The East End belongs to the O'Donnells. Tough, violent and proud, Gabriel O'Donnell has fought his way up from poor Irish roots to run the gambling, prostitution and protection empire that makes him rich, and that one day his boys, Brendan and Luke, will take over. It's not easy to love a man when violent crime is his career, as Eileen O'Donnell knows, so she's invested everything in her children: icy cool Brendan; Luke, who hates the horror of gang warfare; irrepressible Catherine with her verve for life; and Patricia, married to a man whose brainless viciousness is close to madness. Then Kessler turns up. An enemy from the old days, he's got plans to move in on Gabe O'Donnell's turf. But Gabe swears he will see him burn in hell before that happens, no matter how much blood gets spilt. It's that obsession which leads to a tragedy that changes all their lives...A spellbinding novel of the sixties underworld, full of menace and darkness, The Sins of Their Fathers will grip you to the end as two families are locked in a ruthless struggle of money, love and pride, determined to win no matter what the cost.
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(178mm x 110mm x 20mm)
Arrow Books Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Gilda O'Neill is a woman of multiple abilities, and her various skills as novelist, social commentator and historian dovetail together very satisfyingly to produce a vivid, flint-edged picture of London's East End in the 1960s which leaps off the page with its sardonic dialogue and sharply drawn characters. The O'Donnell family are living the life of Reilly. Their brief includes prostitution, protection rackets and gambling, and their very name inspires respect and fear. But Harold Kessler, long-time nemesis of Gabriel O'Donnell, head of the clan, has decided to bring his family back to the East End, and a bloody confrontation is inevitable. The plotting here is quite as adroit as one could wish, and Gabriel O'Donnell is one of the most powerfully drawn protagonists in the British crime genre for quite some time. But it's the realization of some less-than-admirable characters that is O'Neill's trump card - she allows readers to make their own judgements on the characters and resists any kind of moralising authorial voice. This refusal to judge is initially disconcerting, but treating readers as intelligent people is rarely a bad move, and in the long run her resistance to conventional novelistic ploys pays rich dividends. You won't like many of the people you encounter in this book, but you'll find it very difficult to put it down. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Gilda O'Neill
Gilda O'Neill was born and brought up in the East End. She has written eleven novels and six non-fiction books. She lived in Essex and Shoreditch. Sadly she died on 24 September 2010 after a short illness.