The Great Train Robbery: The Untold Story From The Closed Investigation Files Paperback – 1 Aug 2013
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Useful if you like the very academic approach to history, too much if you want to be entertained!
However,so much of the information will not be released until 2045. What are they hiding!!! It showed the police on the case,did not follow procedures. It showed them in bad light
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 morePublished 16 months ago by Richard Tandy
This book was bought as a present and the person was very pleased with it.It arrived quickly and was very good value.Published on 28 April 2014 by Willow
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 morePublished on 20 April 2014 by David Robert Piper
This was bought as a present with Signal Red and they were great to read and very fascinating. I would definitely recommendPublished on 25 Mar. 2014 by Lynn Marshall
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 morePublished on 12 Mar. 2014 by John W