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The Thief-Taker: Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner Mass Market Paperback – 1 Oct 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (Oct. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440236967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440236962
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 1.5 x 17.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 870,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"This lively re-creation of Regency London before Scotland Yard fascinates."
--"Chicago Sun-Times

""Set vividly in the urgency and squalor of its time. You will never forget Lucy."
--Anne Perry, author of The Whitechapel Conspiracy


This lively re-creation of Regency London before Scotland Yard fascinates.
--"Chicago Sun-Times
" Set vividly in the urgency and squalor of its time. You will never forget Lucy.
--Anne Perry, author of The Whitechapel Conspiracy
"

From the Inside Flap

June 1815. When Henry Morton is called to the scene at Portman House in Claridge Square, the Bow Street constable finds a man dead in a hackney coach--ostensibly of asphyxiation. He was Halbert Glendinning, a gentleman of unsullied character. Then why was he seen frequenting one of London's most notorious dens of iniquity? And why has the driver of the coach vanished into the night?
While Sir Nathaniel Conant, the chief magistrate at Number 4 Bow Street, accepts the official verdict of accidental death, Morton is certain that Glendinning was a victim of foul play. With the help of actress Arabella Malibrant, one of London's most celebrated beauties, he embarks on his own discreet inquiry. And as the upper circles of London society close ranks against him, Morton races to unmask a killer whose motives are as complex and unfathomable as the passions that rule the human heart.

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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By LEP VINE VOICE on 21 Sept. 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In 1748 the Bow Street Runners were set up at the Bow Street magistrates court, at the instigation of Sir Henry Fielding, playright and author (Tom Jones, the book not the Welsh singer!) and his brother John a magistrate. The brothers were so concerned at the rise of crime in London that they petitioned Parliament for an official policing force. Prior to the Runners, there was no official police force in Britain, unlike other countries. The constables were merely local volunteers. The gentry and aristocrates felt it was the duty of the populace to give up someone guilty of a crime to the local magistrate. A noble thought in theory. However, in practice they had reckoned without loyalty, love, friendship, family feeling and of course fear.

The Runners were only responsible for policing London and were not a nationwide force. They worked on a commission basis, being paid for an arrest and then for a guilty conviction. They did however, take on private investigation commissions from private individuals both in London and without. They were in effect the forerunners of the modern police detective.

Here, we have Henry Morton, a Runner of outstanding honest repution, who takes on a private investigation into the death of a young man of unpeachable reputation. Who had, according to the doctor who examined him, died due to vomiting on an excess of alcohol and who earlier in the evening had been seen at a tavern of ill-repute. Morton disagrees with doctor and thinks that the young man has been poisoned.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have a been a confirmed Anglophile all my life,with special interest in British authors.I've read about Bow Street,& the runners,in other novels,so imagine my delight to find a book that centers on that long-ago institution.
The characters are well-drawn,& the plot was ingrossing.The book also presents a glimpse into 18th century England,which added to the enjoyment of the story. I enjoy mysteries that don't telegraph the ending,& this one more than met my expectations.
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TF Banks is a conglomerate author, consisting of Sean Russell (whose work I adore) and another author, whose name escapes me. The story seems 'small' and trite, as compared to Russell's other works. The subject matter and time period seem dark and unappealing - although the main character is interesting enough.
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