Gangland crime has long been a fascination of readers and writers alike, and many great books have been written about the seedy underworld of London's criminal underbelly. From gritty street crime to high-level organized crime, these books can take you on a thrilling journey through a shadowy world of skullduggery. Here are four of my fav gangland gangster novels set in London.
1. "The Long Firm" by Jake Arnott "The Long Firm" is a novel set in the 1960s that follows the life of Harry Starks, a gay gangster in London's East End. The book explores the world of organized crime in London and the relationships between criminals and their associates. The book is a thrilling read, and Arnott's writing is sharp and gritty. The novel was a critical success when it was first published in 1999, and many still consider it one of the best gangster novels set in London.
2. "Layer Cake" by J.J. Connolly "Layer Cake" is a novel set in the 1990s that follows the life of an unnamed gangster as he tries to retire from a life of crime. The book is a suspenseful read, and Connolly's writing is sharp and witty. The book was also adapted into a successful film in 2004, which starred Daniel Craig in the lead role.
3. "The Business" by Martina Cole "The Business" is a novel set in the 1980s that follows the life of Maura Ryan, the boss of an organized crime syndicate in London. The book is a gripping read, and Cole's writing is at its sharpest. The book explores the power struggles that occur within criminal organizations where so much money and prestige are available for those willing to take the risks to get ahead. The novel was a commercial success when it was first published in 1996, and it is still considered one of the best gangster novels set in London.
4. "The Family" by Martina Cole "The Family" is another novel by Martina Cole (well, she is called the Queen of crime after all) that explores the world of organized crime in London. The book follows the life of the Bailey family, a criminal gang that operates in East London. The novel is a gripping read, and Cole's writing is, once again, sharp, austere and engaging.
From organized crime to street-level violence, these books explore the seedy underbelly of London's criminal world and extensive criminal heritage.
Join my newsletter and have my starter library of stories delivered directly to your inbox.