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The Great Train Robbery: The Untold Story from the Closed Investigation Files Kindle Edition

4 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Length: 256 pages

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Product Description

About the Author

Andrew Cook is the author of 'Ace of Spies: the True Story of Sidney Reilly', 'M: MI5's First Spymaster', 'To Kill Rasputin: the Life and Death of Gegori Rasputin', 'Prince Eddy: the King We Never Had' and 'Cash for Honours: the True Life of Maundy Gregory'. He has also written numerous newspaper articles and been involved with historical television documentaries. He lives in Bedfordshire.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1109 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press Ireland (31 Jan. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AZ17SMC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #151,835 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the first Andrew Cook I have read and I am very disappointed. His research is impeccable and extensive, but what he has singularly failed to do is to edit the primary sources into a readable form. From the very start there are huge chunks of verbatim witness statements, many of which contain totally irrelevant and deadly dull information. The reader is confronted with so much minute detail that it becomes difficult to follow, and unutterably uninteresting to read. Without a reasonable overall idea of what happened I would have found it very difficult to follow the investigation as detailed in the book.
As many readers may not be familiar with the 60s, a little bit more background and context from the author would be very useful. There is some attempt to put police actions into context of the times in that he explains that unauthorized house searches, fabrication of evidence, etc, were not at all unusual, but this is fed to the reader piecemeal fashion, rather than just setting the scene at the start. Similarly, things like "ticketed" phone calls are not explained yet they figure highly in the investigation. For anyone more familiar with the computer age, they may find it difficult to understand why things like fingerprint comparisons took so long in the 60s - again, there is nothing from the author to guide readers who weren't around in the 60s.
All in all, a little more from the author and fewer copies of witness statements would have gone a very long way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some reviewers have suggested that this book is somewhat ‘dry’ and ‘academic’ and to a large degree, I agree with those sentiments. However, that’s not to say it isn’t a good, well-written book, because I believe it is.

I suppose the book could have been made more interesting by inserting mini-biographies of the main contenders, both police and crims, although that has been accomplished in other books dealing with the Great Train Robbery.

But because I knew several of the investigating team, had met a couple of the robbers and had written about what became known as ‘The Crime of the Century’ I found this book to be fascinating. Andrew Cook has delved deep into police, railway and post office files and his meticulous research has paid off. Of course, there’s a certain amount of conjecture contained in these files but some very significant information, as well. Of particular interest to me was that whilst I had my own personal list of those who had escaped capture, none of them appeared on Tommy Butler’s own list of ‘runners and riders’ for the robbery which was compiled before the fingerprints at Leatherslade Farm were found - which demonstrates how much I know!

But what I do know is that a DS is a detective sergeant, not a detective superintendent as Mr. Cook states. He constantly refers to the latter as DSs throughout his narrative, only for that rank to be correctly shown in the statements of the investigating officers and the result is confusion, particularly in the index which is badly and sloppily constructed and where my old friend, the late Detective Sergeant John Vaughan is erroneously described as being a detective superintendent, something which would have pleased John no end, I’m sure!

But those matters notwithstanding, this is a very good book; I thought I knew a lot about the Great Train Robbery - and I do - but this book educated me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am recommending this book for all that are interested in the Great Train Robbery. Having being involved with the case as a serving Bucks Constabulary Officer I have found the content of the book very informative and the details of the statements and other information obtained by the author reflect the investigation. I am recommending it to ex-colleagues, and will be ordering another copy. GA
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Format: Paperback
Mr Cook, A very interesting in depth book, which i bought as i do with any Train Robbery related publications, but felt the detail of many files etc, was exactly that, too deep, a Detective or investigating officer might enjoy the many pages of deep statistical detail, but this did remind me of the "Novel" Signal Red, because thats excatly what is was promoted as, and i found that important details such as how many Train Robbers are still alive today for example, now that Ronnie Biggs and Bruce Reynolds have recently passed away, the legend of the GTR should continue, regardless of the four remaining Train Robbers not being household names. After reading this book i suggest you try a Train Robbery Quiz book kindle, 200 Great train robbery quiz questions, superb questions and excellent value "The Great Train Robbery Quiz Book" which covers All the train robbers and asks some very unusual questions.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This account is extremely dry and academic. If you want to know about every conversation and every file related to the robbery, you wont be disappointed. But it trudges along with too much detail, and frankly is hard to finish. Some of the more interesting pieces on the robbery come from the protagonists like Bruce Reynolds, and in the form of fictional versions of events (The Men Who Robbed The Great Train Robbers, Signal Red).
Useful if you like the very academic approach to history, too much if you want to be entertained!
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