Best Book by a Local Author

Confessions of a Mob Hitman

OK. Just look at that title. How can you resist the confessions of a mob hit man? Especially if they're true? Ray Flynn grew up during the Depression in Kerry Patch, the old Irish neighborhood in north St. Louis. He embarked upon a life of crime at the age of seventeen with a fake paycheck-cashing scam. Well, hey, a guy's gotta make a living somehow, right? Flynn reached the pinnacle of his career in the 1960s when he joined the Buster Wortman gang. Wortman had started out as one of Al Capone's Southern lieutenants — and as Alphonse's cellmate in Alcatraz — and eventually won a bloody gang war for control of St. Louis and southern Illinois. Flynn's memoir is an unsentimental account of good and bad times with Buster and guys with names like Bosco and Doves, written from a federal prison in Springfield, Missouri, where he died in 2002. His son Michael self-published the book last year and personally delivered copies to Subterranean and Left Bank Books. The tome has enjoyed brisk sales ever since. The cop who arrested Flynn bought two. Because not even Johnny Law can resist a good mob story.

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