|Long Firm, the (1999) [Novel]|
by Jake Arnott
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(From the publisher):
A long firm is a particular type of scam perpetrated by British gangs on unsuspecting innocents. Harry Starks is a kind of fraud too. He likes to think of himself as an impresario in roaring-60s London, a club owner. Certainly he is a romantic but, in truth, he is a gangster, a rival of the infamous Krays and every bit as ruthless (and gay).
He has an expensive flat in Chelsea full of scrapbooks showing him with Sonny Liston, Johnny Ray, Ruby Tyder, and other celebrities who appear at his club. Even Judy Garland. He likes to hobnob with fighters and performers and, recently, a member of parliament whose allegiance he has cultivated. Harry collects them, as if proximity will give him legitimacy. "Show business is in my blood," he boasts to a friend and prospective victim. Show business, larceny, sadism...
Harry Starks is a force, a contradition. Harry is ingenuous and evil. He is menacing and ruthless, yet compelling, a romantic who insists on honor, insists on loyalty, on his cut of the cosmic pie. His generosity is as renowned as his barbarity, and he is very generous.
Original title: The Long Firm
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Suspense