Author: Sparks (Ex-Det. Chief Supt. Herbert)
Year: 1964
Publisher: John Long
First Edition
Edition Details: 1st edn.
Book Condition: F/Vg.
Price: 250.00
Hardback. Feared and respected by the underworld, the author retired from the police as chief of the Flying Squad at Scotland Yard after 34yrs. service. The maxim Sparks adopted soon after joining the force and stuck to throughout his career was: 'Strike not thoughtlessly a nest of wasps; but, if you strike, strike hard!' His memoirs - covering big-scale robbery, fraud, horse-doping, murder, gangsterism and the half-world of Soho - sharply demonstrate the Flying Squad's ingenuity, patience and guts in stamping out crime. Sparks was known as the Iron Man - and the reader will see why. Unconventional in his approach, courageous in taking risks - and, on occasions, ignoring the book - Sparks emerges from these pages as a character in every sense of the word; a man who is warmly human and can take a joke, even against himself, but one who, at the same time, is in deadly earnest in bringing the wrong-doer to justice. In 1964 this book was withdrawn from publication when notorious offender and jail breaker, Alfred Hinds, sued Herbert Sparks for libel. After a 26 day hearing the jury awarded Hinds 1,300 damages and costs estimated at 15,000. Sparks appealed but then, claiming he faced financial ruin, withdrew his appeal. The Home Secretary ordered Hinds to be immediately released from prison, but the Criminal Appeal Court refused to re-hear his case. The transcript of the trial reveals that Sparks's temper was not equal to some of the questioning by Hinds's counsel, Mr. James Comyn. In the eyes of his admirers, however, "Bert" Sparks's reputation remained intact. Illus., Index. 160pp. 8vo. h/back. F. in Vg. dw. which has a small closed tear to fr. cover and the usual sunned sp. An extremely scarce and much sought after title .

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