Troubador 7/7 and 21/7 – Delving into Room 101

Released: 15/12/2017

ISBN: 9781788039727

eISBN: 9781788031158

Format: Paperback/eBook

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7/7 and 21/7 – Delving into Room 101


A personal history of two major London bombings.
An insider’s description of dealing with major terrorist outrages.
A personal reflection of the professional and emotional aspects of dealing with these horrific events.

Cliff Todd was a forensic scientist completely involved with all aspects of both the 7/7 and 21/7 terrorist bombings in London. Cliff continued to be closely connected to the various court cases that followed these harrowing events up until his retirement from the forensics department of the MOD in 2013. It was only with this retirement that he was able to properly review his involvement with these terrorist outrages. Up until this point, through his connection with the actual events and the ongoing prosecutions, he had always had to look at these two major bombings from an entirely professional and objective perspective. Now he was able to look at them from a much more personal and reflective viewpoint.

Then, following the sudden death of his wife, Cliff started to write some simple memoirs, purely as personal therapy. One of these became a narrative of his involvement with these bombings. What started out as a straightforward history of this disaster rapidly turned into a much more personal recollection of that time. He realised that he had locked away a much less professional and more emotive reaction to these events in a ‘Room 101’ within his memory. It was this story of these bombings, from the initial scenes of devastation to the subsequent court cases, and the effects that they had unknowingly had on him that now make up this book.

This is a human story, at times horrific and sad but also containing the excitement and humour that accompanies these kind of incidents. It shows an intimate portrait of the people and proceedings going on behind the scenes, and also a much more detailed description of dealing with these bombing than most of us will see from the news reports on them.

This is a fascinating account written by one of the forensic investigators following the terrorist attacks in London on 7th and 21st July. It was really interesting to read about one of the team going off to the crime scene and their role working with the police.

These are shocking events to remember and to dwell on and I think the author does a good job trying to describe what it is like to have to dwell on the attacks because of the job you are doing. The scene in the underground is described in enough detail to get a sense of the horror of being there. There is some description about the process to understand the type of bombs which were made. Finally the book ends with the court case and the involvement of the forensic team presenting their evidence.

The author reminds the reader that these are his memories of the events and that the book is not intended to cover the entire investigation, only the forensic parts. I found it engaging and an interesting read. I have no personal connection to the attacks and I think if you did, it would be quite a difficult and emotional book to read.

by Elaine Davenport

A fascinating insight in to Cliff Todd’s life working for the Forensic Explosives Laboratory or FEL.
It took me a while to get in to the book and get used to Cliff’s delivery which is rather ‘blokey’ and casual with a lot of “So I” “So then” but it soon became unimportant and unnoticeable as he started talking about working on 7/7. I loved the way Cliff always stopped to reflect on how he felt after each traumatic day and that his narrative often relates how he was concerned for their mental health and happiness. The FEL certainly seemed to be a team I’d be happy working in.
For someone nosy like me, it was great to get a peek ‘backstage’ at tragedies that I’d followed so closely on the news and Cliff was respectful and professional in the way he recounted those details.

I won’t say the chapters on explosives and how they are forensically detected were fascinating to me, but I could follow them and learned something so hats off to Cliff for that!
I really enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to anyone interested in forensic technique and on how a major crime incident is investigated.

by Kate Southey

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