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The Mammoth Book of Famous Trials

by Roger Wilkes, editor

      Most people love crime fiction, but surely true crime is even more gripping and often more bizarre than even the most imaginative novelist can invent. Here are thirty of the most notorious trials, ranging over a hundred years from Oscar Wilde’s homosexuality case in 1895 to O J Simpson and Rosemary West’s trials in 1995. Not all are trials for murder (q.v. Oscar Wilde to start with) but amongst those covered are the Moors murderers, Al Capone, Lord Haw-Haw, Dr Crippen and the Great Train Robbers. All the trials are described by people who were there in the courtroom, and these include some famous names too such as Truman Capote and Damon Runyon, so you can expect some first-class reporting styles.

Each trial is briefly introduced with a little about the criminals, what they did and the person reporting it, and they certainly make thrilling (and chilling) reading. There is also a fine introduction, which outlines the history of crime reporting and the changing times covered in the book as well as initially introducing many of the cases and discussing why they are included in this book. There aren’t any photographs except on the front cover, but there is a useful list of sources (no websites) so if you put this book on your coffee table you might not need any conversation pieces around. Absorbing, well presented and concise.

The Book

Constable & Robinson
June 2006
ISBN-10 1845293045
ISBN-13 9781845293048
Nonfiction/Historical Crime [1895 - 1995]
More at US|| UK
NOTE: Violence

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2006
© 2006