Vidocq: The Personal Memoirs of the First Great Detective, edited and translated by Edwin Gile Rich. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 445 pages. $3. This condensed version of the famous detective’s memoirs starts off very well as an amusing picaresque story. Soon, however, it becomes the somber and rather dreary tale of Vidocq’s escapes while he was one of the hunted, and of his captures when he turned hunter himself. Apparently Vidocq cared more for the truthfulness of his story than for any possible adornments.