A few days ago I finished reading ‘Fog on the Tyne’ by Bernard O’Mahoney which I received as a Christmas present in 2012! Of course one of the things which first drew me to the book was that it is based in Newcastle (which is where I am from) and it discusses the notorious rivalry between the Conroy family and the Sayers family. Loving true-crime as much as I do, I am fully aware that many events presented in the book are fabricated but in my opinion that doesn’t always have to be a negative aspect.
From chapter 1 of Fog on the Tyne I was gripped and really enjoyed it. The writing style was informative yet casual and did include some mild humour in places. I feel that between the two notorious families Fog on the Tyne provided an un-biased account of events which unfolded in the Tyneside underworld.
The beginnings of the rivalry is claimed, in this book, to be down to the birth of the ‘drug-fueled rave culture’ which emerged in the late 1980’s and detail is given to events which occurred – both well publicised and not so well publicised.
Of course a part of the book is dedicated to the infamous killing of Newcastle born Viv Graham which to this day it is not certain who committed this cold blooded murder however it doesn’t solely focus on this and gives good grounds to a range of events which both the Conroy and the Sayers family have been involved in over the last 50 years.
Fog on the Tyne does portray the police force pretty poorly however this is understandable as many ‘notorious criminals’ have a very poor relationship with the police.
I do recommended this book particularly if you are from or familiar with the Newcastle area. For me this has been the first book I have truly enjoy regarding Newcastle based crime as much of the literature I have previously found has been very dated and un-relatable to myself.
I would give Fog on the Tyne 8.5 out of 10!