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Book Note: Allan Pinkerton, The Burglar's Fate and the Detectives

I read this book about 27-Jun-2006. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1884. This note was last modified Saturday, 08-Jul-2006 17:32:20 PDT.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


I would presume the publisher paid for the rights to the name, and had the novels written by the usual (for the time) suspects, but I don't know a thing, really. It looks like there's a 2006 print edition, too.

It's strange to read this from the perspective of somebody who thinks "The Pinkertons" were the bad guys a lot. Strike-breaking tactics that would gag a goat, for one thing.

A bank was robbed, nobody was badly hurt. There is evidence of complicity by one bank employee. And it looks like they're about to lay their hands on another of the main suspects. But I'm well under half way through, so I guess the plot works in layers.

Yep, they just track them all down, and eulogize their fall from grace, and convict them. And nobody will spend anywhere close to a decade in prison.

There seems to be some ambiguity over whether the detectives can perform arrests. They talk as if they can, but also work with the local police whenever possible.

There's also an almost superstitious reverence for the sanctity of the US mail. They don't even consider trying to get a warrant to open some mail, they just arrange to get a look at the address (which is all they really want).

Except for the occasion paragraphs of purple moralizing, this book wasn't bad, but it certainly wasn't good, either. Research seems to suggest it dates from 1838.

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David Dyer-Bennet