This is a jaw-dropping absolute classic of a tale, stuffed full of brutal gangster goings-on, with a subtle heartbreaking undertone. Harry Starks sits centre stage, king of his empire, quick to anger, yet does a heart exist under the layers of violence? Five stories in one, each has a unique voice, from Harry’s kept lover Terry, through to failed starlet Ruby, creating a spiralling vortex of emotions, revealing the different sides to Harry. The language is as it would have been, searingly offensive, puffed up gangster, cutting, chilling, real. Real people turn up, including the Krays, and Judy Garland, ensuring an authentic edge. Each story feels as though it is a photo, snapped in the middle of action and each jabbed at my conciousness, made me feel, made me think. ‘The Long Firm’ hobnobs with lords, film stars, and boxers, as it slices its way through organised crime, creating an absolutely fascinating and captivating read. ~ Liz Robinson
Sarah Broadhurst's view...
60’s low life – gangsters, sex, drugs, glamour, violence, wonderful characters and terrific pace. Told by four people who each have a different slant on the gay gangland boss, Harry Starks, and topped and tailed by the man himself, this is highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
London. The 1960s. The capital is swinging, but underneath the boomtown there`s a dark underbelly. Meet Harry Starks: club owner, racketeer, porn king, sociology graduate and keen Judy Garland fan. Harry`s business is fronting violence with rough charm and cheap glamour; putting the frighteners on, performing menace while desperately trying to jump the counter into legitimacy.
Five characters tell five tales that combine in an extraordinary narrative that is both an explosively paced thriller and a brilliantly imagined sociological and topographical portrait of sixties London.
|Publication date:||28th December 2006|
|Publisher:||Hodder & Stoughton General Division|
|Primary Genre||Crime and Mystery|
Closing date: 12/12/2021
'Outstanding...Arnott's recreation of the decadent, dangerous atmosphere of the times is immaculate.' - Observer
'One of the smartest, funniest and most original novels you will read all year.' - John Tague, Independent on Sunday
'Gripping...slumming it doesn't get much better than this' - Mark Sanderson, Time Out
Jake Arnott was born in 1961, and lives in London. He is the author of the THE LONG FIRM, published by Sceptre in 1999 and subsequently made into an acclaimed BBC TV series. His second novel, HE KILLS COPPERS, was also made into a series by Channel 4. He has since published the novels TRUECRIME, JOHNNY COME HOME, THE DEVIL'S PAINTBRUSH and THE HOUSE OF RUMOUR. Click here to read a Q&A with Jake Arnott. Photograph © Christian BarnettMore About Jake Arnott