One of the last untold stories of the Second World War -- how London's opportunistic gangsters made a healthy profit from a lifestyle and materials suddenly unobtainable to the masses.
Opening up on a bright summer’s day in 1917, an all but forgotten bombing raid of the First World War effectively orphans seven year-olds Jimmy McEnery and Florence Morrisson. They are taken into Catholic care where breaking strict rules merits harsh punishment. Jimmy is soon spared, reluctantly leaving Florence behind as he is taken under the wing of George, a war deserter and criminal friend of his deceased father. Jump forward twenty-two years and Jimmy is a successful safebreaker with his own gang and secret weapon: a car so fast it easily evades the Met police. Unwittingly drawn into a turf war for control of Soho between an Italian mob and a powerful street gang, one moment of confusion sees George stabbed to death. Jimmy swears vengeance on both sides. As war breaks out once more, retribution is served to the street gang and the Italians are locked up under Defence Regulations. Jimmy and his boys are now unopposed in a changing world offering a wealth of rewards to those inclined to take advantage of them. Their main obstacle becomes the return of Ethan Scully. A model pupil from the orphanage who hasn't broken a rule in his life, Ethan is now a Detective Sergeant in the Met and tasked with bringing law and order back to the streets. He also brings Florence with him, the pair engaged to be married. And so a love triangle develops, Florence wrestling with her head and her heart, Jimmy claiming what should have been rightfully his and Ethan holding on to what he has worked so hard for, professionally and personally. Through the cover of their glitzy nightclub, Jimmy and his growing gang amass a fortune by forging ration books and ID cards, enforcing protection rings and knocking off warehouses and stores, making their daring escapes through the streets of London as the bombs rain down around them. Hot on their tails is Ethan, ready to pounce at their slightest mistake. Eventually, when Ethan finally has the upper hand, Jimmy convinces him that capture will see him sent to war, a fate he secretly dreads. Unfortunately for Ethan, that is exactly what happens as his superiors now feel that he is unable to do the job he had been charged with. The ramifications for Jimmy are that Florence now realises that Ethan is her future and she shall wait for his return. But shortly after telling Jimmy this and that they should never see each other again, she receives the news that Ethan has been killed in action. Unaware and browbeaten, Jimmy retreats into himself. With the end of the war in sight and the realisation that everything will change again, the gang separately branch out further afield. Jimmy’s focus now becomes escaping London and his wish is fulfilled when he follows the American GI conscripted into the group back to New York where he starts again, fresh and happy.