Queenpin : A classic story of underworld greed and betrayal, introducing a mesmerising and compelling unreliable narrator ..., Paperback Book

Queenpin : A classic story of underworld greed and betrayal, introducing a mesmerising and compelling unreliable narrator ... Paperback

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


A young woman hired to keep the books at a down-at-heel nightclub is taken under the wing of the infamous Gloria Denton, a mob luminary who reigned during the Golden Era of Bugsy Siegel and Lucky Luciano.

The moll to end all molls, Gloria is notoriously cunning and ruthless.

She shows her eager young protegeethe ropes, ushering her into a glittering whirl of late-night casinos, racetracks, betting parlours, inside heists and big, big money.

Suddenly, the world is at her feet -- as long as she doesn't take any chances, like falling for the wrong guy.

It all falls to pieces with a few turns of the roulette wheel, as both mentor and protegee scramble to stay one step ahead of their bosses and each other.

In the tradition of hardboiled potboilers such as Double Indemnityand The Griftersand mob tales such as Goodfellas, Queenpinoffers a feminine twist on a classic story of underworld seduction and greed, or tortured loyalty and inevitable betrayal.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9781847394408

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Gloria Denton is the local gangster's moll and the Queenpin of the title, one day she takes a protege under her wing - our nameless protagonist. For a while all goes well as Gloria instructs our girl in the ways of her world, but then it all goes wrong when our girl falls in 'want' with Vic, a small-time loser and in the process crosses Gloria - and you never cross Gloria. This is a fast, furious and refreshing read written in a Chanderesque style which doesn't fail to entertain.

Review by

Modern, gripping pulp <i> “Because she was solid gold, fourteen-carat, barely burnished despite twenty years of hard molling. But beneath it, I knew, beneath that gold and stardust, she was all grit and sharp teeth gnashing, head twisting, talons out, tearing flesh. She was all open mouth, tunneling into an awful nothing.” </i> In the golden era of mobsters a young secretary escapes her stultifying existence when infamous Gloria Denton offers her a job. A world of big money rackets, freedom and excitement and lust among the casinos and racetracks. A violent, addictive world where there is no one you can trust. The language is delicious full-on gangster, but full of passion; the greed and ambition, the desire, the twisting paranoia of the criminal act. There is love here but it’s not healthy, it’s a power play of teacher and protege. Whilst you don't exactly root for either, our young narrator draws you in and you don't want to let go. It is a modern nod to pulps and refreshingly a Noir that does not revolve wholly around men, although sadly (and rather boringly) the pivotal drama does. Reversing the femme fatale back fires into a yet more tired trope (the bad boyfriend) and makes the book lag badly in the middle. Still I adored the rest. Recommended

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