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The Pierre Hotel Affair

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New York City, 1972-Bobby Comfort and Sammy “the Arab” Nalo were highly skilled jewel thieves who specialized in robbing luxury Manhattan hotels. (They once robbed Sophia Loren’s suite, relieving the Italian actress of over $1 million in gems.) With the blessing of the Lucchese crime family, their next plot targeted the posh Pierre Hotel—host to kings and queens, president New York City, 1972-Bobby Comfort and Sammy “the Arab” Nalo were highly skilled jewel thieves who specialized in robbing luxury Manhattan hotels. (They once robbed Sophia Loren’s suite, relieving the Italian actress of over $1 million in gems.) With the blessing of the Lucchese crime family, their next plot targeted the posh Pierre Hotel—host to kings and queens, presidents and aldermen, and the wealthiest of the wealthy. Attired in tuxedoes and driven in a limousine, this band of thieves arrived at the Pierre and with perfect timing, they seized the security guards and, in systematically choreographed moves, they swiftly took the night staff—and several unfortunate guests who happened to be roaming around the lobby—as hostages. The deposit boxes inside the vault chamber are plundered and, after the intruders have held the Pierre under siege for almost two hours, the gentlemanly thieves depart in their limousine with a haul of $28 million. But then matters begin to deteriorate. Comfort, Nalo, and their partners begin to double and triple cross one another—two absconding to Europe with the bulk of the booty while three are murdered by their former associates. The authorities immediately suspect Comfort and Nalo of masterminding the Pierre ambush and arrest them, but these veteran criminals keep their mouths shut. To ensure that they are not prosecuted, the Lucchese Family funnels a $500,000 bribe to the presiding judge to quash the charges—and to this day The Pierre Hotel caper remains unsolved. A suspenseful narrative of Mafia intrigue, police corruption, and personal betrayal—which concludes with a poignant love affair—this is the true story of the most famous hotel robbery in American history.


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New York City, 1972-Bobby Comfort and Sammy “the Arab” Nalo were highly skilled jewel thieves who specialized in robbing luxury Manhattan hotels. (They once robbed Sophia Loren’s suite, relieving the Italian actress of over $1 million in gems.) With the blessing of the Lucchese crime family, their next plot targeted the posh Pierre Hotel—host to kings and queens, president New York City, 1972-Bobby Comfort and Sammy “the Arab” Nalo were highly skilled jewel thieves who specialized in robbing luxury Manhattan hotels. (They once robbed Sophia Loren’s suite, relieving the Italian actress of over $1 million in gems.) With the blessing of the Lucchese crime family, their next plot targeted the posh Pierre Hotel—host to kings and queens, presidents and aldermen, and the wealthiest of the wealthy. Attired in tuxedoes and driven in a limousine, this band of thieves arrived at the Pierre and with perfect timing, they seized the security guards and, in systematically choreographed moves, they swiftly took the night staff—and several unfortunate guests who happened to be roaming around the lobby—as hostages. The deposit boxes inside the vault chamber are plundered and, after the intruders have held the Pierre under siege for almost two hours, the gentlemanly thieves depart in their limousine with a haul of $28 million. But then matters begin to deteriorate. Comfort, Nalo, and their partners begin to double and triple cross one another—two absconding to Europe with the bulk of the booty while three are murdered by their former associates. The authorities immediately suspect Comfort and Nalo of masterminding the Pierre ambush and arrest them, but these veteran criminals keep their mouths shut. To ensure that they are not prosecuted, the Lucchese Family funnels a $500,000 bribe to the presiding judge to quash the charges—and to this day The Pierre Hotel caper remains unsolved. A suspenseful narrative of Mafia intrigue, police corruption, and personal betrayal—which concludes with a poignant love affair—this is the true story of the most famous hotel robbery in American history.

30 review for The Pierre Hotel Affair

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I had to double-, triple-, quadruple-check that this book was published in 2017 and not in 1977. There's something to offend everyone in here--more than enough overt racism, casual misogyny, and unapologetic fat shaming to go around! Was this book written by a freshman frat guy to fulfill his creative arts curriculum requirement? How did actual, non-ironic phrases like "even whores have hearts," "Arab musk," and "luscious thighs" (AGAIN, NOT SAID IRONICALLY) make it past the editors? Is this boo I had to double-, triple-, quadruple-check that this book was published in 2017 and not in 1977. There's something to offend everyone in here--more than enough overt racism, casual misogyny, and unapologetic fat shaming to go around! Was this book written by a freshman frat guy to fulfill his creative arts curriculum requirement? How did actual, non-ironic phrases like "even whores have hearts," "Arab musk," and "luscious thighs" (AGAIN, NOT SAID IRONICALLY) make it past the editors? Is this book self-published?? It's a damn shame that a truly fascinating story got picked up and destroyed by a hack author and an apparently incompetent publishing house. Popsugar Reading Challenge 2018: A book involving a heist

