Mercy Row is a novel set in 1920s and '30s Philadelphia. It is the story of the rise of a North Philadelphia crime family that was also responsible for building the homes and factories that make up this blue-collar area of the city. Despite the violent trials and tribulations caused by rival gangs from South Philadelphia and Chicago, Jacob Byrne and Franklin Garrett, with the help of the Irish immigrants who settled the Kensington area, build a formidable Irish mob.
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As World War 2 rages, the Byrne family must send their sons to fight the German's and Japanese while they battle for survival against old and new enemies at home. The Byrne children's ability to protect and grow the family, and the K & A Gang, is tested with violence, sorrow, fear, and love.
While serving as a pilot during the Vietnam War, Gerry Amato - the grandson of Jacob Byrne, the head of a powerful North Philadelphia Irish crime family - seizes the opportunity to create a lucrative marijuana smuggling operation. It's 1967, and under the secrecy of a classified military operation, and with the assistance of a Marseille mob that owns plantations in Cambodia, he is able to send tens of thousands of pounds of marijuana to Philadelphia every month.