Little Criminals
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Little Criminals

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  125 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Justin and Angela Kennedy have money, love, children and a limitless future. Jo-Jo Mackendrick is a pillar of Dublin gangland society; a man determined that nothing will endanger his hard-earned supremacy. Into their lives come Frankie Crowe, an ambitious criminal tired of risking his life for small change. Kidnap could be the first step on his climb to a better life, and...more
Published May 5th 2005 by Vintage
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LITTLE CRIMINALS. (U.S. 2008). Gene Kerrigan. ****.
In my previous review of “The Midnight Choir,” I indicated that that novel was the first in Mr. Kerrigan’s projected trilogy. I was wrong. This novel was the first; but it doesn’t make any difference. They are both essentially stand-alone novels. The only carry over that I could find was of one character from this novel to the next, and he did not play a big part in this one. Other than that, the similarities kind of end, except that they are b...more
This was just a fabulous read -- if you like crime-fiction, it's 5++ stars
Really could not stop reading this book, I lost sleep over it and finished in 24 hours. The picture of modern day Ireland is chilling, the mind set of the small-time criminals is convincing, the author's characters come alive. Looking forward to reading more by this author.
Ed Mckeon
As a McKeon, I might be prejudiced towards these fine writers of crime fiction from Ireland. Kerrigan is not only a gifted writer, but he's able to construct a plot so compelling, complex and satisfying, that it is nearly impossible to put the book down. From page one we're drawn into the imperfect lives and worlds of the criminals and their victims, vacillating between whom we should be pulling for. I'm glad I have just begun to read Kerrigan's books and that there are many more ahead of me.
Pris robichaud
Little Criminal Minds, August 16, 2008
"Once in a while you come across a book that delivers a blow to the guts, and very occasionally a kick to the arse as well. Gene Kerrigan's LITTLE CRIMINALS is such a book." WR Burnett

Harte's Cross, a small town outside of Dublin, is the home to a small time hoodlum, Frankie Crowe. Frankie has always wanted the easy way, it seems. He left home after his family reported him to the local Garda, Ireland's National Police Service. Ever since he has been on the...more
Rob Kitchin
Little Criminals is a cracking read and a lesson in how write all tell and no show, using tight, sparse, expressive prose. There isn’t a single sentence that doesn’t propel the story forward. Rather than following one person, Kerrigan shifts the point of view, telling different elements of the story from the perspective of a handful of characters, principally the main criminal Frankie Crowe, his reluctant sidekick, Martin Paxton, kidnap victim Angela Kennedy, and copper John Grace. The character...more
RATING: 2.75

Frankie Crowe is a small-time hood planning a big-time score. He's served some time for some minor infractions (and lost his family as a result)—now he's ready to take things to the next level, to do a job that has a big pay-off and forget about the penny ante stuff he did in the past. He's done some research and determined that the crime that will provide the maximum return for the least amount of effort is to kidnap a wealthy individual and demand a ransom. He figures that a succes...more
fter reading a Europa Editions book translated from French (see my previous recent blog The Most Beautiful Book….) I decided to read a book translated from Irish, Little Criminals. Actually, I suppose it didn’t need much translation. I had a good sense of what most of the slang meant, some of the names were unimaginable, and there was only one undecipherable and unimportant Celtic word in the entire book.

Is is fiction, cops and robbers genre, about little criminals, their dirty little crimes, an...more
Frankie Crowe is neither a good person nor a particularly good criminal. He assembles a crew of fellow criminals to at first rob local pubs, and when that becomes not profitable enough for the danger he puts himself in, he dreams up a scheme that will result in the greatest profit for the least about of criminal work. Apparently kidnapping is his preferred mix of ease and profit. Of course this plan goes wrong (Frankie Crowe is not the sharpest tool in the shed), and then things actually get int...more
This book was not something that I would typically pick up, but it was for a book club. The book deals with small time criminals that are trying to make a name for themselves by doing a kidnapping. They manage to make some rather large mistakes, and things start to go downhill fast. The writing was beautiful. Even though the characters were involved in things that I find unsavory, the way the writer wrote the story kept me engaged throughout the book. There were a few issues with closure at the...more
Elizabeth Quinn
I loved Irish journalist Gene Kerrigan's The Midnight Choir, and I REALLY loved Little Criminals. This is what I think of as a caper book -- a step-by-step depiction of a single crime from the mastermind's initial idea and the selection of the gang to the logistical planning and the inevitably botched execution. The crime here is kidnapping, a caper dreamed up by an ambitious small-timer named Frankie who thinks he has what it takes to be a crime lord. Kerrigan's characters are vivid, his settin...more
Gripping story set in the heart of Dublin's Gangland culture. You meet the 'Kennedys' who seem to have it all wealth , power & top of a criminal empire. Then along comes ' Frankie' whos tired of the small time stuff & looking for that once off big job with the large payoff. This takes us on a rollercoaster ride involving kidnap , violence and suspence . Excellent story telling,a real page turner, this is a writer who really knows how to tell a story. Well recommended . A must read.

