Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell by John Preston - review by Roy Greenslade

Roy Greenslade

Man in the Mirror

Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell


Viking 323pp £18.99

For a year of my life, as editor of the Daily Mirror, I suffered the mercurial, maverick and sometimes monstrous behaviour of its owner, Robert Maxwell. Soon after I departed from the newspaper, he departed from life altogether. More on the manner of his death in a moment.

In his wake, an awful truth emerged about his plunder of his companies’ pension funds. His crime opened the door to the kind of rational assessments of the man that he had spent years successfully suppressing. Maxwell’s true persona was explored in detail in endless articles, several books (including one by me) and a wonderful play. His fraudulent business practices were also exposed in a lengthy legal case against two of his sons, every day of which I covered. (Thankfully, and rightly, they were acquitted.)

So, I think I can say I know everything there is to know about Maxwell, and when I was interviewed by John Preston for this biography I wondered at his chutzpah. What could he, who had never met the man, bring of value to the life story of a rogue

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