Max Décharné: Capital Crimes Launch

Doors: 7pm FREE

Celebrating the launch of his eighth book, Max will be talking about Capital Crimes, including the 1917 Bloomsbury murder which took place a short walk away from the Horse Hospital itself during a Gotha bomber raid on London. There will also be a visual display drawn from many of the newspapers and broadsheets used in the research for the book.

Capital Crimes tells the shifting story of crime and punishment in London through vivid re-creations of a series of murders that stretches from the killing of Roger Legett, a notorious ‘questmonger’, during the Peasants’ Revolt in 1381, through to the hanging of Styllou Christofi in 1954. Some of the murderers, such as the political assassin John Bellingham, are still remembered. Others, including the eighteenth-century highwayman John Davis, are largely forgotten. But all their lives and fates have much to tell us – about London’s changing underworld, about the slow evolution of policing in the capital, and about the sometimes strange workings of the law. Above all, they provide a fascinating sideways view of London over the centuries – from the crime-ridden alleyways of the Georgian capital to the supposedly respectable suburbs of Finchley, where the notorious ‘baby-farmers’ Amelia Sach and Annie Walters operated at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Illustrated throughout with contemporary engravings and photographs, this is an essential read for all devotees of London – and of crime.

Max Décharné is a writer and musician. He is the author of seven previous books, including King’s Road, Hardboiled Hollywood, Straight from the Fridge,Dad and A Rocket in my Pocket. He has been a regular contributor to Mojo magazine since 1998, and also writes for a variety of other publications. In his music career, he has released eleven albums and numerous singles since 1991. He lives in London.

Capital Crimes is published by Random House