It takes a thief to catch a thief"", this seems to have been Vidocq's life pattern. For the early career of this famous detective was a life of crime, spent in and out of jail -- and the last part of his career gave him the reputation of being the first great detective. This is his actual autobiography, source material from the years of his incredible career -- 1809 to 1827. Reads like exciting picaresque fiction, and surefire for the mystery fans who like something real. A hundred different roles he played -- he had learned his lesson well.