This book is so dense that you almost end up re-reading parts of it in order to consume all of the information. Sinclair is being fluid with time delving back into the past to show its influence on the present and throwing names of writers, film stars and directors as well as criminals all into the mix.
Nowhere is the mixture of time more in evidence than the funeral procession for one of the Kray twins. The old east end comes back to the 1950s and the touches requested at the funeral are harking back to a Victorian era even before that.
Sinclair is looking for the things that make an area and is prepared to highlight the negative. The chapter focusing on dogs and dishes is both funny and disturbing. He is prepared to wage a war with the pen against the pitbull and the satellite dish owner.
No one ever said that London was some sort of paradise on Earth and it’s good to see Sinclair prepared to wade in and show the underbelly of the capital.