After a leading a busy City of London law firm for twelve years, I retired to take a degree in American Studies, eventually gaining a Ph.D. I got the inspiration to write the book after reading about the late Tom Pendergast. He was the Boss of Kansas City for almost twenty years.
Without doubt, his methods were corrupt. He won elections by any number of illegal acts, such as ballot-box stuffing. He ran the city by paying off the police and awarding city contracts to his own companies and his cronies.
Yet at the height of the Depression, when one in three American adults was jobless, unemployment in Kansas City was only 1%. Pendergast made sure people had a job and a place to live, food on the table and clothing for the family.
I was intrigued by this story.The man was obviously a criminal, yet doing a lot of social good. It got me thinking about the grey areas within politics and power and this is what I wanted to explore in my book.
The themes in the novel relate to human frailty, that life is never black and white and how early friendships can change over time. However, before we get too serious, I wrote the book for fun and to be a “good read.”
I am also proud to be a founder member of Teenage Cancer Trust, the only charity that exclusively looks after teenagers with cancer.
I live in London with my wife, Linda, and we have two grown-up children – one in Cambridge and another in Miami Beach.