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"The Long Firm" By Jake Arnott

1 rating: 3.0
Cover of novel "The Long Firm"

The novel was the basis for a British TV movie.

Author: Jake Arnott
Genre: Crime Fiction
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Date Published: 02-17-2000
1 review about "The Long Firm" By Jake Arnott

"Long, long and lonely nights, I cried my heart out over you." Song lyrics

  • Jun 27, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+3
Things were swinging in London in the '60s. This is the story of Harry Starks, a gangster, nightclub owner and a Jewish man who is gay.

As the story unfolds, he meets a young man named Terry. Terry narrates how he was won over by Harry's assertiveness and generosity. Soon after meeting, Harry asks Terry to move in with him as his lover.

Harry has a reputation as a mobster and has a following. Not only does he own a nightclub himself, but he brings his entourage to other clubs and mingles with celebrities.

When Terry tired of being Harry's lover, Harry sets him up to run an electronics firm. However, the firm is a front, Harry's scheme is to obtain the name of a deceased person, create various documents in that person's name, deposit some cash into bank accounts to establish credit. After that, build an inventory, delay payment of bills, withdraw the money from the bank and have a fire sale and disappear.  The business is registered in the name of a deceased person so the gang gets away with the scheme.

Another of Harry's traits is that he has a strong sense of loyalty but when crossed, he can be sadistically cruel. This is something Terry finds out first hand when he tries to skim off some of the money on one of Harry's schemes.

The story has a number of parts, each narrated by a different character's point of view.  The next section is told by a member of parliament who Harry wins favor with and then uses his name to benefit more of Harry's cons.

The story is a lighthearted romp through the British mob scene. Harry is a chameleon; he's generous but dangerous when crossed, most of the time he's in good spirits but if someone crosses him, he can be as deadly as poisonous snake.

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