Dark City is the first book to explore how London became a criminals' paradise during the Second World War
There was more to wartime London than stiff upper lips and rousing choruses of 'Roll Out the Barrel'. Criminals hunted their prey without fear of reprisal. Many operated under the cover of darkness, emerging when the city sank into the oblivion of its nightly blackout. Others simply struck whenever opportunity presented itself. At a time when Londoners were pulling together in the face of terrible adversity, there were an increasing number of looters, racketeers, terrorists, criminal gangs, prostitutes, rapists and murderers stalking the bomb-ravaged, panic-ridden streets, and Dark City chronicles the rapid rise of crime throughout this turbulent period. Indeed, wartime London was a criminal's paradise. The number of bodies being retrieved during the Blitz made it virtually impossible for authorities to perform autopsies on all of them. The question soon arose: who were the victims of bombings, and who had simply been murdered? Award-winning crime writer Simon Read paints a vivid picture of what life was really like in 1940s London, and profiles the crimes of its most notorious perpetrators, including the Blackout Ripper, Chicago Joe, the Elephant Boys, and the infamous Rillington Place Murderer, John Reginald Christie.