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The Filth: The Explosive Inside Story of Scotland Yard's Top Undercover Cop Paperback – 3 Oct 2002


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The Filth: The Explosive Inside Story of Scotland Yard's Top Undercover Cop + Crossing the Line: Losing Your Mind as an Undercover Cop + Undercover: The True Story of Britain's Secret Police
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (3 Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840186690
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840186697
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Exposes the secrets Scotland Yard never wanted revealed" Sunday People

About the Author

The Filth is Duncan McLaughlin's first book. In addition to writing, MacLaughlin is a director of Saraigh Ltd, an investigation company he formed to undertake enquiries worldwide. He currently divides his time between homes in England and America.

William Hall is a celebrated writer, broadcaster, film critic and show business journalist. His published works include biographies of celebrities such as James Dean, Norman Wisdom and Frankie Howard, as well as Raising Caine, the critically acclaimed biography of Michael Caine.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Mar. 2005
Format: Paperback
A friend of mine was reading this book, and I read a chapter of it, and loved it. I bought it from amazon, who delivered it early...thanks! I finished the book in two sittings. The author lays the book out so it can be read easily, very easy flowing whilst providing the insight into one of the most elite police forces in the world, the Metropolitan. His story goes back to the pre-PACE world and shows the changes that came into effect from it. The book also shows the different attitudes that had to be adopted from political correctness, and also the rules and the stance that police officers had to take, sometimes even making the evidence fit. I enjoyed this book, my only drawback about this book is this, the author does a fantastic job about writing not only about his 20+ years in the force and an opener into his childhood, but his retirement and exit from the force is narrowed to just one page. This leaves the question to be asked, will there be a sequel? A must read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ishah on 29 April 2003
Format: Hardcover
Duncan MacLaughlin brings us into his life with a whisper, and escorts us out of his life with a bang. Adopted soon after birth, he finds himself the son of a Royal Navy man. This military lifestyle gives young Duncan the opportunity to live in the world rather than the mews, experiencing other lands and cultures that contribute to his early moulding. His sense of adventure is evident in his early years, taking risks and pushing the envelope even as a young man.
Through his desire to follow in his father's footsteps and have a military career, MacLaughlin discovers his true passion: law enforcement. With a single-mindedness that is to be admired, he sets his sights on the CID (Criminal Investigation Department), also known as "The Filth." Working his way up the ladder in the Metropolitan Police, MacLaughlin learns the difference between the way it is done in the classroom, and the way it is done on the streets. His frustration is evident when he comes up against laws that were designed to protect the criminals and not the victims. This causes no psychomachia for the young police constable, who simply chooses to put those criminals in "the nick" by whatever means necessary, and rest knowing that he made his corner of the world a little safer that night.
The tension of the book elevates when MacLaughlin reaches the pinnacle of success with his entrance into the CID. He learns how to play the game, and does it with a ferocity and tenacity that brings admiration from the reader. Gutsy, earthy, and always with a sense of humour, MacLaughlin takes us into the underworld, where the line between the crime and the criminal is sometimes blurred. He leaves us by leaving Scotland Yard, but an epilogue assures the reader that this detective is still "on the case."
A riveting story by a fascinating author who is reputed to have solved the mystery that has plagued Scotland Yard for decades: The Lord Lucan disappearance.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the autobiography of a detective in London’s Met, detectives being known in certain circles as ‘the filth’.
Like the author I spent some time in the Met, following the same route in via the Police Cadets although my career was much shorter and a lot less exciting. I mention this because the bits where I have similar experiences are absolutely spot on and spookily familiar, so I have few doubts about the accuracy of the rest of the book.
I enjoyed this but it felt a little short. There is a great build up from the author’s childhood into the cadets and then into the Met mainstream where he eventually makes it to detective. Although he provides some interesting and honest views about life in ‘the filth’, this element of the book seems almost rushed and I am sure there was a lot more he could have told.
Some readers may be shocked that the Police are not as pure as they may wish but I am sure that those same readers are glad that the thin blue line is also manned by intelligence and dedicated officers like Duncan MacLaughlin.
Honest and interesting reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marcus on 24 April 2003
Format: Paperback
The approach that Duncan MacLaughlin took to this book was one of an overview rather than in-depth analysis. I felt that the topics didn't achieve enough to bring the reader into the detail, which is demonstrated by some very short chapters. Often the shorter recollections of events were the most interesting and I demanded more from them.
The book is, however, perceived as an honest account of MacLaughlin's work "warts n all". It was refreshing to see the real challenges that face a career policeman and the occasional oversights that the job demands in order to get results.
If the book elaborated on some of the experiences and was twice as long, it would have been worth it. An easy "pick up and read a chapter" book that allows you to come back for more.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J SHAW on 16 Jun. 2002
Format: Hardcover
The Filth
[ISBN 1-84018-586-4]
Duncan MacLaughin
With William Hall
Review by John Shaw
This book described as, an explosive inside story of Scotland Yard's top undercover cop, begins with the author's childhood. The early part of the book describes his life growing up as a stepson of a Royal Marine Commando, his fathers various postings around the world are mentioned together with his tours in Northern Ireland in the 1970's.He talks with obvious affection for his father and the text shows how he held him in high esteem and quiet rightly so.
After joining the Metropolitan Police, [the Met], the author explains the early days, being 'tutored' by an experienced officer. A few anecdotes are recited to give a flavour of what it was like being a new bobby on the beat. It was slightly disappointing to find around a third of the book is dedicated to his early days in the Met, where training and menial tasks were the norm!
After completing his probation the author joins the ranks of the CID or as they are affectionally called 'The Filth'. This was his niche and where the book starts to become interesting. In typical 'police speak' he describes his early conquests, [prisoners that is!], and the important use of informants. Part one of the book ends with the author becoming a fully-fledged member of 'the filth' but not without an enterprising assessment board !
Part Two opens with the usual exploits expected of the CID e.g. bread and butter cases, thieves, burglars, flashers etc. I feel the book dwells on the routine too long. Basic CID work may be interesting to some people but the idea behind this publication is his role as a top undercover cop, which is only covered in the final third of the book.
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