If The Godfather and The Untouchables are two of your fave movies of all time, if you were obsessed with The Shelbys in Peaky Blinders or had a thing for Tony Soprano and his crazy family, you might want to check out this collection of books featuring organised crime.

Organised criminal networks are involved in many different types of criminal activities spanning trafficking in people, drugs, illicit goods and weapons, armed robbery, counterfeiting and money laundering. And this collection of books features them all. In spades.

Some are fact. Some are fiction. Whether you are seduced by the mob, the mafia, or East End gangs these books won’t disappoint. Immortalised in Hollywood films like The Godfather, mob bosses have long sparked the public’s imagination and grabbed our attention. However, behind these fictional depictions were real bosses at the helm of vast and violent smuggling, laundering, bootlegging, sex work, drug, kidnapping and murder operations. Check out The Mammoth Book of the Mafia by Nigel Cawthorne.

Whether through the seductive myth of honourable outlaws, or the dark hard truth of ruthless criminals, these shadowy groups of ne’er do wells have inspired a vast and bloody selection of books and here are some of their highlights. 

Tough women dominate Martina Cole’s gangland thrillers, women strong enough to stand up to violent men in a shady world …. most of the time. If you love a hard-hitting novel of grit, blood and passion, try Dangerous Lady, her first novel featuring the indomitable Maura Ryan, queen of the East End underworld. If you love Maura as much as we do, check out Maura’s Game, Betrayal and Get Even.

Jessie Keane is fast becoming high priestess of the gangland thriller, heir to Martina Cole’s crown, some say. The Carter Women don’t follow the rules, they make them. Dive into Keane’s deadly stories of London's criminal underworld with the Annie Carter series which starts with Nameless.

If you like your stories of gangsters to be more reality than myth, you must check out these three books. Britain's most infamous criminals are undoubtedly the Kray twins. This objective account in Krays: The Final Word, compiled by best-selling crime author and criminal lawyer James Morton, cuts through the conflicting versions of their stories and answers burning questions still being asked, 50 years after their infamous conviction. 

The Peaky Blinders as we know them, thanks to the hit TV series, blind enemies by slashing them with the disposable safety razor blades stitched in to the peaks of their flat caps, as they fight bloody gangland wars involving Irish terrorists and the authorities led by a devious Home Secretary, Winston Churchill.

Well-known social historian, broadcaster and author, Carl Chinn, has spent decades searching out the real Peaky Blinders.. Now he reveals the true story of the notorious Peaky Blinders, one of whom was his own great grandfather. Peaky Blinders: The Real Story adds a new dimension to the true history of Birmingham's underworld and fact behind its fiction.

And Sins of Fathers gives an interesting and thought-provoking step into a world most of us won’t have an understanding of. Michael Emmett grew up with a career criminal for a father and joined the family business of organised crime. With links to the Kray Twins, drugs, sex, and violence he lived the high life before being sentenced to 12 years in prison after a huge drugs smuggling conviction. This is his story.