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Little Criminals

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  261 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Set in modern Dublin, "Little Criminals" is a story that bristles with tension and expectation, a story about what happens to the fragile things--friendship, love, and compassion--when all rules are broken.
Paperback, 340 pages
Published November 27th 2018 by World Noir (first published May 5th 2005)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  261 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
This was just a fabulous read -- if you like crime-fiction, it's 5++ stars
Rob Kitchin
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Little Criminals is a cracking read and a lesson in how write all tell and no show, using tight, sparse, expressive prose. There isnt a single sentence that doesnt 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 ...more
Lesley Shears
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Last year I picked up Kerrigan's "The Midnight Choir" and loved it -- so I was pleased to see his earlier crime novel finally become available here in the U.S. The Irish journalist's style is very reminiscent of Bill James' Harpur & Iles series -- straight police and thieves procedurals written to show both sides of a crime. The story here revolves around Frankie Crowe, a second-tier Dublin hoodlum with delusions of the big time. He's put a crew together to kidnap a wealthy banker and hold ...more
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kerrigan, like Alan Parks and Denise Mina, is among the best of the Irish/Scots?British noirs!
Tanya See
Couldn't finished written in strange way
Pris robichaud
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads
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
Bonnie Brody
Frankie Crowe is a 'little criminal', a guy who wants to do things quickly, has a trigger temper and a great amount of rage inside of him. He's been in jail and, up till the present time during Ireland's economic boom, he's been involved in mostly petty stuff. He decides that he wants a bigger piece of the pie and puts together a plan, a team, and goes for it.

To start off, he wants the okay of his mentor, Jo-Jo, the old world Godfather. Jo-jo thinks that Frankie's plan is bogus and tells him
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 didnt 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, and
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 ...more
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Frankie Crowe, an extremely vicious, clearly insane criminal who fails at small time robberies decides to make things even more difficult by kidnapping and holding for ransom a wealthy banker who lives outside of Dublin. Except the guy isn't a banker with ready access to millions of pounds but a securities lawyer who represents banks.


Crowe's nemesis is John Grace, an experienced detective who has put Crowe in jail a few times, drafted onto the handpicked squad investigating things.
Elizabeth Quinn
Sep 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Ed Mckeon
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, ireland
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.
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.
Aug 29, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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.
Lynn Kearney
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Phil James
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book at was really interesting and from the very first chapter it grabbed my attendtion with a very entertaining scene. well worth a read if you like crime fiction. Interestingly this one looks more at things from the criminals perspective.
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, ireland
Wow, another lovely violent page turner from Gene Kerrigan. I'm looking forward to the Rage. Little Criminals is great to read in the ebook format so you can look up the Irish gangster slang as you're reading.
Apr 16, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ireland-mystery
purchased at MOTB 04/12/08
Another riveting look at modern Irish crime by Kerrigan a journalist who seems to really know Dublin's mean streets.
Aug 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kit Fox
Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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 ...more

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