The Whisky King: The Remarkable True Story Of Canada's Most Infamous Bootlegger And The Undercover Mountie On His Tr by Trevor ColeThe Whisky King: The Remarkable True Story Of Canada's Most Infamous Bootlegger And The Undercover Mountie On His Tr by Trevor Cole

The Whisky King: The Remarkable True Story Of Canada's Most Infamous Bootlegger And The Undercover…

byTrevor Cole

Paperback | March 20, 2018

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“True-crime writing at its finest.” —Dean Jobb, author of Empire of Deception

A rich and fascinating history of Canada’s first celebrity mobster, Rocco Perri—King of the Bootleggers—and the man who pursued him, Canada’s first undercover Mountie, for readers of Erik Larson, Dean Jobb and Charlotte Gray

At the dawn of the 20th century, two Italian men arrived in Canada amid waves of immigration. One, Rocco Perri, from southern Italy, rose from the life of a petty criminal on the streets of Toronto to running the most prominent bootlegging operation of the Prohibition era, taking over Hamilton and leading one of the country’s most influential crime syndicates. Perri was feared by his enemies and loved by the press, who featured him regularly in splashy front-page headlines. So great was his celebrity that, following the murder of his wife and business partner, Bessie Starkman, a crowd of 30,000 thronged the streets of Hamilton for her funeral.

Perri’s businesses—which included alcohol, drugs, gambling and prostitution—kept him under constant police surveillance. He caught the interest of one man in particular, the other arrival from Italy, Frank Zaneth. Zaneth, originally from the Italian north, joined the RCMP and became its first undercover investigator—Operative No. 1. Zaneth’s work took him across the country, but he was dogged in his pursuit of Rocco Perri and worked for his arrest until the day Perri was last seen, in 1944, when he disappeared without a trace.

With original research and masterful storytelling, Cole details the fascinating rise to power of a notorious Prohibition-era Canadian crime figure twinned with the life of the man who pursued him.

 

Title:The Whisky King: The Remarkable True Story Of Canada's Most Infamous Bootlegger And The Undercover…Format:PaperbackProduct dimensions:528 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 1.15 inShipping dimensions:8 × 5.31 × 1.15 inPublished:March 20, 2018Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443442240

ISBN - 13:9781443442244

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this!!! Well written account putting Hamilton's bootleggers in the spotlight. So much fun to read and reflect as I walk down those same streets. Great marriage of local history and true crime. I purchased about a month ago and have loaned it out a second time already. #plumrewards
Date published: 2018-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating Local Crime History This is a fascinating book about Hamilton's local gangster Rocco Perri. A biography/history that reads like a novel. Terrific.
Date published: 2017-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Page Turner! The non-fiction book "The Whisky King" reads like a novel, a very good novel! Trevor Cole writes with authority on the subject of the book- bootlegger/mobster Rocco Perri and the undercover RCMP operative-Frank Zaneth who was after him. Amidst the facts, Cole deftly weaves a story that holds your interest into the wee hours of the morning. I finished it over the course of two days and nights! I have always loved books about mobsters, so I was surprised to find out about our very own Canadian mobster! I highly recommend this book!
Date published: 2017-05-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting Interesting to know about stories of this time.
Date published: 2017-04-14

Editorial Reviews

"Trevor Cole is a masterful stylist and The Whisky King a tall Canadian crime tale taht just happens to be true. Popular history at its outsized, plot-driven best."