MAY SHARPE, a sixteen-year-old peasant girl, steals from her abusive father and flees Ireland, to chase her dream of a new life. But arriving penniless and friendless in 1919's America, MAY has to choose between poverty, or crime. Beautiful MAY is charmed by successful con-man, 'Society' EDDIE, and, with her lover's guidance, teenage MAY soon becomes New York's 'Queen of Crooks.'
But JOE, a handsome, stubborn local cop, has fallen for the spirited MAY. He is determined to save MAY from herself, and stop her to spending the rest of her life in prison. With Joe hassling May, Eddie plans to kill him. So May leaves New York and organizes a diamond heist in Chicago. Holidaying in Miami to celebrate her successful jewel theft, she now calls herself CHICAGO MAY.
Back in New York, in the midst of her glitzy life, Joe confronts MAY about Eddie's activities and asks her to make a decision; a decision which could threaten, not only her new-found fame and fortune, but her young life...It's a choice between a diamond-life and a lead bullet.
New York's 'Queen of Crooks'
Jim Hawkins author of the ALMOND book series.
At times exciting, at times tender, at times shocking, it's also a great love story. For while you will think that we don't see enough of May's internal thoughts, but stick around - she's one hell of a woman.
Harry Duffin's long experience as a screenwriter makes for vivid visual imagery, and a cast of strong characters, each well-defined and placed in this Jazz-age narrative, gives us an absorbing reading experience.
Fast paced and exciting throughout. Easy to read, hard to put down.
Would make a good film.
Full of rich colourful characters and lifestyles, made all the more thrilling by being inspired by a true story.
Sorry to have finished it!
Readers will cheer on this Irish teenager who becomes a grifter queen in the roaring 1920s.
Despite being a thief and a blackmailer, May proves endearing with her grit and drive, and fans of strong women protagonists and last-century crime stories will eagerly follow her adventures, which range from comic to thrilling to harrowing.
The characters come to life immediately, when you start reading the book. Harry Duffin captures the details of human interaction amazingly well. This book is right up there with the Penny Vincenzi's and Jodie Picoult's of this world for me. Could not put it down, just had to finish it!
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put it down.
Reviewed in the United States
Started this book on a three hour plane ride and was sorry when I had to put it down to land. Chicago May was the kind of book that makes you want to get to the next chapter. I strongly recommend it.
is an award-winning British screenwriter and fiction author. He was Head of Development at UK independent, Cloud 9, from its foundation in 1994. During that time he was responsible for seven major television series, including ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ starring Richard ‘John Boy’ Thomas, and ‘Twist in the Tale’, featuring William Shatner.
He is co-creator of the UK Channel Five teen-cult drama series ‘The Tribe’, which ran for five series, numbering 260 episodes. The ‘Tribe’ has been sold world-wide, and has a growing international fan base.
Before joining Cloud 9, Harry worked extensively in British theatre and UK television, for both the BBC and ITV. He was on the first writing team for the BBC’s ‘EastEnders’. While writing for Granada Television’s ‘Coronation Street’, he won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best TV serial.
He is the author of four books.
He is currently adapting CHICAGO MAY as a four-part drama series.