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Signal Red [Paperback]

Robert Ryan
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

19 Aug 2010

The inspiration behind BBC One's thrilling new drama, The Great Train Robbery.

Sunday Times bestseller Robert Ryan brings the most ambitious heist of the twentieth century to gripping and vivid life.

1963: an unarmed gang led by the dapper Bruce Reynolds holds up a Royal Mail train at a remote bridge in Buckinghamshire, escaping with millions. The group lay low in a nearby farm but, panicked by the police closing in they clear out, leaving behind numerous fingerprints.

Outraged by the gang's audacity and under political pressure for quick arrests, the police move into top gear. As huge quantities of money start to turn up in forests and phone boxes, dumped by nervous middlemen, Scotland Yard begin to track down the robbers, one by one...

Frequently Bought Together

Signal Red + The Great Train Robbery: The Untold Story from the Closed Investigation Files + The Great Train Robbery: Crime of the Century: The Definitive Account
Price For All Three: 24.17

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Product details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (19 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755358201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755358205
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rob Ryan was born in Liverpool. He has written for The Face, Arena, Conde Nast Traveller, Esquire, GQ Magazine and The Sunday Times. He lives in north London with his wife and three children.

Product Description


Robert Ryan has once again worked his magic on a slice of history, weaving together a cast of characters - both real and imagined - against a vivid portrayal of the early Sixties.
--Daily Mail

Book Description

A thrilling fictionalised account of an audacious robbery and an epic adventure, set against the backdrop of fame, fast cars, and social change in sixties Britain

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Read 27 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After seeing this book being used partially for a TV adaptation I was pleased to find a copy for my Kindle. Robert Ryan manages to catch the feeling of the period the Great Train Robbery took place, and seamlessly mixes fiction with fact. Obviously a lot of research went into this book and it shows, making this a very compelling read.

Starting off in 1992 with an incident involving one of the robbers we are then transported back in time, to before the robbery was even being thought of. The story really comes alive and feels very real as we read of events that led to the heist at Heathrow, and then on to the train robbery itself. Although the robbery has entered folklore, when we persons who weren't born until years after can only come up with a couple of names of the criminals involved you really have to admire the fact that so many people were involved, and kept their mouths shut, not grassing up others. You can read accounts by the criminals themselves, accounts by others, and watch TV programs, but this book is such an easy read and would be a good introduction to anyone wanting to learn a bit more, as a first port of call.

In today's world the money stolen from the train would actually be about 41 million which gives you some kind of idea why there was so much furore at the time, and the authorities wanted harsh long prison sentences to try and curtail others of thinking of big money crimes. As we read here of the planning and execution of the crime we also see what happens in the aftermath. With corruption in the police force anyway, officers are tempted to fabricate evidence, due to pressures for results from above, and to make a name for themselves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Story Worth Telling 20 April 2012
By John Richard VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The loveable rogue sort of criminal once had folk hero status but seem not exist these days. This is a well written and researched piece of history that describes an amazing, well planned example of historical criminality that shocked and impressed the public at the time. If they had not injured the train driver and some of the gang had had more discipline we might still be wondering who had pulled off this epic robbery.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A different take on The Great Train Robbery 31 Dec 2012
Although I've most of Robert Ryan's excellent books I didn't rush out to buy this one.The main reason being that as a fan of true crime I'd read so many books about the Great Train Robbery that I couldn't see what Ryan could bring to the table by way of something different.Well he manages it in a couple of ways,firstly by introducing fictitious characters where the identity of those involved isn't known and secondly by concentrating on the story of one of the less well-known robbers,Roy James,getaway driver and up and coming racing driver before several years in prison stunted what appeared to be a very promising career.
Signal red reminded me very much of Jake Arnott's crime novels set in the same era,bent coppers,sleazy tabloid hacks and brutal villains.Thankfully Ryan spares us the "Robin Hood" tale of cheeky chappies having a lark and putting one over on the establishment.The reality as we know now is that many of the robbers were nasty,brutal thugs who battered the innocent senseless on more than one occasion during robberies and Buster Edwards was more Vinnie Jones than Phil Collins.
Writing a book on an event many readers will have a comprehensive knowledge of is a brave thing to do and Robert Ryan pulls it off admirably.While it's a work of fiction it weaves the fictional with the facts seamlessly and is believable and entertaining.Sprinkled liberally throughout the tale are snippets of information about the robbers and the robbery,Roy James nickname and the debate over it for example.
On occasion I got the impression Robert Ryan was enjoying himself planting pet theories into the story,for example
one of the main characters is a used car salesman who runs his business from Warren Street,notorious for it's dodgy motor traders.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY-FACT AND FICTION 14 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A book like this is difficult to write-we all know the ending,and what happened to the main characters. This was an enjoyable read,and gave a good insight into the social and cultural climate that existed in the 1960's.It gives an insight into the murky and devious role of the police in those days. The police and the criminals do not seem to be too far apart from each other,and as it states in the book there is a certain respect on both sides towards each other. The book does illustrate that the crime was too big for everyone-the criminals they got away with too much money,what if they had done the raid earlier as it was originally intended-the establishment-the government- the British public-it was all too much.
I thought the afterword by Bruce Reynolds summed up everything in relation the crime very well,and gave further insight into the main protagonists
The book used the use of real and imaginary characters well, and it was possible to do this because the real characters have become so well known,we still retain a morbid interest in the lifes.
Good page turning read that will make a boring train ride or a daily commute pass much quicker.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant read
Published 17 days ago by GARY ALDER
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Not read it jet
Published 1 month ago by Joan Horobin
3.0 out of 5 stars poor condition of book
Quality of book is not how it is described, it's been well used to say the least. I've bought books from this suppler before and they have always been in excellent condition,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by robert cornelius
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book and a good read, how they got it wrong
Published 1 month ago by Peter Kershaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
A good read, not the most factual. but somewhat better than the TV series it spawned, as most books are.
Published 2 months ago by Nick Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put this book down
An excellent read. This book is an excellent read and although described as a novel is more or less an accurate account of the infamous train robbery
Published 2 months ago by Paul T
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect present
This was bought for someone with a great interest in the great train robbery,it was a perfect gift! Delivery was on time,very satisfied.
Published 4 months ago by Willow
5.0 out of 5 stars Great present
I bought this as a present and once they had read it I borrowed it as a great read. Would recommend as fascinating story
Published 5 months ago by Lynn Marshall
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read
A good read but not as good as the BBC mini series recently on TV which was based on this book!
Published 5 months ago by Mr. Ian Pearce
4.0 out of 5 stars Great story .
Well written and with colorful cockney expressions of London. The caracters are absolutely well described and live on these pages which some times are very funny and entertaning. Read more
Published 6 months ago by s.andreanelli
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