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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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on 6 December 2017
Seriously underwhelmed with this and the content and the constant use of "Cozzers" to describe the police as if that will make me feel closer to the story doesn't it just ends up being annoying.

Some of the links of to the deaths of individuals to the Brinks Mat are tenuous to say the least and if you google some of the individuals concerned you will see there are much more credible reasons for their deaths. There is little about how the gold was actually moved and robbery itself and more about the other criminal activities the main characters were involved in.

The final straw for me was the attempt to link Brinks Mat to the tragic death of Leah Betts. Even if there is the slightest substance to that story and again it is all built on supposition of "he bought the drugs off someone in a club owned by people who knew someone who might have been involved in the robbery........." why mention it, what does it add to the story.

Was expecting so much more from this and didn't get it
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on 23 March 2015
well researched this book starts off extremely well and an interesting background on old south london much of which I had heard from my family so I know it to be accurate.

The middle section is largely about kenny noye, which is interesting but does drag on a bit, where it all falls down is the last few chapters where suddenly you get loads of new characters appearing

I appreciate there were a lot of people involved and continue to be and the author wanted to mention those known, I would have preferred a shorter section on noye and more info on the other characters as you don't get much more than one sentence about some of them or their real connection to the main men.

Of course it's a dare if you will subject to write about , is still of major police interest and maybe there are reasons for the format I am unaware of, it's still a decent read and if the subject is of interest you can't really go too far wrong with the current prices on here.
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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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on 18 January 2016
There has only been 1 other book written about this infamous robbery, and in my opinion it's a far better read than this one. If you are really interested in this crime and want to know the so called 'true story', then buy Will Pearson 's book - DEATH WARRANT - Kenneth Noye, The Brinks Mat Robbery and The Gold. Wensley Clarkson just seems to skim past things, doesn't go into enough detail and what details he does tell you are not worth knowing in the first place.
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on 8 June 2012
I heard that this crime was unbeliveable and the you must read this book for the facts, this book is not ficton it is true just like the 1920 times of Al Capone with the killings, corruption and theft.
Its so hard to belive that in this country in this day and age crime on such a scale of this can go on and on,
and the affects can last for more than twenty five years the amount of deaths related to the orginal theft is mind boggling,and where is all the spoils of the crime ?there is still a lot to be found out and it could go on for an other twenty five years.Great reading bring on a follow up.
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on 5 October 2016
A very interesting book, I was a police officer in Bristol at that time, working on the area which covered Scadlyns.

So I could relate to a lot of things the book mentioned and I met John Palmer on mote than one occasion, so it was very interesting to find out more about the robbery.
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on 5 January 2017
It's a great tale which is still relevant today but this is a disappointing book overall. It's prose is terrible. repetitive, gushing and unimaginative. Finally whoever edited it should look for a new job. I was particularly disappointed that there was no analysis of the post jail lives of the two robbers who were actually jailed. A couple of paragraphs on Mickey McCoy but nothing on Brian Robinson.

For anyone unfamiliar with the facts it is still worth a read but surely someone else will come along and do a far better job with the material available.
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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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on 7 June 2012
This is a cut-and-paste book, you could probably write it yourself using Google.
There's a lengthy pre-amble about what the East End of London was like in 'the old days' and how the main figures may have spent their formative years. Most of the rest is just all the well documented facts strung together, no interviews, no new theories, just a collection. The author hints that he spoke to some of those involved at some points but, probably very wisely, doesn't quote anything new. The last section is about the murder of the unfortuneate Stephen Cameron which doesn't have any connection to the B-M robbery at all.
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