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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 28 May 2007
Jimmy Moody was an aristrocrat of London crime from the sixties until his murder in the nineties.

He was part of the Richardson torture gang, took part in a famous shoot-out with the Kray firm, joined a Wages snatch gang which netted hundreds of thousands, escaped from Brixton prison with a dangerous IRA terrorist, oh, and was widely reputed to be the most profilic underworld hitman there has ever been in this country.

Wensley Clarkson's book traces Moody's varied career with the notable help of the man's son, brother and IRA friend Gerard Tuite. Some parts of the book read with great authenticity - notably his earlier criminal career - but the 'hits', which are used as the book's main selling point - are vague. Clarkson lists a number of killings that Moody's name has been linked with, but he also points out that Moody's name tended to get linked with everything.

After his spectacular break-out from Brixton prison when he was serving a long sentence for armed robbery, Moody was never recaptured. He ended up living a fairly miserable existence in a couple of tiny flats in south and east London. One wonders why. He seemed to have connections and opportunities to make real cash, but instead went round on his bike and drank in a local. He hated leaving the country (and dogs and smoking) and was almost a cliche of a gangster who loved his Mum and his kids.

Strangely I found Jimmy Moody quite a small character - violent, savage even (at least two men in their early twenties met their death at his hands) - but almost banal in his lifestyle and attitudes. None of the flamboyance of, say, Kenneth Noye, another Clarkson biography subject.

It's a short book, quickly read, and offers an insight into how miserable being a gangster can be, trapped in a world of suspicion and 'codes' that only make sense to the small milieu that men like Moody live in.

Don't expect breathtaking character or action; this is a study in how mundane murder can be.

(Also don't buy Wensley Clarkson's 'Hitman' novel, that tends to get put in True crime rather than fiction sections, while looking for this, like I did. That work shows that Clarkson is no fiction writer. Seriously bad.)
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on 11 November 2003
I have read many true crime stories and had honestly not known much about Jimmy Moody before reading this book, but from the moment I picked this book up I could not put it down.
Wensley Clarkson is a brilliant author and he has bought this amazing character to life again. I felt the difficulties the family must of experienced with their loved one on the run,they had obviously contributed a large amount to the book.
A very interesting story, which makes you think very much about the family and people behind the crime,I am sure Mr Moody was a gentleman and caring family man. I only wish he could of contributed to his story. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
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on 17 February 2016
This book is shocking for the sheer amount of hits Jim Moody did. Mostly, Moody worked for the Richardsons although he did do other work as well.

It is astonishing that he evaded justice for so long, only to be assassinated at the end.
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on 25 May 2007
but as mr clarkson has obviously been in close co-operation with the family he continuously tries to paint a human face to a beast

in the end what goes around came around...
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on 18 July 2014
Brilliant book, always something happening.It would have been easy to pad this story out and made the book longer but that would have ruined it. Read this in 3 sittings during summer in the garden. Very easy to read and hard to put down. Looking at a couple of other wensley clarkson books. Will be buying another. 5 stars.
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on 3 January 2015
A book about a man who did all the things Jimmy Moody did, you would think it'd be a lot better than this. Wensley Clarkson seems to be a bit pretty dull bloke, I've never been able to get into any of his books. I tend to avoid books by him these days
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on 16 October 2015
knowing jimmy and his family I found this book lacking in family detail i.e. no mention of his sister and hardly any mention of his brother dick..and it never showed even a glimpse of jimmys great personality and humour .but a good little read still.
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on 16 February 2015
Ok but much the same as others
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on 5 August 2012
You will not be disappointed with this book. I couldnt put this book down and enjoyed it from first page till last
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on 19 November 2012
Having just finished reading this book,it tells a very sad and bleak life of a well known hard man of the criminal underworld

I found the last part of moodys life in which he becomes disillusion with how it all went downhill very moving.Living through

four decades of crime the faces in the business he must have known must have read like a whos who of the underworld,

what a shame these people never got a mention but only concentrated on a few close friends and family.Never the less

still recommended as a good read.
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