An infamous true crime case: the collision of the most dangerous sides of the underworld, the law and adult entertainment

In the world of FBI deep cover, if your performance doesn’t measure up, doesn’t convince the criminals you’ve been tasked to bring down, it could mean instant death, and there is no backup coming to save you.

In the late 1970s, Pat Livingstone found himself in that exact situation.

Pat was a top FBI agent, young, intuitive, physically able, hellbent on success, and willing to do whatever it took to get the job done. He seemed like the perfect candidate to join the FBI’s select and exclusive new pilot program to go undercover.

Because back in the late 1970s, the FBI was radically shifting their policy. They’d been burned by too many gangland snitches, too many “inside” witnesses who either turned tail before testimony or ended up dead. They wanted to shore up the odds, to have their own people on the stand, and give first-hand documentary evidence to the crimes they witnessed.

And the bureau already had Pat’s target in the crosshairs.

Overnight, he was leading a massive, country-wide sting operation out of Miami against the homegrown kingpins of peep-show flicks, pop-up theaters and massage parlors, illicit sex shows, and hardcore pornography, the majority of which was controlled by a violent Mafia monopoly, stretching from New York to California, with bank accounts and collaborations in the Cayman Islands and Canada.

To infiltrate this world, Pat Livingstone became Pat Salamone, a fast-talking wholesale dealer in porno movies and magazines who dressed and talked as if he was starring in his own version of Miami Vice, complete with Italian loafers, suits the color of after-dinner mints, and Don Johnson’s attitude on steroids. The world and the work were intense, dangerous, glamorous, sexy, and drenched in the constant threat of bloodshed. He loved it; he thrived on it; he scored success after success; he became addicted to it.

Except no one at the FBI warned him there was no coming back, that every day he spent undercover, Pat Livingstone would become a stranger to himself, would be swallowed up more and more by his alter ego, Salamone. No one warned him that the very identity he had chosen to protect himself could crack him in two, could make him become a criminal for real, could blur the lines, and could bring him to the brink of professional ruin and death…

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all illustrations copyright (c) Banjamin Marra, 2023

Nicholas Mennuti is the writer of the espionage thriller Weaponized (Mulholland Books/Little Brown), which had film rights purchased by Universal Pictures and Scott Stuber and Scrap (NeoText). Nicholas's short stories have appeared in AGNI and Conjunctions, and he has written about the intersection of technology and entertainment for the Huffington Post. He is also a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic Writing program.

Benjamin Marra is the creator, writer, and artist of the comics NIGHT BUSINESS, AMERICAN BLOOD, and TERROR ASSAULTER: O.M.W.O.T. (One Man War On Terror), all published by Fantagraphics. Acclaimed writer Grant Morrison chose Marra as a collaborator on the first issue of the relaunched HEAVY METAL Magazine. Marra had two serialized webcomic series appear on His most recent book is JESUSFREAK, written by Joe Casey and published by Image Comics. In 2016, he was named one of the Art Directors Club's Young Guns. He illustrated the cover of American Illustration 35. In 2017, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for his album art of Wayfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmare, a collection of obscure 1970s post-Age-of-Aquarius Heavy Metal.