  2. 4 out of 5

    Doug Haskin

    This should have been a really interesting true crime book. However, it suffers from some of the most overblown, cliche-ridden writing I've ever read. That makes reading the book a chore, because every sentence or so you just want to get out an editor's red pen and start marking up the text. This should have been a really interesting true crime book. However, it suffers from some of the most overblown, cliche-ridden writing I've ever read. That makes reading the book a chore, because every sentence or so you just want to get out an editor's red pen and start marking up the text.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

    Great true crime story!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    I really enjoyed this book. The author kept it fast paced. I wish he would have included pictures of the characters.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    I'm not a huge true-crime reader, but I generally try a couple a year, and this one about a jewel heist in early 70s New York caught my eye. It's an interesting period in the city, and I'm a sucker for heist stories. The author tells the story of the planning, execution, and aftermath of the heist in a novelistic style, creating imagined scenes, dialogue, and motivations some 45 years after the fact. I'm not opposed to this approach in principle, but the result here is the most poorly written pr I'm not a huge true-crime reader, but I generally try a couple a year, and this one about a jewel heist in early 70s New York caught my eye. It's an interesting period in the city, and I'm a sucker for heist stories. The author tells the story of the planning, execution, and aftermath of the heist in a novelistic style, creating imagined scenes, dialogue, and motivations some 45 years after the fact. I'm not opposed to this approach in principle, but the result here is the most poorly written prose I've read in the past ten years or so. Don't get me wrong -- it's a nifty story, but it leaves no cliche unused, and is written in a style I might best describe as "leering" -- if not outright misogynistic. Literally every woman in the story is described in physical and sexual terms, regardless of the relevance to the story, and it often reads as if dictated by a 12-year-old boy attempting to imitate period tough guy lingo. It's also incredibly racist, as apparently no one is able to interact with someone of a different ethnic background without commenting on it, and the dialogue invented for the African-American people is absolutely painful. Despite one of the two key players being Turkish, the author seems entirely unaware that Turkish people are not Arab or "Arabian." There's a lot of period detail in the story, with cars and clothing getting loads of attention. However, there's also plenty of period detail that's clearly wrong -- for example, people are described as dancing in 1972 to a song that wasn't recorded until 1974. Similarly, people are described as going to "hot" clubs in 1974 that didn't actually open until several years later. So -- I don't know... There's all kinds of allegations of police corruption, judicial tampering, and whatnot, but who knows if any of it has any truth to it at all. The heist is an interesting yarn, but the rest of this book is garbage.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Landon

    Great true crime story with details that don’t disappoint. The real magic of this book is that it reads like it was co-authored by an uncouth, self-assured crook whose glory years were the 70’s (it was). Just feast your eyes on one of the last lines of the book, recapping what happened to one of the characters, “Health wise, Milly aged gracefully, though the passage of time had bloated her.”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Recitation of facts, as perceived by the author, without narrative, commentary or context is not a type of nonfiction I enjoy. The degrading remarks about women were offensive and and added nothing to the story being told.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dale

