SLIP-UP: Fleet Street, Scotland Yard and The Great Train Robbery by Anthony Delano

SLIP-UP: Fleet Street, Scotland Yard and The Great Train Robbery

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Slip-Up, the story of England's $6 million Great Train Robbery in 1963, is in instant competition with Colin MacKenzie's Biggs: The World's Most Wanted Man (p. 826). Delano's tone is mock-heroic, an enthusiastic lampooning of Britain's sensational dirty press, of Scotland Yard's flying squad (led by Detective Superintendant John Slipper, richly mustached), of Ronnie Biggs' love life and derring-do, of the great robbery itself, and of Brazilian police authorities. MacKenzie's version is much closer to Biggs and more sympathetic, with much of the material straight from the horse's mouth. It was MacKenzie, after all, who as a Daily Express reporter, set up the final interview with Biggs in Rio which proved to be his undoing. The Express underhandedly sold out its own reporter and sicked Scotland Yard onto the desperado while MacKenzie's lengthy interview was still in progress. No one--except Biggs--was more surprised than MacKenzie when Detective Slipper arrived too soon with his handcuffs (""Hello, Ronnie. Long time, no see""). Delano's irreverence includes MacKenzie--but, truth to say, his cheekiness is livelier than his rival's straightforward recitation of events, though the earlier book has more personal detail about its antihero.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1975
Publisher: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co.