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The Great Train Robbery: The Untold Story From The Closed Investigation Files Paperback – 1 Aug 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (1 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752499815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752499819
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 2.3 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 172,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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
This is undoubtedly Andrew Cook's best book yet and by revealing a brand new picture of this iconic crime and its investigation, the result is truly amazing and a must have. His thorough research of files previously unavailable, at last provide answers to many questions surrounding this crime. Cook has studied over 1000 pages of files and as a result this book gives the answers to questions raised every time this event has been discussed since 1963. He reveals names of persons never charged and a very detailed description of events, which makes this book compulsive reading. It's either a must have to your collection of books, regarding this famous crime or the only book you need to read regarding the Great Train Robbery. Full of information and pictures not seen before in any other book I have read. Cook is a master of research and he unearths facts from files and people who were involved or knew the people who were. They trust him, because they know, he will give a fair,true and honest account of the facts. Neither judge or jury, Cook tells it how it really happened. And that's all you want after all these years.
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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: 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book I found very "dry". Having watched a TV programme about this,I thought it would be interesting.
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
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