Giancana, Sam 1954-
Giancana, Sam 1954-
Born 1954; married; wife's name Bettina (a writer).
Agent—c/o Author Mail, William Morrow, HarperCollins, Inc., 10 E. 53rd St., 7th Fl., New York, NY 10022.
(With Chuck Giancana) Double Cross: The Explosive, Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1992.
(With wife, Bettina Giancana) 30 Seconds (novel), Warner Books (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Michael Corbitt) Double Deal: The Inside Story of Murder, Unbridled Corruption, and the Cop Who Was a Mobster, William Morrow (New York, NY), 2003.
Author Sam Giancana is the nephew and godson of Sam "Momo" Giancana, an organized crime leader who died in 1975. The elder Giancana forms the subject of Double Cross: The Explosive, Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America, written by the younger Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Double Cross was a best-seller upon its release in 1992, in no small part due to the portrait Chuck and Sam Giancana created—from their insiders' perspective—of the notorious Mafia kingpin who had ties to presidents, the CIA, organized labor, the FBI, movie stars, and criminals of every stripe. Among the allegations the Giancanas examine in Double Cross are "Momo's" ties to assassination attempts on Fidel Castro, his influence upon gambling in Las Vegas and narcotics traffic in major American cities. The book also alleges that, feeling betrayed by President Kennedy after helping him to win election, Sam Giancana may have been planning assassination attempts as he spied on the private lives of both John and Robert Kennedy.
Organized crime plays a role in Giancana's novel 30 Seconds, written with his wife, Bettina. In this story, an advertising executive named Marty English races the clock to create a Super Bowl commercial spot for a new client, Arrow Pharmaceuticals. Only after Marty's father is murdered and Marty becomes the owner of a cryptic computer disk that may reveal the killer, does the real agenda of Arrow Pharmaceuticals unfold. A Kirkus Reviews critic found "tons of surefire thriller elements" in 30 Seconds. A Publishers Weekly reviewer called the book "a wild ride" and Marty English "an engaging protagonist."
More recently Giancana has teamed with Michael Corbitt on Double Deal: The Inside Story of Murder, Unbridled Corruption, and the Cop Who Was a Mobster. In this nonfiction work, Corbitt recounts his strange double life as a respected police chief who was also a Mafia insider. Corbitt's account offers another perspective on the Chicago-based mob led by "Momo" Giancana—and also on the changing values that have led convicted mobsters to testify against their former associates. Library Journal correspondent Sarah Jent called Double Deal a "frank and enjoyable book" that "gives readers a window" into the world of Chicago organized crime families prior to 1990. A Publishers Weekly critic likewise styled the work "a fast-paced inside look at the workings of the Chicago-based organized crime syndicate."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 1, 2003, Gilbert Taylor, review of Double Deal: The Inside Story of Murder, Unbridled Corruption, and the Cop Who Was a Mobster, p. 1129.
Christian Science Monitor, March 19, 1992, Guy Halverson, review of Double Cross: The Explosive, Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America, p. 13.
Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 1998, review of 30 Seconds, p. 1056.
Library Journal, March 15, 2003, Sarah Jent, review of Double Deal, p. 100.
Publishers Weekly, August 10, 1998, review of 30 Seconds, p. 370; January 20, 2003, review of Double Deal, p. 73.
Time, April 13, 1992, David Ellis, review of Double Cross, p. 65.