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

Andrew Cook
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Great Train Robbery of 1963 is one of the most (in)famous crimes in British history. The bulk of the money stolen (equivalent to £40 million today) has never been recovered. There has not been a single year since 1963 when one aspect or another of the crime or its participants has not been featured in the media, and there is no sign that public interest in this subject is abating - quite the opposite, in fact. With the 50th anniversary approaching, interest will no doubt increase even more. The Great Train Robbery will examine new evidence (including previously classified documents from the Metropolitan Police, Home Office and Foreign Office) as to why such a meticulously planned crime failed during the getaway, how the establishment conspired to ensure harsh sentences, how the driver of the train was manipulated and how the police investigation was mishandled, and will reveal what happened to the money.

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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 (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
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #161,233 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dry as Dust 23 Dec. 2013
By J.I.S.
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well researched 13 May 2014
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Train Robbery 23 Dec. 2013
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE CRIME OF THE CENTURY .............. 10 Feb. 2014
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dry and academic, if you like that sort of thing 25 Sept. 2013
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great item, fast delivery, thanks!
Published 1 month ago by robin
5.0 out of 5 stars Previously unreleased material
Another interesting book about the Great Train Robbery. This one brings you information from previously unreleased investigation files regarding the robbery and the robbers... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. R. D. Tandy
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good read.
Very interesting book.
Published 8 months ago by Mr. N. W. MacDonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 10 months ago by Marguerite
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
This book was bought as a present and the person was very pleased with it.It arrived quickly and was very good value.
Published 14 months ago by Willow
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating story, well told
The train robbers were career criminals turned into folk heroes by the severity of their sentences. The crime and investigation are cogently explained and the author has tiptoed... Read more
Published 14 months ago by David Robert Piper
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
This was bought as a present with Signal Red and they were great to read and very fascinating. I would definitely recommend
Published 15 months ago by Lynn Marshall
3.0 out of 5 stars The great train robbery (kindle)
A fascinating account of one of the most notorious robberies of the last 50 years. The only issue which spoils the kindle edition is that there are explanatory notes which are at... Read more
Published 15 months ago by John W
3.0 out of 5 stars The book is about the investigation rather than the actual robbery.
The book is based on and quotes from length from a number of government and police files about the events that occurred after the robbery. Read more
Published 16 months ago by simon
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough piece of work
I have always been fascinated by the Great Train Robbery - perhaps it's because it was so particular to the age. Read more
Published 16 months ago by tannerman
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