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The Thief-Taker: Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of The Thief-Taker: Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner


TF Banks
Delacorte, Oct 2001, 23.95, 288 pp.
ISBN 0385335717

    In 1815 London the Bow Street Runners are the nearest entity to a police force that the city has but it is not looked upon favorably by the public. The Bow Street Runners are not paid a salary but earn a commission when a person they arrest is convicted and an even bigger reward if that person is hung.

    Henry Morton is a Bow Street constable who is an honorable man. He obeys the laws and doesn't take bribes to look the other way when a crime is committed. After boxing with Lord Byron at Gentleman's Jack, he is called to investigate the death of Halbert Glendinning who died in a coach that was driving him to his friend's house. A doctor who is a guest at the house says that the man choked on his own vomit but Morton believes it was murder. He sets out to investigate the man's death never dreaming that the inquiries will end with him in jail struggling to save his own life.

    TF Banks has written a historical mystery that is very atmospheric and captures the ambiance of Regency England. The characters are very well developed and the hero is a man to admire, an individual who rises above the corruption that surrounds him. THE THIEF-TAKER is the first installment in what appears to be a fascinating series.

Harriet Klausner
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner








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Chapter Analysis of The Thief-Taker: Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner

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Plot & Themes

How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Special suspect?    -   investigator him/herself Murder of certain profession?    -   lawmen Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, American Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's

Setting

Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Misc setting    -   prison    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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T.F. Banks Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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