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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2012
I heard the author talking about this book on BBC radio and thought, I must buy the book, it sounds a great story! And indeed, it could be a wonderful tale of robbery, murder and villainous deeds but unfortunately it's poorly told in this book.

Firstly, as mentioned by other reviewers, there's nothing new here. Although the author claims to have "the inside story" and quotes the acquaintances of some of the robbers, it's generic stuff and he reveals no new or startling information, just the odd anecdote about a villain's past. Perhaps he's frightened of the reprisals?

Secondly, never mind the Brink's-Mat villains, whoever edited this book needs shooting. The same phrases come up time after time and they really grate after a while. I lost count of the use of "turning the gold into cash" and "the Brink's-Mat gang". Somebody either needs to work on their vocabulary or buy a thesaurus. Even some of the facts get a random second airing: for instance, on one page we are told that ketamine is used to tranquilise horses and is called Special K. In the very next paragraph, we are informed that ketamine is called Special K and is used to tranquilise horses. Really?

The Brink's-Mat story has everything: a daring robbery, murder, international villainy, police corruption, secret service intrigue. Sadly, for me, this book has missed the oportunity to tell this thrilling story. Read John Pearson's "The Profession of Violence" to see how really good True Crime writing is done.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 22 April 2012
This book makes bold claims: 'definitive account', 'unprecedented insight,' but to me, well, I felt robbed.

Joking aside, this is a wholly acceptable, entertaining, fast-paced account of the historic robbery. It's just that it doesn't deliver on it's hype.

Had the author got an interview with the planners, robbers themselves, THAT would have been 'gold', metaphorically speaking.

One big question never gets resolved; did the chief robber get his share of the gold? You don't find out.

This is still a decent read. I enjoyed it and I reckon you will too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2012
very good read but focuses mainly on kenneth noye and his involvement with brinks mat aswell as his other crimes. As it was written by wensley clarkson who also wrote public enemy number, also based on kenneth noyes life iy would of been nice to have toned down the 'noye ness' of it and focus a bit more elsewhere! read one or the other, would recommend public enemy number 1
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 10 May 2012
Let's be positive to start with....this is an easy read, fairly entertaining and if you know very little about the robbery and its aftermath you'll probably enjoy it. But it told me very little over and above what I had read in newspapers, web sites etc over the years.

So I'd offer the opinion that it's not a bad read provided you aren't expecting to get any more than what's in the public domain already. However, style wise, I did get a bit fed up continually reading stock phrases like 'the mean streets of South London' that are repeated over and over again to the point of irritation.

In spite if my slight negativity I found it hard to put the book down, and read through it in two sittings. If you know a bit about the crime and its main characters you'll find the book a 'refresher'. If you're relatively unfamiliar with the event and the cast, this book is a decent enough place to start.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2013
Distinctly average. I found that most of this was repetition of what was already in the press and media. Basically, it is just a culmination of many reports, that have already been published, which the author has now woven together in one book. Nothing much new I'm afraid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 December 2013
nothing you couldnt read in the red tops at the time or since. badly written and researched. no depth. no continuity. no wiser about the characters after reading. lightwieght dentist waiting room reading and no disapointment if called for extraction half way through
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on 10 May 2014
This is comic book crime loosely based on Brinks-Mat, the basic facts of the case, and its cast of characters; the writing is particularly bad, and it doesn't ring true at all. It feels more of a fictionalised account aimed at the semi-literate wanting some vicarious easy thrills and a fairground ride through East End villainy. It's full of cliches and stereotypes and at many points it's just not believable. The saving grace is the story itself, and it deserves a better book. This just skims the surface and if that's all you want and you don't mind the racy style then I suppose that's fine. I think there's a huge story to be told about this and much more that could be said. Sadly, in this case, you really can judge a book by looking at the cover.
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on 26 August 2014
This account of the Brink's-Mat bullion robbery is quite interesting insofar as it deals with the lengthy aftermath of the crime which is usually ignored due to the headline-grabbing nature of the robbery itself.

As so often happens, however, the book is spoiled by poor editing and, to a certain extent, poor research. the most glaring example of this was, for me, siting Long Lartin prison in Leicestershire - it's just outside Evesham in Worcestershire!! Any writer dealing with a work in the "true crime" category would surely know that and, if he were unsure, he would take the trouble to find out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 December 2012
i enjoyed reading this book and found it to be compulsive reading.ihave already recommended this book to several of my friends.
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on 13 April 2015
Would not really recommend for anyone interested in the facts behind the robbery, the book is full of hearsay and tedious links between the robbery and other crimes which do not add up to this reviewer.

Things such as "one underworld robber stated", "an old east end villain said" and the like lead you to believe that much of the tales and comments are made up by the author simply to strengthen a point.
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