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Investigating the Almost Perfect Murders (Paperback)

The Case of Russell Causley and Other Crimes

True Crime P&S History Social History

By Anthony Nott
Imprint: Pen & Sword True Crime
Pages: 197
Illustrations: 24
ISBN: 9781526763389
Published: 3rd February 2020

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Anthony Nott joined the Metropolitan Police in 1971, which was a very different world from that of today. He describes his early experiences in the Met, including the arrest of a man for murdering a prostitute in Kings Cross. He was present when a fellow police officer was almost stabbed to death and witnessed an act of police brutality when he interrupted the beating of a petty criminal in a cell by the CID.

He transferred to the county force of Dorset in 1976 where, not long after his promotion to detective sergeant, he engaged in what would be a ten-year long investigation into the disappearance of Monica Taylor and the eventual conviction of her husband, Peter, for what was almost the perfect murder – Monica’s remains were never found. He then recounts a series of murder cases in which he was involved from the murder and decapitation of a woman in Bournemouth and the random killing of another, to the extremely violent killing of a gay man in Boscombe Gardens, Bournemouth, in which it took two years to bring the killers to justice.

While a detective chief inspector in Bournemouth in 1994, the chance visit of a detective sergeant from Guernsey, who was investigating a life insurance fraud, led to the re-opening of a missing person enquiry from eight years earlier, and resulted in the conviction of Russell Causley for murder, despite his wife’s body never being recovered.

This book provides an insight into the methodical and transparent way in which the police investigate complicated crimes from riots to the almost perfect murders.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This was a very interesting and easy read that was hard to put down.

We follow Mr Nott in his police career as he talks about various cases he was involved in, some of which were covered in detail. I thought the book was very well put together, it contained the perfect mix of background and case detail and I hope we get a book 2.

NetGalley, Lazy Cornish Cat (Mina) Searle

Investigating the Almost Perfect Murder by Anthony Nott is an interesting and well written book.

The author recounts some of the crimes in which he was involved during his time in the Police force. The cases rage from riots to cases known as perfect murders. It was a fascinating read and I enjoyed learning about the steps it takes and the hard work that went into solving the crimes.

NetGalley, Kelly Ebnet

This is the autobiography of Anthony Nott, a detective who investigated serious crimes, including many murders and a mercy killing.
Policing has changed considerably since the 1970s when Nott began his career, in the wake of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act following miscarriages of justice and a loss of trust in the police service.
Each story is compelling and there are good details. One involves a criminal trial concerning events surrounding a football match. After the trial, members of the bar presented the trial judge with a signed match ball.

On another occasion, a tramp was accidentally given the police station keys when he was released. Fortunately, he returned them.
We also learn what police dream about and how the writer met a young Jon Snow. It is interesting how cases were pursued doggedly over many years and how the outcome was often helped by good luck alongside hard work.
Solicitors do not feature much in the book – although the CPS and the bar do. Their roles are respected but do not seem to trouble the police much.
The book gives an insight into the mind of the police officer and the criminal. How do you commit the perfect crime and get away with it? I suppose no one would know about the perfect crime as it would be undiscovered, but many people have tried and nearly got away with it.

4 out of 5 Stars.

David Pickup, partner at Pickup & Scott Solicitors, Aylesbury

True crime told by a detective

Daily Echo, 6th March 2020

Click here to listen to author interview

NOTE: set cursor to 1:18:24

BBC Radio Solent with presenter Steve Harris, 19th February 2020

Click here to listen to author interview

Talk Radio Europe on the mid -morning show ‘ Let’s talk’ presented by Giles Brown

Investigation the Almost Perfect Murder by Anthony Nott is an interesting and well written book.

The author recounts some of the crimes in which he was involved during his time in the Police force. The cases rage from riots to cases known as perfect murders. It made for a fascinating read and I enjoyed reading about the steps it takes and the hard work that goes into solving them.

NetGalley, S Ballinger

An insiders look at how the police go about investigating their cases from riots to cases known as perfect murders. I was fascinated reading about the cases and the steps taken the hard work that goes into solving them.

