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Reviewed by Philip Zozzaro for Readers' Favorite
In The Last Jewish Gangster: The Middle Years by David Larson, Michael Hardy opines, “I developed a keen sense of where danger lurks, what money can buy, and some of the unstated rules,” as he languishes in La Mesa Del Diablo Prison. He had been nabbed for his role in a counterfeiting operation run by his mother. During his 24 years, he was raised in the shadows of organized crime. Now he has a front-row seat to greed, desperation, and carnage on an unimaginable scale. He learns the tools for survival while serving his time. In jail he becomes a hitman for a drug lord, bribing and utilizing muscle to get things done. Upon his release, the straight and narrow path proves to be unrealistic, and Michael throws himself into crime full-time. The schemes and double-crosses are now commonplace.
The Last Jewish Gangster is a riveting true crime memoir that continues the rise and fall of gangster Michael Hardy. From its inception, the second volume grips the reader’s attention as the indeterminate incarceration of Hardy and the conditions he faces leave his future in question. The theme of the book is the subject’s firm resolve to beat the odds. Hardy is a fighter and a survivor, rendering him a charming rogue. David Larson captures the life of his subject and pens a frank depiction of a longtime and unrepentant criminal. The life and crimes of Michael Hardy never fail to garner interest and shock the reader. This is an immensely enjoyable gangster book on par with Wiseguy and The Last Mafioso.