Juan Gonzalez Alacreu
(* World of Wonder © Look and Learn Ltd.)
The Hoods are... An explosive new series exposing the violence of Chicago in the 20s.
__Jim Sheridan. He's the hero. He grew up with the street gangs, learned his business the hard way. He's a pusher, a fast climber with ambition. In this story he becomes a hit man, the executioner. It's the first step up the ladder to the top.
__Ed Corso. He's the small-time crook whose organisation becomes too big to handle. He's the man Jim makes his mark.
__Louis Banks. He's the businessman who advises Corso, and hides when the heat is on. His ambition is to take over Corso's stake.
__Izzy the Rat is a gang leader. He fights like a rat, he's a psychopathic killer, and he's Ed Corso's Number One enemy.
__This series is a reconstruction of the life and crimes of the Chicago gangsters who operated throughout the depression and prohibition eras. Their trade was violence, corruption, gambling, prostitution, drug abuse—anything illegal that made money and lost souls.
Louis Banks, shady lawyer, took over Ed Corso's mob when Ed was gunned down. But Jim Sheridan, the man who made the hit, the man Louis double-crossed, biding his time over the border in Mexico. He wanted a share, his share, in the mob's new-found wealth.
__For the National Prohibition Act, which became effective in America at 12.01 a.m. 17 January, 1920, had produced a new source of illegal wealth for the rapacious mobsters While the American people danced and drank in speakeasies the gangsters made loot, gained power, killed and maimed the law and the rival gangsters.
__So revenge and greed occupied Jim Sheridan's mind — Louis was the target.
Jim Sheridan and the Syndicate have the town of Chicago sewn up. The police are in the pocket of the gangsters; the speakeasies, the brothels, the gambling clubs are all flourishing. Now it's time for Jim Sheridan to break into the big time, time for him to set up his own man as mayor in town. The man he picks is Tad Paulsen, the platform is effective government, and the hoods will see that he makes it into power.
__The deal is set up, the police are squared. But, sitting one day in the barbershop, a spray of machine-gun fire smashes through the door and catches Jim in the shoulder. Someone is out to hit him.
__Who is the mysterious enemy who is trying to mow Jim down, take over his territory and break up the Syndicate? Soon the town is blown apart as gang attacks gang; no one is safe on the streets.
They sent Jim Sheridan to jail to teach him a lesson. And he learnt — about the two big H's, Heroin and Homosexuality.(* Many thanks to Tony for answering a number of questions relating to his novels. You can find out more about his work at his official website and blog.)
__So when Jim tasted freedom again, he decided to corner the heroin market. And that meant messing with the heavy mobs in New York. But Jim knew all there was to know about the treachery of gang rivalry, and turned the whole shooting match to his favour.
__That's how Jim came to be the proud owner of a six million dollar empire — in heroin.