Excerpt from Divine Providence

Coming this fall from JEBWizard Publishing, a new book by Joe Broadmeadow with Pat Cortellessa

Divine Providence: The Mayor, The Mob, and The Man in the Middle

Here’s the excerpt. To be notified of updates, author appearances, and pre-release discounts sign up for our email list here.

This is the story of a Mayor who would be King, The Mob, who would demand its share of the kingdom, and a man caught in the middle. A story so unique, so endemic to the city, so uniquely Rhode Island, that it casts a spell even to this day.

Divine providence: The mayor, the mob, and the man in the middle
by joe broadmeadow

Introduction

The echo of the court clerk’s announcement of guilty on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) count still reverberated in the halls of  Judge Ernest Torres’ court as the implication ricocheted at the speed of light throughout Providence.

The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci, the inimitable, affable, yet darkly complex Mayor of Providence, tarnished forever as a convicted felon. The Providence Renaissance, forever linked to Buddy in fable if not reality, now facing having the curtain pulled back on the myth enveloping the man..

As Shakespeare said, “the evil men do….” The good Buddy would now be buried in the Federal Prison system, removed from the City he loved almost as much as he loved himself.

All that remained now was for someone to pick up the pieces in City Hall and steer the City forward.

Pat Cortellessa—the long-time nemesis of Buddy, fresh from the courtroom where he watched the trial and verdict unfold— now stood in city hall with the man who would bear the burden of acting Mayor, John Lombardi. The scene was surreal, unimaginable just a few short months before. Few expected Buddy to be convicted. Most thought Buddy would emerge dirtied but otherwise unscathed, back in the Mayor’s office once again running his domain. Now the celebration of what many viewed as the end of corruption in City Hall was on.

Pat made his way to the Mayor’s office and walked into what was once the exclusive domain of Buddy. The office, trashed by the celebration, held echoes of so much promise and so many disappointments. Pat wandered over to the window overlooking Kennedy Plaza. The Cafe Plaza building, a prominent place in the plaza, the site of so many battles with Buddy, stood as a reminder of the now former Mayor’s penchant for exerting his control wherever he saw an opportunity.

Pat wondered if it had all been worth it. All those battles fighting for what he believed was right for the city, now mere memories. Buddy was no longer a force to be reckoned with, the conviction took that away. Where it would lead was anyone’s guess.

What lay ahead for Pat, he could only guess. But the memories of the war with the City and Buddy had taken its toll. How had it all come to this?

This is the story of a Mayor who would be King, The Mob, who would demand its share of the kingdom, and a man caught in the middle. A story so unique, so endemic to the city, so uniquely Rhode Island, that it casts a spell even to this day.

And Buddy was now out of sight…but he was far from finished.

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Excerpt “It’s Just the Way It Was: Inside the War on the New England Mob and other stories”

Read an except from the upcoming book by Joe Broadmeadow and Brendan Doherty. Go inside with investigators who infiltrated the mob. Sit with the detectives as they monitor wiretaps. Come face to face with some of the most notorious mobsters who stalked the streets of Providence, Boston, and New York.

Release Date October 9, 2019 JEBWizard Publishing

Pre-order the Kindle version here, before the release date price increase.

Chapter 3 Grundy’s Gym

In 1978, Brendan walked in the door of Grundy’s Gym in Central Falls, Rhode Island. The experience here would have a lifelong impact on Brendan. Something he could never imagine when he first went in.

It was a real boxing gym, not a studio with mirrors where guys hit the bag and brag to girls that they’re fighters. Like most hard-core boxing gyms, it didn’t have the luxury of a quality cleaning service.

Pungent sweat, punctuated by the snap of leather on leather, engulfed you. Grunts, groans, and the shouts of trainers added to the mix. Marinated in the blood, sweat, and tears from years of boxers chasing glory, the building held the echoes of dreams, despair, and determination.

It was where the thrill of victory rarely interrupted the agony of defeat. Most guys were just happy to survive. It was all part of the less glamorous reality of the boxing world.

Old fight promotion posters and pictures of boxers covered the walls. Fighters who never made it to the main bout yet showed enough heart to earn a place on that wall. Making the wall was an accomplishment, perhaps their only one, but here it meant something.

Dried blood stains covered the floor of the ring, known as the canvas, serving as reminders of bouts that went beyond sparring. There was no Rocky-style soundtrack to underscore the punishing pain. The dingy walls, gray shades of age, echoed and amplified the sounds. It wasn’t music, but it held a certain charm to those immersed in the sport. The only color, besides the boxing trunks, was the purplish-red splotches on bruised bodies.

This place was the real deal.

The owner, Bob Grundy, who later became like an uncle to Brendan, was a character out of central casting for a tough guy movie. He was a Marine Raider in World War II, fighting in the extended operation on Guadalcanal, considered the turning point of the war in the Pacific. He came up the hard way, born and raised in a one-room, cold-water flat in the Darlington section of Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

He worked hard, opened his own construction company, and did well. He was a generous man who gave back to his community. He started his gym after the Notre Dame Boxing Club closed. Bob understood the gym was the only thing between jail and the streets for some young men.

 Bob charged no one for membership. The gym was free if you comported yourself like a gentleman. It was an exciting mix of characters, including ex-cons, pro fighters, cops, and con men.

If Grundy’s gym was the real deal, the authenticity came from Bob Grundy. Bob’s son, Peter, a football star at Bishop Feehan who later became one hell of a fighter, introduced Brendan to the place…

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BOOK SIGNINGS

October 11, 2019 6:00 p.m.
Barrington Books Retold
Garden City
Cranston, RI

October 17, 2019 5:00 p.m.
McTs Tavern
940 Mendon Rd.
Cumberland, RI