Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Book review: Brink's-Mat robbery still sparks interest

In The Curse of Brink's-Mat: 25 Years of Murder & Mayhem, Wensley Clarkson tells the tale of the biggest heist of the 20th century, one that continues to reverberate in London's criminal underworld today.

The Curse of Brink’s-Mat: 25 Years of Murder & Mayhem
Wensley Clarkson
Quercus

At least 21 people linked to the Brink's-Mat bullion robbery, both innocent and guilty, have so far wound up in the morgue since the daring raid on the security firm's warehouse at London's Heathrow airport in 1983. And the death toll is expected to rise as new generations of criminals try to get their hands on the millions of pounds worth of unrecovered gold still believed to be stashed around England's capital and beyond.

Wensley Clarkson first covered the heist, the most lucrative of the 20th century at £25 million (Dh140m), when he was a young news reporter and has tracked its impact on the city's underworld ever since.

With a colourful cast of characters including The Fox, Stevie the Butcher, the King of Catford, Sid the Wink and the infamous Kenneth Noye, this gritty true-crime story is as entertaining in parts as any Guy Ritchie gangster movie. However, the chronological, play-by-play narrative style makes for rather tiresome reading after several chapters for all but those who are deeply interested in the logistics of running criminal enterprises.

* Paul Muir

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National