NetGalley, Abby Siverman

Investigation the Almost Perfect Murder by Anthony Nott is an interesting and well written book.

I enjoy reading True Crime and to hear about how things were in the 70s,80s and 90s when I was younger was really intersting and somewhat eye opening as to the way times have changed so much recently.

Nott recounts some of the crimes in which he was involved with in a clear and consise way.

NetGalley, Hazel Thomson

This is a group of interesting British crime stories recounting Anthony Nott’s time fighting crime with the Metropolitan Police back in the 1970s. I enjoy reading British crime and Australian when I get the chance, and this book was a Wish that was granted on NetGalley, so I was happy to get it. If you like this kind of true crime, you should check it out as well as the writing is good and the stories kept my interest. It covers a violent episode at a football game at Bournemouth against Leeds United in a very important game for both. Things got very out of hand even before the game started and kept on the day after. The case he calls The Almost Perfect Murders is there also, and the very strange story of Russell Causley whose wife disappeared, supposedly reappeared, then wasn’t seen again. He then took on the last name of his girlfriend, oddly enough. Plenty to attract the true crime reader here.

NetGalley, Valerie Shampine

A really interesting, informative, gives you the reader an insight into the work the police do.

Well written, full of detail, it holds your interest.

NetGalley, Cennin Thomas

Investigating the Almost Perfect Murders tells the story of old school copper Anthony Nott's time in the police force.. I read a lot of true crime but unlike many I'm as interested in the stories of policemen as well as the criminal element. Nott served most of his career in Dorset , which while not a hotbed of crime has it's fair share of ne'er do wells and some of Nott's more interesting cases are featured here. There's quite a lot of procedural detail which could have been boring but Nott includes this to show us that there's a massive amount of organisation and a whole lot more complexity than most would realise in a major criminal investigation..
As someone a similar age to Mr Nott I was fully aware of the myriad of failings of the police in days gone by before scandal and public outrage made the clean up their act and I admire his honesty, I came close to a custodial sentence on a complete pack of lies and a cousin nearly ended up in a wheelchair after a severe beating by the Met seemingly for having the audacity to be young and in the wrong place.
That aside, the book is an easy and informative read that shows the good and the bad of life as a policeman....and the general public when often those people look down on show themselves stronger than their detractors and bravely stand up in court when "better" people are scared or don't care.
Big thanks to Anthony Nott, Pen and Sword True Crime and Netgalley for the advance copy in return for an honest review.

NetGalley, Dave Blendell

This book is a series of vignettes by a retired police officer. They are, in turns, exciting, melancholy, horrific, gripping and always containing a good mix of legal detail, police procedure and bonhomie between the author and his colleagues.

The book is not a particularly long read nor does it read like an extended vanity piece, the writing gets to the point, the story is told and it gets out. The misty-eyed reminisces are kept to a minimum.

Overall a decent read with very intriguing cases covered.

Recommended.

NetGalley, Brian Hamilton

Anthony Nott joined the Metropolitan Police in 1971. He witnessed some horrific crimes and describes his early experiences as an officer of the law. We learn of his journey through the ranks and other police stations he worked from.

I like books that revolve around true crimes and this book did not disappoint. I recognised some of the crimes he talked about. The book is well written and I hope we learn more from the author in future.

NetGalley, Louise Wilson

This book provides an insight into the methodical and transparent way in which the police investigate complicated crimes from riots to the almost perfect murders.

This was interesting and being British true crimes, it made a pleasant change from most of the American ones.

I enjoyed the way the book was written and set out, and will read more by this author.

NetGalley, Julianne Freer

About Anthony Nott

Tony Nott MBE joined the Metropolitan Police in 1971 before transferring to the Dorset Police in 1976. He has been involved in the investigation of numerous homicides and was the senior investigating officer in the case of Russell Causley in 1996. This case was the subject of a four-part documentary series called The Investigator: A British Crime Story, to which he contributed and was screened on ITV in July 2016. He has written about his experiences in police reform, in the Balkans and Middle East, when working on contracts with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He retired at the rank of detective superintendent.

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