After reading the introduction on the cover, I became a little intrigued, as I had just finished reading a biography of Al Capone. Well, this book can draw some parallels between the big racketeer of old, with the new age racketeer brought to life as Danny Boy Cadogan.
In the UK setting, Danny Boy, a teen from an under-privileged home, is thrust into the bread-winner role for the family when his father runs up a gambling debt he cannot pay and bails on his wife and three children. Danny, takes it upon himself to find work to pay the bills and provide for his family in the absence of his father.
Danny's job at a scrap yard puts him into contact with Louie, who becomes a guide to the Faces (the criminals of power) in the London underworld.
Danny develops a natural case of megalomania, and with his childhood best friend Michael, begins to build an empire to rival or even surpass the syndicates of old Chicago in Europe. Danny provides the muscle and ruthlessness to the business, while Michael acts as the brains.
The character and plot development is brutal and raw; definitely not for the faint of heart. Cole pulls no punches in chronicling the meteoric rise of this dynamic duo.
Question is, what does it take to get to the top, and once there how do you stay on top?
The question is also answered, is there such a thing as honour among thieves?
For an intriguing look at Cole's view of the UK underworld and modern day racketeering, check out FACES.