Manchester, New Hampshire is an old city—the old New England mill city—boasting the world’s largest textile manufacturing complex.
The mills needed workers, and the workers needed housing, so Manchester was filled with densely-packed neighborhoods of attached row houses. And like any old East Coast city, it suffered the blight and decay that characterized so many of America’s cities until the urban renaissance of the late 1980s: abandoned and decaying mills and factories, hundreds of crumbling row houses and triple deckers, arson for profit and arson for the hell of it, shifting population demographics, a disinterested citizenry, municipal shortsightedness and greed, and plain old-fashioned political stupidity.
Of course Manchester had a busy fire department during those years. And Toland has seen his fellow firefighters perform incredible acts of bravery and courage…and incredible acts of humor and good-natured pranks. Toland has some great stories to tell, and he tells them extraordinarily well in Maltese Cross.
If you are a fan of Leo Stapleton’s Jakes, Harry Ahearn’s Ghetto Firefighter, or Don Whitney’s The Blackened Shield, then Vinnie Toland’s Maltese Cross is a book you will enjoy again and again.
Hardcover, 240 pages, 6" x 9"