Friday 18 March 2016

Irish crimes

Because of St Paddy's Day yesterday, which I could not celebrate fully, I decided to give my readers a bit of reading suggestion. Not Irish literature, but literature about Irish people: Montreal's Irish Mafia. Under the title: The true story of the infamous West End Gang. I blogged about it before, but then I had not read it. Since then, I did. And I can tell you it is an amazing book, maybe my favourite book about Montreal's crime history. In spite of its title, it's not so much about the Irish mafia, which never formally existed in Montreal anyway (one of the big ironies about it), as it is about Montreal's organized and sometimes disorganized crime, through its Irish criminal elements. But it goes beyond the Irish community to show Montreal crime life through its various gangs and national groups, marked by their alliances, tensions and sometimes wars. The motto of the city is Concordia Salus, which means Salvation through Harmony. This book shows the dark, ironic twist of the motto. Montreal's Irish Mafia is an epic, true crime saga that has enough material for a few crime novels.

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