A thriller that is pure joy...more twists and turns than The Sting. Spellbinding and first-rate.
Mr. Crichton at his versatile, confident best - with all the clout of a cosh or an eel-skin or a sack or a neddy (you'll learn all this voker romeny or criminal jargon here) - has written a documentary of that heist and provided along with it a grand tour de force of the criminal underworld. Along with some of its other diversions such as ratting (a prime sport), or a hanging, or even the cure of the French malady obtained by the purchase of a country-fresh virgin. Before you're through, you'll be entertainingly informed and know the difference between rogues and pogues. Among the former are the main participants in this long and carefully planned crime (not the most lucrative if the most sensational - only twelve thousand pounds in gold bullion was involved): Edward Pierce, the "putter-up," doubtful even down to his name but always assured and elegant; Agar, his "screwsman" (safebreaker) - "the key is everything in the lay, the problem and the solution" and there were no less than four keys to be secured; Clean Willy who met his death, garotted, early on; and the railway guard Burgess; along with several other witting and unwitting accomplices. Crichton, who has an authority Steven Marcus might envy, has studied the voluminous fries of the case and memoirs of the era. Surely it will be the highest-handed entertainment of the season and all the money rides, once again.