Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Book Review: Gang Land From footsoldiers to kingpins – the search for Mr. Big by Tony Thompson

Gang Land From footsoldiers to kingpins – the search for Mr. Big by Tony Thompson
• H&S Non Fiction
• 9781444706857
• $35.00
• Paperback - C Format
• August 2010
• 352 pages
• True Crime

Tony Thompson, bestselling author of GANGS, returns to the killing streets and takes us to the heart of UK gang culture.

Since the publication of Gangs five years ago, the landscape of organized crime has changed beyond all recognition. Youth violence, the drug trade and rising levels of gun crime are rarely out of the news. The country also continues to experience an influx of powerful foreign criminal syndicates who are establishing operations here in order to take advantage of our global connections. Beginning on the troubled streets of the inner cities, Gang Land takes its readers on a journey up through the underworld hierarchy until it finally reaches the very highest levels, occupied by elusive and shadowy Mr. Big characters. Written using a mix of personal experiences, undercover work, primary research and cutting edge investigation, Gang Land sheds new light onto this highly secretive, often terrifying and utterly fascinating world.


Tony Thompson is the bestselling author of GANGLAND BRITAIN and GANGS, and is widely regarded as one of Britain s top true-crime writers. He has twice been nominated for the prestigious Crime Writer s Association Gold Dagger for Non-fiction, winning the coveted title in 2001 for his book THE INFILTRATORS. He is the former crime correspondent of the Observer and appears regularly on both television and radio as an expert on matters of crime.

Previous Books:

GANGS (Hodder & Stoughton, 2005); GANGLAND BRITAIN (Hodder & Stoughton, 1995); The Infiltrators (Michael Joseph, 2000).


Gang Land is an account of the criminal underworld of the United Kingdom and their international reaches throughout other cultures.

Thompson’s portrayal of the shady underworld is quite detailed and concerning. How much of it is fact and how much is fiction is a mystery that the reader will never really know, without becoming part of this culture within the UK. Some of the events that Thompson details are extraordinary and hard to believe could really happen, but then again, fact is often stranger than fiction.

The hierarchy and structure of organised crime is incredible and Thompson goes to great length to show the reader just how complex and organism these entities can become, with almost more unwritten rules than there are written policies within a government organisation.

I’ve not read any of Thompson’s previous True Crime books, but will be keeping an eye out for them now.

A very interesting read that will educated the general public about this society within society.

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