Reading the Screen: Kill the Irishman
Posted by: David Pitt
Kill the Irishman, the new movie directed and co-written by Jonathan Hensleigh, is based on To Kill the Irishman, a 1998 book by Rick Porrello. The book chronicles the rise and fall of Danny Greene, an Irish-American who, in the 1960s and ’70s, muscled in on the Cleveland Mafia’s turf (he was also, for a time, an FBI informant).
After several failed attempts on his life, Greene was assassinated in 1977, but by then he’d accomplished his mission: to disrupt and weaken the Italian Mafia’s hold on the territory.
To Kill the Irishman is a very good true-crime book. Porrello, a veteran police officer in the Cleveland area, knows his material backwards and forwards, and the book is as gripping and suspenseful as any fictional story. If you’ve seen the movie, and you’re curious how much of it is based on fact, the book will answer all your questions.