COUNTERFEITER: The Story of a Master Forger by Charles & Michael Horsnell Black

COUNTERFEITER: The Story of a Master Forger

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The cheekily unrepentant memoirs of the man whose forgeries of US and British bank notes were described by an awestruck American Treasury agent as the best that had ever been produced. Black began his shady career while serving in the British armed forces. A talented toolmaker, he was assigned to a department making chassis for radar equipment. During the frequent lulls in his army chores, he turned out ball-point pens with materials heisted from the supply warehouse. ""I'm a firm believer in national service for building a young man's character,"" he avers. ""It can be a lot more exciting than making an honest living."" Back in civilian life, he soon ran afoul of the law when he was accused (falsely, he insists) and convicted of selling ""hot"" automobiles. While serving two years in prison, his talents as a toolmaker came to the attention of ""Treble Eight"" White, a forger of some repute. White instructed Black in the secrets of his trade. Oliver Twist had met his Fagin. Once outside, Black was off and running, During the next few years, he perfected his counterfeiting techniques, using photo lithography and a great deal of ingenuity to turn out his ""works of art."" His perfectionism didn't prevent his being arrested, however, and his tales of police raids and court trials are lively and amusing. After his final incarceration, he ""retired""--grudgingly, it seems. He now operates a Thai bride agency, matching marriage-minded British chaps with Oriental ladies. A witty, offbeat reminiscence by a lovable scoundrel.

Pub Date: Jan. 30th, 1989
Publisher: St. Martin's