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06/09/2019: The Mayfair Mafia - Book Review

The Mayfair Mafia
The Lives and Crimes of the Messina Brothers

By Dick Kirby

Published by Pen and Sword True Crime


The book begins with an interesting foreword by an ex-police colleague of the author and progresses to the prologue, where we learn that the word Mafia might have originated as far back as the 1860s. Considering the word seems more modern than that, this titbit of information was an immediate surprise to me.

Kirby’s wit and extremely dry humour comes on straight away as early as the prologue which, of course, makes reading heavy subjects easier and created a relationship between the author (narrator) and the reader. When you read further, you get a good understanding of pimps and prostitution, slavery and murder, and gangs around the world.

Focussing the content towards London, Kirby adds references about events and people who are mentioned in his and other authors’ books. This is a useful cross-over element for readers of true crime in the historical and contemporary eras.

This book isn’t for the overly-sensitive but if you enjoy reading real life crime from the side of the good guys, then you’ll love Kirby’s Mayfair Mafia.

Reviewed by Sarah Banham
www.loveofbooks.co.uk for Pen and Sword Books

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