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Customer Review

on 11 July 2014
This is by no means a great work of literature but it is a good read and an interesting book. John Pearson, who has also written about the Krays, has taken a close look at The Clermont Set, a group of high stakes gamblers including Lord Lucan associated with the Clermont Club in Berkeley Square, in exciting 1960s London. The leader of the set was the eccentric John Aspinall who was perhaps better known as the man who allowed a tiger to roam free around his house and later formed a complete private zoo in which two keepers were killed and a young boy very badly injured. Later the financier Jimmy Goldsmith assumed a leading role in the group by virtue of the immense fortune he made asset stripping companies and playing the stock market. This set of West End celebrities and their associated group of rich aristocratic gambling friends dramatically came to the notice of the general public following the disappearance of Lord Lucan and the murder of his family’s nanny, Sandra Rivett, in November 1974. Pearson carefully reconstructs the events of that fateful night and speculates on the possible fate of Richard John Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan.
Pearson has a gift for keeping the forward momentum of the book and for supplying a constant flow of interesting titbits about the connections, family anecdotes and bizarre sexual practices of the various characters in the Clermont Set, so there is never a dull moment. This was a group of people amongst whom some achieved great success, and others succumbed to great tragedy, whilst all the time leading complicated personal lives.
An interesting, highly readable, true story of an unscrupulous group of entrepreneurs who briefly blazed in the firmament of swinging London in the 1960s and 70s.
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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