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Summary

There was more to wartime London than stiff upper lips and rousing choruses of 'Roll Out the Barrel'. There was crime and plenty of it in the time of blackouts, Blitz and bloodshed, and it is chronicled here in this lively and accessible history.

Criminals hunted their prey without fear of reprisal. Many operated under the cover of darkness, emerging when the city sank into the oblivion of its nightly blackout. Others simply struck whenever opportunity presented itself.

At a time when Londoners were pulling together in the face of terrible adversity, there were an increasing number of looters, racketeers, terrorists, criminal gangs, prostitutes, rapists and murderers stalking the bomb-ravaged, panic-ridden streets, and this audiobook chronicles the rapid rise of crime throughout this turbulent period.

Indeed, wartime London was a criminal's paradise. The number of bodies being retrieved during the Blitz made it virtually impossible for authorities to perform autopsies on all of them. The question soon arose: who were the victims of bombings, and who had simply been murdered?

Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the London Blitz, award-winning crime writer Simon Read paints a vivid picture of what life was really like in 1940s London profiles the crimes of its most notorious perpetrators, including the Blackout Ripper, Chicago Joe, the Elephant Boys, and the infamous Rillington Place Murderer, John Reginald Christie.

About the author: Simon Read's true crime publications include Human Game: The True Story of the 'Great Escape' Murders and the Hunt for the Gestapo Gunmen; War of Worlds; The Blackout Murders and On the House: The Bizarre Killing of Michael Malloy.

©2016 Fantom Publishing (P)2016 Spokenworld Audio & Ladbroke Audio Ltd/Fantom Publishing

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  • 01-09-16

Interesting. But it's not history. It's entertainment history

I bought this because i am interested in the period and not many books have been written about crimes of the time.
This is good as an overview. An intellectual bookend about Orwell and his view of crime. However it isn't history. Too much is made of what characters did together where there is no evidence and quite a bit of it is clearly taken from autopsy reports and police reports and over written. It's fun but not that exhaustive.
Kim Hartman's reading is excitable and sometimes far too much. Like a cross be written a school teacher reading to nine year olds and an Agatha Christie hammy performance.

It's ok. Just not the best.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Narration

Sorry Kim but the book was read in the style one would expect in a child's book. Over dramatised & at times, a little patronising.

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Great true stories

A very good book for all criminology students
Very well read with great clarity
I would highly recommend the book and the reader