I started to read this and had to put it down until I was ready for a dark crime novel. Unlike many in the genre, the police aren't the focus. The story follows a criminal, ambitious beyond his capabilities in carrying out a kidnapping that goes awry. Underlying the plot is a commentary on the Irish economy, white collar thieves, the inevitability of crime, and kindness and cruelty. Kerrigan is an outstanding writer. The cover blurb compares him to Elmore Leonard; I agree.
Stephanie Harris
4.5. Really good crime story. Straightforward prose, not a lot of adjectives, good chatacterization, multiple points of view. Glad I found this author!
I'm finishing my third Gene Kerrigan book, and really enjoy his writing. His characters are engaging if not always likable. The pace of the story is just right for me, tight but not frenzied. The dialogue is seemingly real to the Irish setting. I appreciate that the author doesn't portray the police as some bumbling idiot. Every character is well-drawn and brilliant. I rarely give 5 stars, but this author deserves them.
Jon Newswanger
A little more hard-edged than I like when it comes to a mystery, but I guess this isn't a pure mystery, I think I've seen it described as a police procedural. That being said, I enjoyed this one more than the two other Kerrigans I've read recently. It gets wrapped up a little more completely.
A superb kidnap caper, little criminals walks the reader through many strata of the modern Ireland -- the opportunists, the quaint, the career criminals, and the chancers. A well-plotted ride, Kerrigan's tale amazes one that the principals get as far as they manage.
A very apt title to describe the book, which looks at a bunch of small time crooks looking to make a big score. Kerrigan nails the characters and provides a keen journalistic eye throughout. I love his work and wish he had more books published in the US.
I liked this book with two problems. First, it is written by an Irishman and uses Irish slang which I have no clue about. Second, I wasn't impressed with the ending. Too many loose ends. Good story up until that point though.
Lynn Kearney
I read this book after The Midnight Choir, instead of before it, but it didn't seem to matter. Gene Kerrigan is a great find. He really has created some indelible characters. Am very much looking forward to The Rage.
Ann Marie
Picked this up mainly because of a blurb on the front from Roddy Doyle, who is one of my favorite writers -- the man has an amazing way with dialogue. This wasn't quite Doyle level, but very satisfying on many levels.
Definately not a Parker of a Jack Taylor - more like watching an episdoe of the Sweeney or Taggart. Very readable though and good pace. A good filler book between epics.
I really like Gene Kerrigan's books. Good characters. Gritty writing. The ridiculous banality and brutality of crime. The permanent harm it inflicts.
Kit Fox
I thought this was some pretty strong crime fiction and enjoyed it a lot more than The Midnight Choir. Hope Europa keeps putting his stuff out.
Not a bad debut novel, set in Dublin based around crime gang attempting a big pay-off. Little drawn out but certainly kept the interest.
Another riveting look at modern Irish crime by Kerrigan a journalist who seems to really know Dublin's mean streets.
Rachel Jones
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matthew Sutton
good irish crime fiction.
Apr 16, 2008 Pam marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland-mystery
purchased at MOTB 04/12/08
ECK-ToRead marked it as to-read
Jul 20, 2014
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Gene Kerrigan is an Irish journalist and novelist who grew up in Cabra in Dublin. His works include political commentary on Ireland since the 1970s in such publications as Magill magazine and the Sunday Independent newspaper. He has also written about Ireland for International Socialism magazine. He was chosen as World Journalist of the Year in 1985 and 1990, and has written books, including ficti...more
More about Gene Kerrigan...
The Rage The Midnight Choir Dark Times in the City Hard Cases The Big Lie: Who Profits From Ireland's Austerity?

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