    The true story of eight men and the largest jewel heist in history! My thanks go out to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, and Maia Larson, for my copy of this book! Rock on! In early 1972, Samuel Nalo and Robert Comfort, an associate of the Lucchese Crime Family, Christie 'the Tic' Furnari, and other members of the gang carried out a robbery that has become a legend! The target was the Pierre Hotel and $3 million in cash and jewels. Previously, the pair had been involved in The true story of eight men and the largest jewel heist in history! My thanks go out to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, and Maia Larson, for my copy of this book! Rock on! In early 1972, Samuel Nalo and Robert Comfort, an associate of the Lucchese Crime Family, Christie 'the Tic' Furnari, and other members of the gang carried out a robbery that has become a legend! The target was the Pierre Hotel and $3 million in cash and jewels. Previously, the pair had been involved in the theft of $1 million in jewelry and cash from the Sherry Netherland Hotel, and major robberies/burglaries at other hotels including the Regency Hotel, the Drake Hotel, the Carlyle Hotel and the St. Regis. Nalo was a master planner and seemed to be the gang’s leader, but Comfort was also a major organizer. In all, eight men joined together to make the assault on the riches held in the hotel’s safety deposit boxes: the afore mentioned Nalo, Comfort, and Fumari, along with Fumari associate Robert Germaine, Ali Ben, Al Green, and Nick Sacco. Germaine dressed as a chauffeur and stayed outside as the lookout. Entering the hotel dressed to the nines in tuxedos and using the name “Doctor Foster and party,” the gang quickly rounded up hotel employees. After robbing the vault, the thieves gave each hotel employee a small amount of cash and fled into the night. This was the moment the plan began to fall apart… The planning and execution of this robbery and the breakdown of the gang as they turned on each other makes for some exciting reading. If I had one complaint about the book, it is that it goes into perhaps too much detail. I feel that perhaps forty pages could have been shaved off of the 402-page length. It’s not boring, per se, but it could be tightened somewhat. This is just one man’s opinion, you understand. All in all, it was a satisfying read, and I will likely revisit the book at a later date! The book really brings out the characters, and that is perhaps better than the details of the crime! I give the book four stars! Quoth the Raven…

  9. 5 out of 5

    Erik

    The startling and sensational true story of the most famous unsolved heist in American history: the theft of $28 million in jewels from the Pierre Hotel. New York City, 1972. Bobby Comfort and Sammy “the Arab” Nalo were highly skilled jewel thieves who specialized in robbing luxury Manhattan hotels. (They once robbed Sophia Loren’s suite, relieving the Italian actress of over $1 million in gems.) With the blessing of the Lucchese crime family, their next plot targeted the posh Pierre Hotel—host to The startling and sensational true story of the most famous unsolved heist in American history: the theft of $28 million in jewels from the Pierre Hotel. New York City, 1972. Bobby Comfort and Sammy “the Arab” Nalo were highly skilled jewel thieves who specialized in robbing luxury Manhattan hotels. (They once robbed Sophia Loren’s suite, relieving the Italian actress of over $1 million in gems.) With the blessing of the Lucchese crime family, their next plot targeted the posh Pierre Hotel—host to kings and queens, presidents and aldermen, and the wealthiest of the wealthy. Attired in tuxedoes and driven in a limousine, this band of thieves arrived at the Pierre and with perfect timing, they seized the security guards and, in systematically choreographed moves, they swiftly took the night staff—and several unfortunate guests who happened to be roaming around the lobby—as hostages. The deposit boxes inside the vault chamber are plundered and, after the intruders have held the Pierre under siege for almost two hours, the gentlemanly thieves depart in their limousine with a haul of $28 million. But then matters begin to deteriorate. Comfort, Nalo, and their partners begin to double and triple cross one another—two absconding to Europe with the bulk of the booty while three are murdered by their former associates. The authorities immediately suspect Comfort and Nalo of masterminding the Pierre ambush and arrest them, but these veteran criminals keep their mouths shut. To ensure that they are not prosecuted, the Lucchese Family funnels a $500,000 bribe to the presiding judge to quash the charges—and to this day The Pierre Hotel caper remains unsolved. A suspenseful narrative of Mafia intrigue, police corruption, and personal betrayal—which concludes with a poignant love affair—this is the true story of the most famous hotel robbery in American history.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Donadio

    I like this book. The author has an easy writing style. Short and to the point. Many anecdotes showed the eight thieves and their families and acquaintances in 1972 as characters playing out what they thought was their private lives, only to be hijacked and revealed in 2017. Nick Sacco is the only living thief. These guys were smart, patient, and calculating. I wonder if they couldn't have become equally as wealthy on the right side of the law? So, now the book will be made into a movie. I suppo I like this book. The author has an easy writing style. Short and to the point. Many anecdotes showed the eight thieves and their families and acquaintances in 1972 as characters playing out what they thought was their private lives, only to be hijacked and revealed in 2017. Nick Sacco is the only living thief. These guys were smart, patient, and calculating. I wonder if they couldn't have become equally as wealthy on the right side of the law? So, now the book will be made into a movie. I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise, but it shows me that it's the subject matter rather than the genius of the author that gets a book into the movies. By the way, these thieves were know as gentlemen, which fares them well in the outcome of the story.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Carranza

