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Publisher's Summary

It's men like Jimmy Coonan and Mickey Featherstone who gave Hell's Kitchen its name. In the mid-1970s, these two longtime friends take the reins of New York's Irish mob, using brute force to give it hitherto unthinkable power. Jimmy, a charismatic sociopath, is the leader. Mickey, whose memories of Vietnam torture him daily, is his enforcer. Together they make brutality their trademark, butchering bodies or hurling them out the window. Under their reign, Hell's Kitchen becomes a place where death literally rains from the sky. But when Mickey goes down for a murder he didn't commit, he suspects his friend has sold him out. He returns the favor, breaking the underworld's code of silence and testifying against his gang in open court.

From one of the writers behind NYPD Blue and Homicide: Life on the Street comes an incredible true story of what it means to survive in the world of organized crime, where murder is commonplace.

©2006 T. J. English (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about The Westies

Average Customer Ratings
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Great book

Started slow and was a bit confusing to follow all the characters. But ended in a great way. Highly recommend this book for anyone that is into true crime books.

4 people found this helpful

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Documentary that reads like a novel.

This history of Hell's Kitchen and the Irish immigrants that formed an organized crime dynasty is well told, with great detail, and without politicization. The reader can form their own opinions as the events unfold. I especially like the follow up at the end that gives the reader closure on the participants.

3 people found this helpful

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TJ English's best. Love his work.

I really love TJ English's well document, well researched books. The Westies is my new favorite. I visited Hell's Kitchen a few years ago. Now I have to go back with this story fresh in my head. An outstanding crime story.

3 people found this helpful

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Good in depth Irish Mob book!

I knew almost nothing about The Westies before this book. It goes from the beginning to the end of the crew with all the details laid out for you. Narration is great and its the perfect length to hold your attention the entire time!

2 people found this helpful

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Very good narrator, absorbing true story

If someone were to write this tale as a novel I would not have believed it. incredible research.

2 people found this helpful

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incredible

one of the best accounts of old time gangs and gangsters I have ever read.

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating story

If you are a fan of non-fiction mafia or organized crime stories, this is a must listen to book. Delivery was good with a true reading of the book. The story was a bit biased towards Mickey but perhaps not undeserving.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed the Audio

Familiar with the Westies story. Book was very detailed first hand accounts of 70 and 80’s gangsters. Well done and we’ll read

1 person found this helpful

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Great, Informative Narrative

The narrator was good, not great, but the way the writer relayed the history events was very good. I had a harder time seeing the primary subject of the story as the monster that he was because much of the story, although admitting his actions, didn't dwell too much on the specifics. It was great to learn about this part of Manhattan as it existed into the end of the 20th century.

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excellent book

An amazing story. Could not stop listening. As a former New York growing up in Brooklyn , I remember reading the Headlines.
Now I able to hear the rest of the story. Thank you for a Great Book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • PMeehan
  • 04-01-19

Skip the first chapter!!!

A stunningly-detailed recounting of the rise and fall of The Westies in New York's Hell's Kitchen from the '50s to 1980s.

The write has done his research in astonishingly details, as he is able to recount stories and events that would only be remembered by those who were in the situation at the time.

With a lot of supporting character, English helps you to identify each major player involved without getting too bogged down in explaining who has done what, while also keeping the narrative running.

The only downside is that he reveals the book (and Westies) climax in the first chapter, thereby colouring your view of the whole story. So skip the first chapter if you download this audiobook.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Bananaman
  • 02-01-18

Great

A real eye opener, I find this kind of crime book so engrossing. I have a bit of a morbid curiosity for mafia history and this didn't disappoint. It did however make me feel a little sick.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-08-17

What a book

Excellent listen from start too finish had me on the edge of my seat "bravo"

3 people found this helpful

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  • nigel screen
  • 07-12-19

get this book

A really well written, well researched book and very enjoyable. I would recommend this to anyone

1 person found this helpful

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  • robert
  • 02-21-19

Great listen

These types of books are often hit and miss but this is one of the good ones. The type of story that has you so interested you start Googling the real life characters to see what they looked like. Recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Leitrim Caravan Hire
  • 12-11-18

Loved this

On so many levels I have enjoyed this book. Educational and really interesting.
Highly recommend and really enjoyed the narrator James Anderson Foster.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-31-18

Very good work

great audio book five stars from me.

Very interesting read about the Irish American mob.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs L Lloyd
  • 07-27-18

riveting

slow start but then it kicks of with an increditable, well researched , well written and narrated tale of a criminal gang I had never heard of.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tom O’Donnell
  • 04-10-18

loved it

first audio book absolutely loved it. Would highly recommend this for anyone who likes this genre

1 person found this helpful

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  • John
  • 03-07-21

superb

Really great book with a great narrative style.
I was hooked from the start and came back time and time again till finished.
The people depicted were hardened criminals but the narrative brought them to life without demonising or patronising the cast of characters.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-11-18

Great

very good audio book. keeps you wanting more after every chapter. Well written and spoken.