IF A WICKED MAN

Anne Perry

New York Times Best Seller

 

"John Lawson was a man who had profiteered on the weakness, fear and vice of others. If A Wicked Man is told faithfully, in simple language, no excuses. Read it, and believe that there is always hope."

 

Anne Perry is the international bestselling author of over fifty novels, which have sold over 25 million copies.  The Times selected her as one of the 20th Century’s "100 Masters of Crime".  In 2015 she was awarded the Premio de Honor Aragón Negro.

IF A WICKED MAN tells the true, raw, emotive, inspirational, and amazing story of John Lawson a one time violent criminal, whose early troubled life set him on a course that would completely change his life and those around him. It follows the true story of a young boy from a poor background in Scotland to a happy new life in South Africa aged three, where he lived in relative luxury compared to life in Glasgow. His father joined the local police force in Durban and taught John how to use a gun at a very early age. Life in South Africa was very different to the cold damp streets of Scotland.

 

But things took a sudden and dramatic change when he was ten years old! His grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer and his mum and young brother had to rush back to the UK. John's Father did the unthinkable and locked him up alone for four days without food in their apartment and ran off with his mistress. Family friends rescued John and sent him to join his brother and his mother back in the UK, leaving them penniless on the streets of Glasgow with nothing but the clothes they stood up in and a sense of despair for what lay ahead.

Rocco Morrelli

Former Mafia Prince and author of Forgetta 'bout it

 

'If a Wicked Man' is a book I can easily relate to, the love of money and a cold heart can drive violent men like us to take by force what we feel society owes us. Brutally honest, deadly serious, yet strangely funny at times. A compelling story of a wicked and violent man...with an unexpected twist.

 

At the age of 15, Rocco Morelli was already on his way up the ladder of life in the big time. A hometown Mafia "prince" with family roots that sink deep into organized crime, Morelli was cursed to repeat the sins of his fathers until he too had a life-changing encounter.

Growing up in one of the most notorious housing estates in Europe before moving to a rough area of Merseyside taught John how to handle himself. The once polite young boy had become hardened and arrogant. He joined the family business in Soho getting involved with the Maltese Mafia and his life of crime spiraled out of control. He became a bouncer in troubled nightclubs, joined a biker gang for a short time and trained as a bodyguard, even working with The Rolling Stones  and other famous bands. Finally he became an enforcer for gangsters where kidnap and extortion became commonplace. A no-holds barred and sometimes brutal story, reading like a fictional blockbuster, every chapter tells it as it was, exactly how and why it happened. An expose into the sex clubs of Soho with innocent customers ripped off and threatened with violence if they refused to pay, it unveils the vast amounts made from peep shows, prostitution and legal "Sauna's." It delves into the murky underworld of the sex industry, extortion, beatings, debt collecting, gang warfare and armed kidnappings and yet somehow manages to capture some of the humour that surrounded his life. The police finally caught up with him in 2003 and charged with Extortion he was sent to prison for 4 years with another 15 months added on for contempt of court.

Major General Tim Cross Special advisor to the UK Gov

 

'A truly powerful account of a life changed.'

 

Since retiring from the Army in 2007, Cross serves as an advisor to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee and to several private companies, and is a visiting lecturer at several British universities

It was whilst John Lawson was serving his last stretch in a Scottish prison that his life changed forever. A chance meeting and an invitation from another prisoner to attend a group meeting interested John simply for the sole purpose of the chance to steal some of the cakes and coffee he was told would be on offer. What he heard at the meeting had an immediate and profound effect on him and it was an awakening, the beginning of the end of his old self.  It was this third prison stretch that would give John a new found respect for those in the prison system and proof that a man can be changed when he is willing to die to himself.

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