Here’s an excerpt from the book…
“The view from across the road was a good one. The two men had parked the car facing the betting shop and were only twenty paces away from the door. It seemed quiet in there – ‘Squires Turf Accountant’ the weathered sign declared. They had only seen three people go in. However, none had come out. The Bookmakers clientele tended to stay longer than a few minutes. Often, they would be in all day.
The front window was filthy and afforded access only to a cardboard effigy of horse and rider in black silhouette against a white background. Once inside, punters were protected from prying eyes and inquisitive spouses.
It was cramped inside the car with two big men rubbing shoulders both with each other and the door frames. The driver wound the window down by a couple of inches and lit a cigarette up, turning his head periodically to blow smoke out of the crack. The smell of tobacco smoke quickly invaded the interior. Condensation on the windscreen obstructed their view a little, prompting the driver to start up the engine once more, fiddling with the choke to get the petrol flowing through. In turn, he ratcheted the blower on the heater up high. It also created a rattling sound
from inside the vents. The two men were Dougie Brown and his brother Lenny ‘the bitch’ Brown, the most feared men in Nottingham. People were terrified to have anything to do with them; afraid to be in their orbit or visible on their horizon. These were men to be avoided by the public at large. However, in parts of the criminal fraternity, people clamoured to be a part of their gang.
The badge and the shield that working for the Browns gave a criminal was worth a lot. It was a free pass, immunity from trouble anywhere they went. It gave them VIP status, and the young criminals would do anything, to be accepted as part of this untouchable and ‘respected’ crime family. The reality was, of course, they garnered fear which was somewhat different to respect. They are not the same thing but are often confused as such. “