Saturday, 29 June 2013


About the Book:
Mercy Row is a novel set in 1920's and 1930's Philadelphia. It's the story of the rise of a North Philadelphia crime family who was also responsible for building the homes and factories that make up this blue collar area of the city. Despite the violent trials and tribulations caused by rival gangs from South Philadelphia and Chicago Jacob Byrne and Franklin Garrett, with the help of the Irish immigrants that settled the Kensington area, build a formidable Irish mob.

This legal and criminal enterprise kept North Philadelphia free from the Mafia for two generations. Jacob's and Franklin's organization was built on the blood of those who opposed them, the sweat of the laborers who built North Philly and the tears of the wives and mothers whose loved ones were lost in the struggle. 
When Jacob Byrne and Franklin Garrett meet for the first time in a jail cell, neither of them could visualize that this would be the start of an unlikely and lucrative friendship.  Jacob's father is the wealthy and powerful head of the construction company where Franklin is the head of construction.

Together with the Irish immigrants they form a gang to suppress the Mafia in Philadelphia and this book is the story of their rise to power.
I thought the swearing was a little over the top and could not help feeling that it was more for shock value than effect, but some readers may not feel like that.  

For a debut novel it kept my attention throughout, the writing was simple, not challenging, and the characters were interesting but I did not feel that I got to know any of them intimately.

Overall, a good story and one for anyone who's interested in this time period.
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