Saturday, December 08, 2007

Crash Out!

The time frame for this book is just on the cusp of period I usually read. The story begins in 1939 with the Shopping Bag Gang from Hell's Kitchen, their exploits and capture for robbery, and the gang leaders' attempt to escape from Sing Sing.

It's a great read. Goewey has provided meticulous details for every facet of the book. He really shines describing the break out and the gang's capture. The 3rd degree given to the captured suspects is described in graphic detail. He also manages to be fair in his assessments of all the characters involved- police, criminals, guards, family members. The details in the book make it easy for the reader to have sympathy for Whitey Riordan (executed for the murder of a guard and a policeman during the robbery but not the actual killer); but, Goewey doesn't just gloss over the escape attempts victims and it's a rotten deal that they were killed in what was supposed to be a clean break.