Regular price: $24.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

From the Roaring '20s to the 1970s, detectives reigned supreme in police departments across the country. In this tightly woven slice of true crime reportage, Thomas A. Reppetto offers a behind-the-scenes look into some of the most notable investigations to occur during the golden age of the detective in American criminal justice.

From William Burns, who during his heyday was known as America’s Sherlock Holmes, to Thad Brown, who probed the notorious Black Dahlia murder in Los Angeles, to Elliott Ness, who cleaned up the Cleveland police but failed to capture the “Mad Butcher” who decapitated at least a dozen victims, American Detective offers an indelible portrait of the famous sleuths and investigators who played a major role in cracking some of the most notorious criminal cases in US history. Along the way Reppetto takes us deep inside the detective bureaus that were once the nerve centers behind crime-fighting on the streets of America’s great cities, including the FBI itself, under the direction of America’s “top cop”, J. Edgar Hoover.

The book is published by University of Nebraska Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks.

©2018 Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska (P)2018 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

“Tom Reppetto probably knows more about American policing than anyone else alive.” (Leonard Levitt, author of NYPD Confidential and Conviction)

 “Should be required reading for all aspiring police officers.” (Anthony M. DeStefano, author of The Last Godfather and The Big Heist

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Thinly veiled political agenda

I'd expected to get some insight into famous investigations, as the title and summary promised. I did not expect to get the author's opinions about Hollywood, civil libertarians, unions, social scientists, multiculturalism, socialism... Basically, anything that the author can roll into the convenient blame ball of *leftist", for which he clearly hold considerable animus. There's a bit of criticism directed at police, but usually only the dumb flatfoot cops and politically-driven administration, but rarely the vaunted detective.

The book is loaded with coded language regarding race, sexuality and political persuasion. Sometimes the prejudice is right up front. He makes sure to note when criminals were black, at odds with the pointy headed profiler's assessment (DC sniper), and when criminals were probably homosexual. For Leopold and Loeb that may have been relevant, but none of the others. And he spends time defending J. Edgar Hoover's honor against spurious "accusations" of homosexuality. Why that is of any relevance is anyone's guess.

And he hates Clarence Darrow. Really, really hates him. From what I can gather, for nothing more than being a lawyer who would give his clients the opportunity to escape the death penalty. The author clearly holds capital punishment as a necessity for a lawful society.

But the real shame is that the parts of the book which do, in fact, delve in to interesting cases, are made completely unreliable. If the author is willing to make misleading, and often false, statements about cases, and significant figures involved in those cases, how can the reader/listener trust anything? The author is thoroughly disingenuous with his mischaracterisations of historical figures (nearly all of which is easily debunked or contextualised with research).

The final insult is the treatment given to Black Lives Matter. Only in the last 10 minutes of the book is it addressed, and then the blame is placed.... well, you can probably guess where it's placed. Suffice it to say, the author doesn't believe in liberal policing plans or, it seems videos of police brutality. It may have been best to just ignore it altogether, as by the end of the book, the listener can't doubt what the author feels about BLM.



5 of 6 people found this review helpful