If this is the first Mad Frank book you buy, then expect to be somewhat disappointed.
The key to this book is context. Frank Fraser was a notorious villain and thoroughly mixed up in the crime world of London for decades, and is therefore uniquely placed to offer a commentary on just who did what, why and where it happened.
You really need to read "Mad Frank" first. This book expands on events and personalities touched on in Frank's autobiography, as well as other notable and notorious events in the recent history of London. Then imagine Frank holding court with a group of intent listeners, around a bottle of something enjoyable. That is the style and context of this book, someone sharing his knowledge of the history and characters of criminal London in his own humourous and conversational style.
This is not some dry textbook volume which would belong in a law library. It is more criminal history as recounted by a part of that history. Accept it for what it is obviously intended to be and it makes this book all the more enjoyable; a few hours in the virtual company of Mad Frank when he is on a storytelling roll.
The followup to this book, "Mad Frank's Britain", is even more accomplished with a wider subject matter and even more of Frank's gallows humour. Both are worthy of the attentions of anyone with an interest in British crime and the underworld.
on 9 February 2003
After reading this book the only feeling I got was shear relief. Mad Franks London is tedious book which goes through all of the crimes which took place in and around London from the 1920's to present day. I don't doubt that Frank Fraiser had an extraordinary life, but i feel that this book did nothing to explain what went on, it was just murder after murder. Having not read the other Mad Franks books maybe I did not know enough about him, but to be honest I don't think it would have made any differance to the enjoyment level. If you want to know about brutal murders and hundreds of random names which you will never hear of again, then buy this book. This book really wasn't for me, but maybe if you lived in London (as I don't) it might be easier to read.