Author Frank Hayde left no stone unturned as he assembled a comprehensive and readable history of the Kansas City underworld. He neatly tied together generations of political shenanigans by the influential Pendergast political machine and numerous murders and illicit business ventures by the local Sicilian-Italian Mafia organization.
In telling just over a century's worth of history, Hayde did considerably more than merely hit the high points - the Union Station Massacre, point-shaving allegations against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Strawman case, and the shocking assassination of a political boss within a Democratic headquarters. Hayde also provided rich detail on little known events, such as the Election Day riots of the 1920s and 1930s and the River Quay war, without ever allowing his narrative to become bogged down.
The result is the most complete picture yet of the Kansas City underworld and of the mutualistic relationship between organized politics and organized crime.