The First Detective: The Life and Revolutionary Times of Vidocq: Criminal, Spy and Private Eye

Front Cover
Overlook, Jun 30, 2011 - History - 288 pages
Eugene François Vidocq was born in France in 1775 and his life spanned the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars and the 1848 revolutions. He was the Inspector Morse, the Sherlock Holmes, the James Bond of his day. A notorious criminal in his youth, he became a police officer and employed a gang of ex-convicts as his detectives. He developed innovative criminal indexing techniques and experimented with fingerprinting, until his cavalier attitude towards the thin blue line forced him out of the police. So he began the world’s very first private detective agency.

The cases he solved were high profile, and gradually he grew in notoriety. However, his reputation didn’t prevent him from becoming a spy and moving secretly across the dangerous borders of Europe. The First Detective is a gloriously enjoyable historical romp through the eighteenth century in the company of the man whose influence on law enforcement still holds to this day.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BrynDahlquis - LibraryThing

FINALLY finished this book. I have literally been reading this for over a month. For me, that is a LONG time. Vidocq is certainly an interesting man (which is why I read a book about him), and James ... Read full review

The First Detective: The Life and Revolutionary Times of Vidocq; Criminal, Spy and Private Eye

User Review  - Book Verdict

Morton (former editor, Criminal Lawyer; Gangland) has chosen a fascinating subject here, but, unfortunately, his rendition is not a top-notch work. Eugène-François Vidocq (1775–1857) started life ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2011)

James Morton practiced law for twenty-five years before becoming editor of Law Journal and Criminal Lawyer. He is now a full-time freelance writer and the author of many books, including the bestselling Gangland series.

Bibliographic information