In teeming Victorian London, where lavish wealth and appalling poverty exist side by side, one mysterious man navigates both worlds with perfect ease. Rich, handsome and ingenious, Edward Pierce preys on the most prominent of the well-to-do as he cunningly orchestrates the crime of his century. Who would suspect that a gentleman of breeding could mastermind the daring theft of a fortune in gold? Who would predict the consequences of making the extraordinary robbery aboard the pride of England's industrial era, the mighty steam locomotive? Based on fact, as lively as legend, and studded with all the suspense and style of a modern fiction master, here is a classic novel, set a decade before the age of dynamite - yet nonetheless explosive...
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(178mm x 110mm x 18mm)
Arrow Books Ltd
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US Kirkus Review »
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. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Michael Crichton
Born in Chicago in 1942, Michael Crichton first trained as a doctor before going on to become one of the most successful writers in the world. In 1994 he achieved a feat unmatched by any other writer: by having simultaneously a number one TV series, book and movie with, respectively, ER (which he created), Disclosure and Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park, on its release the highest-grossing film of all time. He also directed several movies, including The Great Railway Robbery with Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland. His high-concept thrillers were international bestsellers, and in total his books have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide. He died in 2008.