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A Fine Day for a Hanging: The Real Ruth Ellis Story Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Length: 448 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

"Worthy of Truman Capote" (Laurence Marks, playwright and screenwriter)

"Wonderful . . . it will become the standard reference on Ruth Ellis" (Stewart P. Evans, crime historian)

"A forensically researched book [that] casts a haunting new light on the last woman to be hanged in Britain" (Daily Mail)

"A brilliantly researched epilogue of the doomed relationships that produced two children and one divorce and Ellis's catastrophic final days . . . All the compelling detail is here in Lee's overwhelming story, which puts Ellis's life into perspective" (Camden New Journal)

Review

Review in Camden new Journal, 15 September 2012: "Lee has told the full story of Ellis's arrest, trial and execution, her troubled childhood and life before she became manageress of the Little Club in Knightsbridge, plus the fascinating background of her forgotten lover... Here you have, for the first time, a brilliantly researched epilogue of the doomed relationships that produced two children and one divorce and Ellis's catastrophic final days... All the compelling detail is here in Lee's overwhelming story, which puts Ellis's life into perspective.."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1947 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Digital (6 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0094F57KK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #82,568 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Born in Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1969, Carol Ann Lee graduated from university in Manchester with a BA (Hons) degree in the History of Art and Design. Her first book was published three years later: 'Roses From The Earth: The Biography of Anne Frank' was the fulfilment of a childhood dream to write about Anne Frank. The Mail on Sunday described the book as "vivid and shattering. A work of real sympathy and imagination" and the Sunday Telegraph: "Excellent... serious, sensitive and scrupulous." 'Roses From The Earth' has been published in 15 countries to date.

This was followed by a biography of Anne's father, 'The Hidden Life of Otto Frank', a Guardian Book of the Week which was described by Reader's Digest as "a tour-de-force of history and humanity." The book has been the subject of several documentaries, and following her ground-breaking research into the family's betrayal, the Dutch government re-opened the case. Anne Frank's cousin, Buddy Elias, states: "Of the many authors, writers and historians who have written about Anne Frank and her father Otto, Carol Ann Lee is the most knowledgeable and sets new scholarly standards... There is nobody who has done more acute and focused research on the subject..." Carol also co-wrote 'A Friend Called Anne' with Anne's best friend Jacqueline van Maarsen and has written extensively on the Holocaust for children.

After living in Amsterdam for several years, in 2005 Carol returned to the UK, settling in York with her son. She turned to fiction writing: 'Come Back to Me', which was published in Holland, and 'The Winter of the World', a novel of the Great War which opens with the funeral of the Unknown Warrior and then takes us back to the trenches. 'The Winter of the World' was published in three languages and was a critical and commercial success in France especially, where it was nominated for two major awards.

In 2010, Carol returned to writing non-fiction with 'One of Your Own: The Life and Death of Myra Hindley', the definitive study not only of Hindley, but also of the Moors Murders case. Carol interviewed a wide cross-section of those involved, from the victims' families to the policemen who worked on the case originally, as well as many of Hindley's supporters. 'One of Your Own' was both a Times and an Independent Book of the Week and was featured on Radio 4. The Mail on Sunday awarded it a five star review, calling it "scrupulously researched and clear-sighted, the most accurate account so far"; The Sunday Times described it as "scrupulously unsensational and as good a biography of Hindley as we're likely to get."

During her research for 'One of Your Own', Carol met David Smith, which led to collaboration on the book 'Witness', in which David told his full story for the first time. In April 2012 'Witness' was republished as 'Evil Relations', just weeks before David died of cancer. The book was nominated for the CWA Dagger Award for Non-Fiction.

In September 2012, Mainstream published 'A Fine Day for a Hanging.' Screenwriter Laurence Marks said of the opening chapter: "Worthy of Truman Capote... the finest account of awaiting execution that I have ever read." The book was again nominated for the CWA Dagger Award for Non-Fiction.

Carol doesn't have a personal website, blog or Twitter page, but she runs the 'Searching for Keith' website alongside Alan Bennett, brother of the last missing victim of Brady and Hindley. Please visit www.searchingforkeith.com for further details. You can also contact Carol via the forum.

A message from Carol Ann Lee: "Very many sincere and heartfelt thanks to every reader who has taken the time and trouble to leave such positive reviews of my books on Amazon. I do read them all, and am grateful to every single person who has contributed. I hope you will continue to read my books and leave (hopefully positive!) feedback. If ever an author tells you they don't read their reviews... don't trust them! When reviews are good, they light up your day, and even the less appreciative reviews often contain advice worth listening to, so thank you again to everyone who has left comments here."

