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The First Detective - Eugene Francois Vidocq

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The First Detective by James Morton


This is the story of Eugene Francois Vidocq (1775-1857) an 18th century crook turned detective turned private eye. He published his memoirs in 1828, but these often depended more on his powers of imagination than of recall.


I found Morton’s writing style strangely dissatisfying – I kept looking for analysis and found none although it’s not meant to be a scholarly work. But perhaps it was because Morton’s subject is not particularly engaging. This is not the story of a wrongfully imprisoned man making good, but of an amoral opportunist, never the most attractive of characters to read about.


There is an extensive bibliography.

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