First published in the UK by Hodder and Stoughton in 1999.
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Bought the ebook
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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 trying to 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 brilliantly imagined sociological and topographical portrait of sixties London.
I'm definitely becoming a Jake Arnott fan. Although The Long Firm has different subject matter to my previous read, House Of Rumour, the novel is just as well researched I think and I love the way he intertwines the lives of fictional characters with historical facts and personages. The presentation of 1960s London is spot on. At the time of reading, I wasn't totally convinced by the inclusion of the final chapter with its deep sociological arguments as it did not seem to fit with the style of rest of the book. After reflection though, I think it does work but that I was reading to fast to allow for the passing of so much time in Harry Stark's world!
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Books by Jake Arnott / Historical fiction / Books from England