From Pulitzer Prize winner Teresa Carpenter comes the captivating true-crime story of a Mafia moll—“the female counterpart of the pseudonymous Henry Hill, the star of Wiseguy….An insider’s view of mob life that is by turns comic and chilling” (Los Angeles Times).
Arlyne Weiss grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the daughter of a Jewish mobster who ran an auto sales business as a front. From a young age she idolized Virginia Hill, the girlfriend of gangster Bugsy Siegel, and aspired to what she saw as a glamorous and exciting life. After a brief marriage to a furrier named Norman Brickman, she achieved her goal and then some, inserting herself into the lives of dozens of wiseguys—Italian mobsters were her preference—and becoming addicted to the rush of danger and lawlessness. But after years of violence, a brutal gang rape, and finally, threats against her daughter, she turned the tables on those who betrayed her and became a government informant, wearing a wire and ultimately becoming a major witness in the government’s successful case against the Colombo crime family.
Teresa Carpenter, editor of New York Diaries: 1609-2009, is a former senior editor of the Village Voice where her articles on crime and the law won a Pulitzer Prize. She is the bestselling author of four books and lives in New York City with her husband, author Steven Levy, a senior writer at Wired magazine.
“A chronicle of savage callousness in a world where bestial behavior is commonplace. . . . Carpenter’s complexly detailed characterization of Brickman is powerful.”
– The Chicago Tribune
“The female counterpart of the pseudonymous Henry Hill, the star of Wiseguy. . . . An insider’s view of mob life that is by turns comic and chilling.”
– The Los Angeles Times
“Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carpenter has done a superb rendering of Brickman’s story. . . . Vividly re-creates Brickman's exhilaration over her triumphs and pain over her defeats in her pursuit of the mob girl lifestyle.”