Most helpful critical review
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.