OPERATION UNDERWORLD

           ‘Due Facce della stessa Medaliglia’


Genre: Historical fiction based on a true story. (ISBN 978-1-904086-71-0)


Other reviews: SEE Paddy Kelly's PR page: https://sites.google.com/site/paddykellywriter/links-1/pr-page


              “A fascinating and lesser-known part of Mafia and WWII history, this brilliantly-researched novel is quite an eye opener!" opener!”                                                      

                                                                                                                                        Shelly   Marsden, Irish World, London


  Irish World, Londonish World, London

      "Dock workers shout and swear coarsely. You can almost smell the creosote and tobacco smoke as they do while the impression of a New York metropolis coming into its own is particularly potent. As a narrator he never has us at a loss as to our location, and using something of a film maker's palate, he lets the streets and docksides of New York become a central character in their own right."


                                                                    - Hilary A. White, The Sunday Independent
             “Like a sunken treasure ship this intriguing wartime story has now been well and truly excavated.”  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              - Irish Daily Mail , London                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
             BUY HERE

    “I was a bit wary as I began reading, thinking the use of colloquial speech and vocabulary would make the book hard going. However I was wrong; instead it gives the book a distinctive flavour, alongside the descriptions of a bustling New York."


                                                                                                                    - Annette Hart, Reviews  Online


Some Reader Comments:


“I felt compelled to write and tell you that once into the last fifty pages, on my way home one evening last week, I missed my train stop by two stations reading the chase scene at the end."

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        Just a quick "Thank you" for Operation Underworld. Being a girl, I'm usually not a fan of crime-related stuff, but I got this one off my boyfriend's shelf to read something during a trip - and boy, did the trip seem short!"

                                                                                             -       Irene, Rome, Italy



"I have been a history enthusiast for many years, and was frankly bowled over by the historical accuracy of the novel, as well as the effectiveness of the device used to carry the story. Historical fiction so often tends to be either too dry to capture one's interest for long, or superficial fun to read, but at the expense of historical             accuracy. With Operation Underworld, Mr. Kelly seems to have found the happy medium that balances both.   

Now of course, we are all anxiously awaiting his next historical novel." 


                                         - Lt. Geoffrey Meade, U.S.N. San Antonio, Texas

      “I am greatly enjoying Operation Underworld. The visual and auditory image of the two guys in the hold of the ship striking the water valve in unison to the choral
strains of the Anvil Chorus made me burst out laughing! That is such a great visual, in such a weird context!”


                                                        - Paul O’Connor, Dublin, Ireland

 From Amazon Books:


Operation Underworld - Book Review, February 10, 2010

      Operation Underworld, a historical novel by Irish author Paddy Kelly, is an extraordinarily well researched and documented book about the involvement of the US Govt with the Italian mob during the early days of WWII. The gov't worked with the mob to infiltrate the New York City waterfront in an effort to identify and apprehend possible Nazi spies. The book, and the gov't/underworld connection, began with the burning of the luxury liner T. L. S. Normandie atn a pier in NYC, where she was being converted into a troopship. This sparked, (pun intended), concerns about possible Nazi spies and saboteurs on the waterfront, a critical area for the US war effort. The book uses a fictitious, but extremely likable, private detective to follow the true story of the gov't and the mob, from the beginning of the operation to its conclusion. While some dialogue obviously had to be invented, everything possible has been done to use factual data throughout, even to the extent of using the actual transcripts, (from the FBI's records, of wire-tap recordings of mobsters talking about working with "The Commander" an actual US Navy Commander, mistakenly believed by the FBI to be the title of a mob leader! It's a truly fascinating read, and I highly recommend it.

    February, 1942: Free China is lost, the Battle of Britain has been fought and Hitler dines in Paris.  World War II is nearly three years old and, with an invitation from the Imperial Japanese Navy at Pearl Harbor via air mail, the United States has joined the party. Only 60 days into it and the U.S. Navy has lost nearly 100 ships to the Wolf Packs, the retooling of Her factories is estimated to take at least a year, and even before that is completed, the men who work in those factories must become Marines, sailors and soldiers.

    To compound the Navy's problems, the most famous luxury liner in the world, T. L. S. Normandie, has just been set alight and burned to the water-line in New York Harbor initiating wide spread hysteria in fear of German saboteurs.  The U.S. Navy is behind the eight ball, big time.  

    Charlie 'Lucky' Luciano, the architect and founder of Organized Crime in America, after being framed by the New York D. A., is serving a sentence of 50 years for a crime that warrants 10, and is concurrently fighting deportation to an enemy nation where he is already condemned to death.
    In one of the most ironic decisions of the war, the Federal
Government is about to request “The Boss of Bosses” to join forces with their most secret service, Naval Intelligence. In addition, he is told he must remain in prison with no chance for compensation or parole. 

    Enter Mike ’Doc’ McKeowen, a New York P. I. who just wants to get his life back on track after his business partner ran off with all the top clients, and his wife ran off with everything else including his dignity. But he's about to have bigger problems. 
    Whether you believe the link between the Federal Government and organized crime is a slender thread, or as Mario Puzo wrote, '. . . contemporary America, where law and organized crime are one and the same.' you will learn how the foundation of the International Drug Cartel was laid. You will come to appreciate what the Sicilians mean when they say, ‘Due Facce della stessa Medaliglia’ when they talk about crime and politics. "Two sides of the same coin."

Titanic was an act of greed.

Lusitania was an act of war.

Normandie was an act of genius.

                                                    U.S.S. Lafayette,(T.L.S. Normandie)
                                                     Feb. 10th, 1942
                                              The morning after the fire.

Back Ground: 
    WWII raged on a full two years prior to America's entry on December 8th, 1941. Nearly completely unprepared for war, when she was finally dragged into the conflict there was a considerable amount of catching up to do, especially on the naval front. 

    At the same time, Charlie 'Lucky' Luciano, the head of the New York Syndicate,(erroneously known as the Mafia), and the man with the most influence in the Commissione, essentially the Board of Directors of the Syndicate, was serving a fifty year sentence on multiple charges. 

    In what can only be described as an act of devious genius a fire erupted on the promenade deck of the largest, fastest and most elaborate luxury liner of her time, T. L. S. Normandie. 

    Conflicting 'official' reports, post war statements, and the fact that Albert Anastasia, the then head of Murder Inc., the hit arm for the Syndicate, disappeared for two years heavily points to the fact that he or his brother actually set the fire. 

    Their motivation? Scare hell out of the Navy and get them to ask for the Syndicate's help in guarding the waterfront, and get the U. S. N. to intervene in Charlie's case. It worked like a charm.

    Thus was launched the Navy's Operation Underworld.

    Lucky was not immediately released, but on all other counts the plan worked. The Mob not only regained control of the NYC docks they lost with Luciano's imprisonment, but they were invited to participate in the invasion of Sicily a year later in Operation Husky. Three years later at war's end, the 'Mafia' were once again courted to turn the tide of Italian politics by 'persuading' the legitimately elected Socialist party that they were neither needed, wanted nor desired in the homeland of the most successful organized crime group in history. 

    No doubt the trail does not end there.


‘Due Facce della stessa Medaliglia’

Photo from the front page of The New York Times
October 25th, 1957, announcing Albert Anastatia's assassination
at the Park Sheraton Hotel on 57th St. & 7th Ave.



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