Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
on 16 August 2008
"Once in a while you come across a book that delivers a blow to the guts, and very occasionally a kick to the arse as well. Gene Kerrigan's LITTLE CRIMINALS is such a book." WR Burnett
Harte's Cross, a small town outside of Dublin, is the home to a small time hoodlum, Frankie Crowe. Frankie has always wanted the easy way, it seems. He left home after his family reported him to the local Garda, Ireland's National Police Service. Ever since he has been on the lam or loosely involved in someone else's capers. Now, he has decided that he wants to commit a large enough crime to set him up for life. He sets his sights on kidnapping a prosperous lawyer, Justin Kennedy. Frankie has old friends who join his 'crew' and the plans are set. Frankie, who has a short fuse, settles differences with Jo Jo, a criminal mentor, when JOJO disagrees with Frankie's plans. This sets in motion a plan and plot that interests the garda. As all plans go awry when not well thought out, Frankie discovers that the better plan is to kidnap Kennedy's wife Angela. One thing leads to another and one of the most exciting and well written crime novels moves ahead.
Gene Kerrigan gives close attention to his characters. They are brought to life with exacting detail and we get to know them. To like them, is another matter, but we care. Besides his crew, we learn about Frankie's ex-wife and child, some of the towns people and, most of all the police. The upper echelons and the lower ranks. Caught in the middle is John Grace, an honest detective. "He had mastered the methodical routine of detective work and was sure of his abilities as a supervisor of those beneath him on the ladder. Those talents got him to a respectable level, at which he lingered." Because Grace knows Frankie, he is brought into assist the police in an in-depth analysis of Frankie and his crew.
The rest of the book plays out the story of the kidnap from the viewpoint of all the gang members and those affected by the crime. It is a mesmerizing glimpse into modern day Ireland, where the Church has little say and the young 'want what they want' as quickly as possible, paying little attention to the customs of yore. Past tragedies and dreams collide, and we have a glimpse into the world of the criminals and those lives that they shatter.
Highly, Highly Recommended. prisrob 08-16-08
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