While serving as a pilot during the Vietnam War, Gerry Amato - the grandson of Jacob Byrne, the head of a powerful North Philadelphia Irish crime family - seizes the 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 Marseille mob that owns plantations in Cambodia, he is able to send tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana to Philadelphia every month. His grandfather's criminal enterprise distributes the drug to a population that has developed an insatiable appetite for the marijuana. A rival Paris gang tries to force Amato to buy their product, which 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 threaten to destroy the Byrne family. Gerry Amato orchestrates a merciless campaign of retribution against his foes in order to save himself and his family.
In part two of Mercy Row Retribution - the third book in the Byrne family saga - it is April 1975, and South Vietnam is about to fall to the North Vietnamese communists. Gerry Amato fears that the communists will take revenge on the population, especially the children - many of whom are Amerasian - at an orphanage he supported and volunteered at during his time as a pilot. He orchestrates a rescue mission to retrieve the children and bring them to the United States. This takes him and his team into harm's way in Thailand, across Cambodia and into war-torn Vietnam and back. The fates of 75 children and 30 adults rest squarely on Gerry's shoulders.
Mercy Row Retribution includes a bonus section of short, true stories of the author and his friends' experiences growing up in North Philly in the 1940s and '50s.