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The Thief-Taker Hangings

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Signature “The Celebrity Criminal: Jack Sheppard and the Self-Absorption of Sin”

Huffington Post The Origins of the Celebrity Criminal: As the Modern Appetite for Scandal Continues to Soar, A Quick Look Back at When It All Began”

Library Journal *Starred Review: Jonathan Wild, a real-life ringleader of thieves in 18th-century London, might make you laugh—not from amusement but rather incredulity at his audacious exploits. His London was a lawless one as he reigned during a time when an organized police force was considered to be an expensive and repressive nuisance. Using his influence to extort, bribe, and occasionally inform on his colleagues, Wild became a successful and powerful force both in the underworld and society circles of the time. Skirboll (The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven) details numerous Hollywoodesque scrapes, chases, and escapes; further proving that truth is far stranger than fiction. The author evocatively portrays a strange and alien land whose indifferent government legislated hundreds of capital crimes, carried out endless executions, and yet was effectively lawless. Skirboll’s research led him to British archives and contemporary newspapers, unearthing a fascinating story. He immerses the reader in the period but wears his learning lightly. VERDICT Fans of both fictional and true crime stories will enjoy this fresh, well-written, and captivating page-turner full of fascinating characters engaged in a fast-moving plot

Publisher’s Weekly calls The Thief-Taker Hangings “A rollicking romp through London’s underbelly. . . . Skirboll’s rich, multilayered account reveals the birth of society’s fascination with criminals.”