You will be able to read Carol's new book in 2015.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once again the author has been meticulous in her research of the subject of Ruth Ellis. I have to say I found it very difficult to be fully sympathetic towards Ruth despite her tragic end, she seemed equally as culpable for the volatile relationship she found herself in with David and she seemed to have very little concern for her son. Obviously I am judging this 60 years later and times and her options were certainly different then. It was fascinating to read about life as it was then awaiting execution and the effect it had on her family and everyone else involved in her case. As a fan of Diana Dors I can only say her role in Yield To The Night really does mirror this case and is worth a watch. Once again well done Carol Ann Lee, keep up the good work x
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very well written despite the subject matter. The author, if the veracity of the research can be relied upon has done an excellent job putting the whole sad story together keeping to the known facts. It is obvious that Ruth Ellis was badly let down by her defense team especially her solicitor, who really held the key to the sorry saga. I remember the case at the time and always thought it was very straight forward. Simply a premeditated murder ruthlessly carried out. Well it turns out it was not so simple after all and one cannot help but feel sorry for the murderess. Commentators since the time, [1955] have argued that it was a crime of passion. One can understand such a view but many people would not subscribe to it. Comparisons have been made with other cases where the culprit was probably innocent but Ruth Ellis did actually commit murder, unlike such comparisons. {Timothy Evans & Derek Bentley, both of whom were executed.} As is common in most cases of this type the police could have been more thorough investigating the matter [origin of the murder weapon] where they might have come across an accomplice, although Mrs Ellis stood trial alone. It must be said that she certainly did not help herself and it is difficult to help those who will not help themselves. My only comment with the research is that Ruth was supposed to be in 33 Tanza Road looking opposite at 29 Tanza Road. Well 33 Tanza Road is not opposite 29 it is two doors away on the same side of the road. She is also quoted as stating that she was looking for people in number 28 Tanza Road. The author footnotes this as an error it should be number 29. Simple corrections which can change a story. Are there others? A good buy nonetheless.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book, well written , well researched and unbiased . I am never sure if Ruth Ellis was impossibly naive or incredibly manipulative - I suspect a little of both . All the main players were morally suspect , especially back in the 1950's and the issue of class consciousness and the unacceptability of Ruth Ellis in David Blakeley's social circle , despite Ruth's attempts to gentrify herself , meant that they could never have a normal relationship because Blakely's parents would never have accepted Ellis as his wife . Desmond Cussen and the Findlaters added plenty of fuel to the fire , probably for their own ends - I doubt Cussen would have married Ruth even had she been willing - she was simply the wrong class . We've come a long way - would Prince William have been allowed to marry Kate back in the 1950's even if she was as pure as the driven snow ? Would Ruth have faced the hangman for her crime if she had been the daughter of an upper class family ? We will never know.
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I have already read all the other books in English on the Ruth Ellis case and enjoyed them, but I'd confidently rate this one as the best. It's in-depth from start to finish, with the author's insights and comments upon the society of those days also being so penetrating. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
This book is a beautifully written and researched account of the life and death of Ruth Ellis. The chapter on the actual execution is one of the most moving and best arguments for getting rid of the death penalty. There have been other books such as Laurence Marks and Tony Van den Bergh's 'A Case for Diminished Responsability?' which have gone into well researched details on the case, this has used more information that has come to light since then which adds to our knowledge of what was one of the saddest cases of how a woman was executed, and is an inditement of the establishment and of the times when it occurred. There have been various allegations and unchecked stories that have been published which have tried to throw new lights on what was a cause celebre. Nowadays Ruth would not have been executed. Yes she did kill Blakely, sadly however much Monica Weller's badly researched and ghostwritten book - and however much and understandably Muriel Jacobait - Ruth's sister might like to put up stories of secret service manipulation and blame someone else for the murder, it was Ruth who fired the actual shots. The fact that someone else - Cussens - gave her the gun and pointed her in Blakely's direction is irreputable. The background to the murder if it had been fully known at the time should have led to her receiving a prison sentence and receiving the help she needed. Carol Ann Lee's book sets the case in the context of the time and portrays the end of an era of clubs, high and low society and the post trauma of war time in which Ruth lived.
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