Blue Mafia: Police Brutality & Consent Decrees in Ohio, Tim Tolka

Blue Mafia tells the backstory behind two federal investigations of police brutality in Steubenville and Warren, Ohio, from the perspective of the victims, cops, attorneys, and officials who participated. The story is essentially the biography of a small-town civil rights lawyer, but it is also a hard-boiled detective novel set in an era of rank corruption, smear campaigns, false imprisonments, death threats, and assassination attempts, no longer carried out by the mob, but instead by and for the police.

The book explores the controversial police brutality lawsuits leading up to the historic police reform agreements and their outcomes, using the career of a local civil rights lawyer who fought a 20-year battle against two brutal, corrupt police departments and acted as an informant to federal investigators. It is like an instruction manual for aspiring activists and civil rights defenders who want to oust a despotic police chief or prosecutor, as well as an idiot’s guide for law enforcement and public officials on the pitfalls of power.

In Steubenville, when attorney Richard Olivito defends a drug dealer claiming police misconduct, he begins to feel hunted. Later, he acts as an informant and collaborator to Justice Department officials investigating the Steubenville police, which results in a consent decree, or court-enforced reform agreement, the 2nd in U.S. history. A few years later, Olivito incites another federal Investigation in neighboring Warren, where residents have complained of police brutality for decades. This time is different because there is a video.

Blue Mafia shows that some small towns have at least equally severe problems with police brutality and misconduct as many big cities, and it chronicles federal reform efforts on local police agencies during five U.S. presidential administrations, providing the most detailed account to date of police reform by consent decree and revealing the messy, sometimes tragic yet always human aspects of policing.

Blue Mafia: Police Brutality & Consent Decrees in Ohio is a compelling, gritty, and intriguing true crime story that will captivate as well as entertain readers for many hours on end. Blue Mafia is a book I knew I had to read and review thanks to the poignant nature of it and now I have finished reading the brilliant Blue Mafia, I can happily write that this book exceeded my expectations and is a book I adore. Readers who enjoy true crime and books that inform and educate will adore Blue Mafia thanks to its gripping, intriguing, and captivating story, so I implore readers who love these genres as well as biographies to read this important book… you will not regret it!

Blue Mafia has to be one of the most informative, eye-opening, and brilliant true crime books I have ever read thanks to its powerful and unforgettable nature. In Blue Mafia, the reader will be taken on a journey through police brutality and corruption and the subsequent effects of this, focusing on two small towns in Ohio – Warren and Steubenville. The book explores two federal investigations from the perspectives of those involved, and although it is fact, it reads in a novelized and compelling way.

The reader will meet a small-town civil rights lawyer Richard Olivito, who made it his mission to speak for the people and combat police brutality and corruption. It makes for a compelling tale that is superbly researched and executed thanks to the author Tim Tolka. Tolka does an amazing job of enlightening readers about police brutality in small towns and the implications it has, even on national society and this book lovers is the short premise of the wonderful Blue Mafia that shouldn’t be missed.

Blue Mafia is a book that is flawlessly written and a book that is executed in the most entertaining of ways. Tim Tolka is a talented author; the reader won’t be able to think anything but this as they begin to read his book. That is because Tolka’s descriptive prose is sensational and this combined with the extensive but concise details of the crimes and events that unfolded, make Blue Mafia an unmissable read.

Usually, with true crime stories, I find that the author holds back; the author typically holds back on the gore, the brutality, and the more delicate details that will haunt people. However, Tim Tolka is an author who is brazen with his work, and so he holds back on nothing regarding the brutality and corruption. The outcome of this is an accurate portrayal of a corrupt system that will educate as well as horrify readers.

Tim Tolka is an author I admire for many reasons, one of them being the fact that he does not hold back concerning the crimes explored throughout the book and the other because of his eloquent prose that captivated me from the very start. I adore the fact that Tolka decided to write an honest book and share this story of brutality and corruption with us. This is a crucial factor in a true crime book and a winning factor so this, combined with the fact that Tolka is a talented author ensures that Blue Mafia is one of the best true crime books I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

Overall Blue Mafia is an intricately detailed, flawless, and poignant story and so I have no choice but to award this stellar book five stars so please if you are a reader who loves true crime and biographies then you should not miss out on this brilliant book!

Thank you so much for reading book lovers! I appreciate it so much. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! Please have a read of the preview and if you find that you have loved what you have read then all you need to do is follow the links below!

Goodbye for now book lovers,

P.S. Below I have attached some links about the author and this wonderful book so if you would like to learn more about the author and the book then please have a browse. Thank you so much again for reading book lovers!

Amazon USAmazon UKGoodreads

Author: Book WebsiteYouTubeAuthor’s CompanyAuthor’s Website

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments