Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Book Review: Mercy Row Retribution By Harry Hallman

Mercy Row Retribution
By Harry Hallman
Genre: Crime Fiction

Book Description

While serving as a pilot during the Vietnam War, Gerry Amota, the grandson of Jacob Byrne, the head of a powerful North Philadelphia Irish crime family, seizes an opportunity to create a lucrative marijuana smuggling operation. It's 1967 and under the secrecy of a classified military operation and with the assistance of a French Marseille Mob, who owns plantations in Cambodia, he is able to send tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana a month to Philadelphia. His grandfather's criminal enterprise distributes the drug to a population who has developed and insatiable appetite for the marijuana.

A rival French from Paris gang tries to force Amato to buy their product and this triggers war between the Byrne family and the Paris mob.  From the steamy jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia, to the streets of Saigon, Paris and Philadelphia the ruthless actions of the Paris mob threatens to destroy the Byrne family. Gerry Amato orchestrates merciless campaign of retribution against his foes in order to save himself and his family.

My Review

I love Harry Hallman's writing. His stories revolve around crime fiction, but are also historical pieces. I appreciate that Harry can lure me into his characters' world while also teaching me some things about the time period. 

In this third book of the series, we meet back up with the K&A gang. Some of my old favorites like Mercy are in this book and they bring back the memories of the family's history. Mercy's son Gerry fought in Vietnam and Harry switches perspectives from what's going on in their hometown of Philly to the war in Vietnam. It flows very well! 

Harry drops us into the mob world while crossing international borders. He isn't afraid to surprise readers with a sudden death or two ... Beyond the violence we see loyalty, compassion, and the power of someone's word. Another awesome read!

Author Bio 

Hallman was born in 1944 and raised in the Kensington section of North Philadelphia. Hallman's father was Harry Hallman, Sr., a champion pool player who also owned a poolroom called Circle Billiards, located at Allegheny Avenue and Lee Street in Philadelphia. The younger Hallman spent many hours after school at his father's poolroom and watching his father play in other poolrooms in Philadelphia and New Jersey. The people he met, some belonging to the real K&A Gang, influenced his writing of the Mercy Row series.

After a year of being an apprentice plumber he served four years in the U.S. Air Force, including two tours in South Vietnam as a photographer. His first tour was at Ton Son Nhat Airbase where he processed film shot by U2 Aircraft over North Vietnam and China.  He returned to the same place for his second tour, but processed film shot by U.S. fighter recon aircraft. He is married to Duoc Hallman, whom he met in Vietnam, and has two children, Bill and Nancy, and one grandchild, Ava.

Hallman is a serial entrepreneur who has created several marketing services and digital media companies and continues to work as a marketing consultant. 

Email Hallman at harry@mercyrow.com. Keep informed at www.mercyrow.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mercyrownovel.


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