The Secrets of the Krays by John Dickson #BookReview @ReadersFirst1 @jblakebooks


Author: John Dickson

Genre: Memoir / True Crime

Format: Paperback 256 pages

Release Date:  13 December 2018 

Publisher: John Blake

I would like to thank the publisher and the author for the opportunity to receive a copy of this book via ReadersFirst. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


The inside story of life with the Krays

John Dickson arrived in London from Edinburgh in 1964, looking for work…and adventure. He soon found it in the pubs and card clubs of the East End, where he met and go to know the twins and the members of the ‘firm’. He was, for many years, a close and trusted henchman of the Krays, and was the man who drove Ronnie to the Blind Beggar pub the night that George Cornell was shot.

In this explosive book, Dickson tells the inside story of Ronnie and Reggie’s gangland underworld. He recounts the increasingly erratic and senselessly violent behaviour of the twins, and their final arrest, which came at a time when they had thought they were invincible.

The Secrets of the Krays is an illuminating and thrilling journey into the world of the East End’s most notorious sons.

My Thoughts

As with any book that provides an account on the past told from one person’s perspective, you have to take everything with a certain ‘pinch of salt’. Throughout this book, John Dickson describes how he came to London and he joined the ‘firm’ with the Kray twins at the helm. Obviously what follows is John’s version of events and how he perceived them to be. Providing you keep that in mind this is actually a really interesting book. 

I have read various pieces and watched a few films on the Kray twins and this was an entertaining addition to what I have already enjoyed. My only criticism is that I would have liked the book to provide more of a conclusion on what happened after they were caught and put on trial. I would have liked to know what John went on to do afterwards. 

I think it’s fair to say that the writing is very basic and it’s not necessarily going to win any prizes, but I wasn’t exactly expecting that kind of read. What you see is what you get with this book and for anyone who likes true crime I would recommend adding this to your reading lists. 

For more reviews and updates you can follow me on Twitter @BooksBucks

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