    Don't believe a thing you read in this book. It's all a lie! The NYPD Manhattan North Robbery Squad planned this robbery. They used an informant to set the whole thing in motion. These guys were not involved in the robbery of Sophia Loren or the robberies of the other hotels. They were set up by the police to take the fall because the police had no idea who robbed the four other hotels. The real robbers got a free pass! Of the eight robbers of the Hotel Pierre, one of them was the informant. He Don't believe a thing you read in this book. It's all a lie! The NYPD Manhattan North Robbery Squad planned this robbery. They used an informant to set the whole thing in motion. These guys were not involved in the robbery of Sophia Loren or the robberies of the other hotels. They were set up by the police to take the fall because the police had no idea who robbed the four other hotels. The real robbers got a free pass! Of the eight robbers of the Hotel Pierre, one of them was the informant. He got away with most of the loot ($12 million Dollars) $8 million, of which, the detectives took for themselves. The other $4 million was turned in! Detective Brendan Tumulty of the 4th Detective District Robbery Squad planned the whole thing with the rest of his squad!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Roberta Westwood

    A heist from the bad guy's perspective. I enjoy stories of real life heists, satisfying my curiosity about how they pulled it off. This book certainly gave me that! I'm equally interested in how authorities crack the case, but it was missing this key element for me. Refreshingly though, the book served up the whole story from the perspectives of the criminals. It was a new way of looking at a story, and it was interesting... up to a point. How they escaped capture evolved into how they both stuck A heist from the bad guy's perspective. I enjoy stories of real life heists, satisfying my curiosity about how they pulled it off. This book certainly gave me that! I'm equally interested in how authorities crack the case, but it was missing this key element for me. Refreshingly though, the book served up the whole story from the perspectives of the criminals. It was a new way of looking at a story, and it was interesting... up to a point. How they escaped capture evolved into how they both stuck together and double crossed each other. Meh. They didn't all live to tell the story. Overall, I'm glad I stuck with it until the end, but it doesn't leave me hankering for another crime-by-the-criminals tale. Audible version

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ronnie Cramer

    The 1972 Pierre Hotel heist makes for a fascinating story, and I'd love to read a straightforward account of it. This one is weighed down by a glut of details and dialogue that are obviously spurious. Descriptions of women (often encountered briefly almost fifty years before) invariably include expressions like "succulent thighs," "apple-shaped breasts," "meaty thighs,'" "pear-shaped breasts," "mouth-watering thighs," "barefoot and like a nymph in heat," "legs perfectly shaped and honey-toned," The 1972 Pierre Hotel heist makes for a fascinating story, and I'd love to read a straightforward account of it. This one is weighed down by a glut of details and dialogue that are obviously spurious. Descriptions of women (often encountered briefly almost fifty years before) invariably include expressions like "succulent thighs," "apple-shaped breasts," "meaty thighs,'" "pear-shaped breasts," "mouth-watering thighs," "barefoot and like a nymph in heat," "legs perfectly shaped and honey-toned," "womanish hips and roundish buttocks." It's cartoonish to the point of being distracting.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kirsti

    A personal account of an infamous jewel heist in 1972 Manhattan. It is also a grizzly peek into the inner workings of the criminal mind. All the characters, on both sides of the law, were deeply flawed, so it was hard to know whom to root for. Though not particularly well written, it was a gripping page-turner.

  15. 5 out of 5

    North Landesman

    A fun book. Nick Sacco is highly pleased with himself. The robbery is funny and entertaining, and all of the story is action packed and fun to read. This acts like a time machine for the early 1970s. A warning: the text is somewhat old-fashioned in regards to women and other races.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tom

    Very quick read, read on a plane and trip. Interesting page turner.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    Interesting story, but super poorly written. Felt like reading a bad movie script written by a five year old child.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Susan Ovans

    Immediately absorbing tale of a motley crew of jewel thieves. The minute-by-minute retelling of the heist is thrilling.

  19. 4 out of 5

    angelika traylor

    Fascinating! A tale of true crime that has it All! I can’t wait for the making and release of the movie.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Shiloh Frederick

    Yes, the language isn't the most P.C., but it is one heck of a story. Yes, the language isn't the most P.C., but it is one heck of a story.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Way more entertaining that a detective novel. I am so surprised that I hadn't heard of it! Way more entertaining that a detective novel. I am so surprised that I hadn't heard of it!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Carter Rise Sr

    A very good story very poorly written

  23. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    I don’t usually rate what I’ve read, but this is easily one of the worst-written books I’ve ever read in my life.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lauren D

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  26. 5 out of 5

    sharon kalaris

  27. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea G

  28. 4 out of 5

    Meg Alexander

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chuck Tappa

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Gour

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