Outlaws, Spies, and Gangsters: Chasing Notorious Criminals

illus. by Gareth Williams. 148p. bibliog. index. Annick. 2014. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781554516216; pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781554516209.
Gr 4–8—This entertaining collective biography focuses on the ever-popular subject of lawbreakers. The book begins with a profile of the Mad Trapper in the early 1930s, touching on the early uses of the two-way radio, and closes with the high profile manhunt of Osama bin Laden, when President Obama could watch the mission as it unfolded via a video feed. In between, Scandiffo provides an account of the capture of other infamous lawbreakers, focusing on different methods, such as undercover spying (which resulted in the arrest of Aldrich Ames) and the uses of collaboration between various countries and their citizens to catch international criminals, such as Manual Noriega and Adolf Himmler. Each chapter opens with a drawing of the suspect and a basic case file: name, crime, location and duration of the manhunt, and what types of law enforcement were involved. Each ends by discussing what became of the suspect. In the case of the international criminals, the author briefly acknowledges that the country's methods of capture may be controversial. The book is engagingly written, with a minimum of sidebar references, which works well for the fiction-like narrative style. It would be a welcome addition, especially in collections where high-interest, collective biographies are in demand.—Patricia Feriano, Our Lady of Mercy School, Potomac, MD

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