I rish-American novelist E.R. Fallon has written a compelling historical crime drama. The Trouble Boys paints a vivid picture of 1940s and 1950s gangland New York, and explores the deadly consequences of loyalty to family and friends. Here the author tells us a little bit more…

The Trouble BoysYou’ve dedicated The Trouble Boys to your family. Could you have written the book without them?

I don’t believe I could have. Writing and getting The Trouble Boys published has been a journey over a decade in the making and I could never have done it without my family.

People may well think of New York as a hotbed of anonymity. But the Bowery you present in the book is a place where everyone knows each other’s business, is that familiarity something specific to the Bowery?

I would say that historically most areas in old New York were very close-knit. Especially in historically immigrant areas such as the Bowery there was essentially a sense that everyone was family and looked out for one another.

For all the death in the book, some might consider one of the most tragic things to be the life of Maureen. Like the young carers of today, who miss out on being kids. Colin has to grow up fast too, but there’s possibly something sadder about what Maureen becomes.

I’m glad you pointed this out as it’s something that when writing the book I’d hoped readers would sense.

What one sentence from the novel sums up the life of Colin and the other gangsters?

“Of all the things Colin had learned in the business, the one that mattered most was that betrayal was irrelevant so long as you were doing it to better yourself and could protect yourself from any consequences.”

Are there still people in New York leading a gangster life?

I’d say there are, although probably to a lesser extent than in the past. New York has changed a lot throughout the years, and gangsters don’t control certain areas the same way they did in the past. Or if they do, it’s more hidden.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

I’m making progress on another historical gangland book that takes place in a very different setting. I hope to finish it in 2018.

The Trouble Boys publishes 22 February. urbanepublications.com

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