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Empire of Crime (Hardback)

Organised Crime in the British Empire

P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 20th Century P&S History > True Crime

By Tim Newark
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 268
ISBN: 9781526713049
Published: 30th October 2017



In the news

As featured in the Daily Express: New book reveals Britain's troubles of 19th century organised crime 

As featured in the International Express (1/11/7)

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When Great Britain took the moral high ground and banned its lucrative export of opium from Imperial India to China, it unleashed a century of criminality. Where America's misguided Prohibition of alcohol made illicit fortunes for the Mafia, across the pond the organised criminals within the British Empire grew rich on their trade in illegal narcotics in the 20th century.

Empire of Crime is the first book to reveal the full extent and variety of organised crime within the British Empire in the 20th century. By delving into British colonial archives, Newark has discovered breath-taking truths about organised crime inside the British Empire.

This book unravels how gangsters exploited its global trade routes to establish a new age of criminal networks that spanned the world.

Review as featured in

Highlight: For those interested in the period then this is well worth a read, it shines a light on a much-ignored aspect of the British Empire. I would also suggest RPG players to grab a copy especially those who play Call of Cthulhu, it’s a great resource that could provide some interesting villains, NPCs and potential scenario ideas.

Irregular Magazine

This is a strong non-fiction story written superbly well, and which thrills like a modern mystery story. It’s brilliant history, and utterly compelling.

Not only highly recommended, I urge you to get a copy! It’s brilliant!

Read the full review here


The crimes range from drug and gold smuggling to protection rackets, prostitution and terrorism, including the notorious bombing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946. Well worth reading for a different perspective on crime and policing

Police History Society

A great read for those who love true crime.

NetGalley, reviewed by Wendy M Rhodes

I read most of this and enjoyed it! Keep up the good work!

NetGalley, reviewed by Nicole Bolin

Newark is obviously fascinated by the cases he covers, and has clearly enjoyed researching them, primarily through files in The National Archives. Although his military interests come through in this book, it is a good read, whether you're interested in military history or not.

Your Family History, February 2018

For a subject which requires such in-depth research and knowledge, Tim Newark has done an admirable job.

Read the full review here.

Parkaman Magazine

As featured in

True Crime Library, Bulletin 449

As featured in

International Express 1/11/17

The topics are interesting both from a historical and criminal point of view.

NetGalley, reviewed by Alessandro Mana

As featured in

The Express 12/10/17

This was good at giving a broad introduction to the topic, and piqued an interest in further reading.

NetGalley, reviewed by Sara Garry

About Tim Newark

Tim Newark is the author of numerous critically acclaimed military history books, including The BarbariansWar in BritainWhere They FellTurning the Tide of War, and Camouflage. He was also the scriptwriter and historical consultant for a six-part TV documentary series on World War II for BBC Worldwide. He lives in Bath.

Perfect Partner

The Mafia at War Allied Collusion with the Mob (Paperback)

'An engrossing history that reads like a thriller. The Godfather meets Band of Brothers.' — Andrew Roberts 'Newark tells an extraordinary tale with pace and conviction, and impressively unravels what really happened from the pervasive myths.' — History Today 'A fascinating and compelling work on three of the most evil movements of the 20th century. It ought to be required reading for anyone looking for insights into the period.' — Richard Hammer The Mafia is the most powerful criminal organisation the world has ever known. This book tells the epic story of how the Mafia was nearly destroyed…

By Tim Newark

Click here to buy both titles for £36.98
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