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No One Got Cracked Over the Head for No Reason

UK Publisher: Biteback

What is it about crime that we find so fascinating, even if at the same time the details are repugnant? Why are some crimes more newsworthy than others? And how has that perception changed, if at all, in an age when every smartphone-owner is a potential on-the-spot reporter?

Martin Brunt has been with Sky since its inception in 1989 and has covered and often led the headlines on pretty much every major crime story since then. He has been widely acknowledged as having unparalleled sources, with one journalist observing at the time of the ‘Suffolk Strangler’ murders in 2006 that when he phoned Suffolk Police for a comment on the case, he was told: ‘Call Martin Brunt. He knows everything before we do.’

But of course that was BL – Before Leveson, the inquiry into dealings between the police and media, which has changed the landscape entirely.

No One Got Cracked Over the Head for No Reason will offer a fascinating overview of the nature of crime reporting and how it has changed over the past thirty-five years or so. Along the way Martin will reveal many previously undisclosed details from some of the biggest stories he’s covered, from the ‘Thames torso’ to Fred and Rose West; from the disappearance of Sarah Payne to the Hatton Garden ‘diamond wheezers’.

Lively and insightful, this is a wonderful blend of storytelling and analysis.


“Peek inside the secret world of crime with this brilliant book by Martin Brunt, Britain’s top crime correspondent. Renowned for the accuracy of his reporting, his calm manner and authority, Martin casts wise eyes over the criminal fraternity, the police who try to catch them out and the press who cover our most sensational crime stories. Highly recommended.”

Howard Sounes, author of Fred & Rose

“Martin Brunt is the crime correspondent I always trust. When he speaks, I listen. Shrewd and insightful, he has unparalleled connections and specialist knowledge that allow him to see beyond a specific crime and view the context in which that crime has been committed – a rare gift in an underrated journalistic discipline. This book is a must-read.”

David Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Criminology


“A cracking tale from a reporter with the inside track on many of Britain’s most notorious crimes and how they were investigated – and how they were covered by the media.”

Duncan Campbell, investigative journalist and author of Underworld

“We forget that journalists are also experts in crime. They see more cases in a year than many police and science experts might see in a career. It was a revelation to consider cases from their perspective. A rare book that covers a topic anew.”

Professor Sue Black, author of All That Remains and Written in Bone


“This volume is riveting and informative, but it has left me perplexed: do I admire investigative journalists, or am I dismayed by them and the way they work? I have years of experience working in criminal investigation, but Martin Brunt’s revelations have shocked me to the core. If you want to know how the journalist gets the news for us, and are prepared for the truth behind the headlines, I recommend this book. It is a gripping read.”

Patricia Wiltshire, author of Traces

Martin Brunt is crime correspondent for Sky News. He has been with the channel since its launch in 1989, spending the...