com/spingolafiles/2011/07/02/the-mitchell-nevin-enigma/

I later discussed The Cozen Protocol and the mystery behind the author with WUWM’s Stephanie Lecci.

http://www.wuwm.com/programs/lake_effect/lake_effect_segment.php?segmentid=7966

After reading the outline for Nevin’s new book—scheduled for release sometime this fall—I am willing to go out on a limb and predict that this novel will become an Amazon best seller.

Since I promised my publisher that I would keep the cards to Nevin’s latest work close to my vest, I will disclose only this much: that four of the main characters weaved into the plot are a Milwaukee area baseball pitcher; a Chicago PD sergeant gone, well, just kind of bad; a Hispanic cook, and a personable white collar criminal of Italian lineage.  The venue is America’s heartland, as portions of the novel occur in Milwaukee, Chicago, the Twin Cities, Platteville, Eau Claire, the Minnesota towns of Red Wing and Albert Lea, and Minot, North Dakota.

In other words, Nevin’s new novel probably won’t play well with the elites on east and west coasts, where the lives of those of us residing in fly over country are considered too mundane and culturally unfulfilling (or, as one of my long retired old-school sergeants used to say, “We’ve got a lot fewer goofs living here”).

If you’re a reader into the oddities of the criminal justice system, psychic phenomena, solid dialog, and good cop-bad cop, Nevin’s still unnamed book has all the markings of a great read.

So mark your calendars.

In the interim, I will keep plugging away at this writing and publishing thing.  Sometimes, as I explained in a recent Facebook post, writing a book is like banging your head against a wall—it feels good when you stop.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest book, Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, is available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Vol-ebook/dp/B00AGZTALE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354972268&sr=8-1&keywords=spingola+files

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, please visit:

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2013