Book Review – Blood Money
By Clive Small & Tom Gilling
You know you’re onto a good book that has this; Darwiche had brought two rocket launchers to use in the attack. His plan had been to use one but he changed his mind when he learned that not all the Razzaks were inside. The second rocket launcher was to be used against police in the event of a chase.
OK, no real biggie there for any blokey type of crime novel, but the fact is this is part of the true story of the Australian crime scene!! This book chronicles some of the bikies, terrorists and Middle Eastern Gangs in Australia, specifically the last 30 years. Clive Small should know what he’s talking about, he is a retired detective and Assistant Commissioner of Police.
For those fans of Underbelly, this is a must read, and it shows that the series (about the Kings Cross) is about as true a depiction as you are going to get. This was a real hard book to put down, although sometimes got difficult due to following all the characters as they are so intertwined keeping track is a skill…not to mention the names of the Middle Eastern gangs, especially when most of them are related.
It starts off with the infamous Frank Hakim (The Lebanese Godfather)the Bayehs, and then into the Ibrahims – in these cases you will easily picture them from the series. There are some great tales of drugs, violence, corruption etc etc (not that I condone that sort of thing), but when it gets to Danny Karam and his “Boys” it really becomes something you think can only be make-believe! Karam is the nutter he was portrayed on TV, but Kanaan (his boy who killed him) was off the planet!
Moving on from this it moves to the Darwiches and Razzaks from the excerpt above – this is a gang war of almost biblical proportions, and it makes you think that South Auckland is a veritable pre-school in comparison (not taking the police work their lightly of course!).
After the Lebanese (as most were) gangs have been covered, it moves into the bikie gang culture, and again it must be said that those here are (or seem to be portrayed as) small fish in a big pond – who do you think supplied the rockets launchers from above!?
The last section is about the growing threat of terrorism – in fact growing doesn’t seem the right term – there have been over 150 terrorism attacks in or on Australian interests since 1966…the difference nowadays seems to be where the funding is coming from – drugs. The slowest of all the sections, but somewhat disturbing to comprehend.
Well written with a great photo library (you should see some of the ugly mug shots they have) and highly recommended.