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Rimaru - Butcher of Bucharest (Profusion Crime) Paperback – 26 May 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 181 pages
  • Publisher: Profusion International Creative Consultancy; 1 edition (26 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956867634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956867636
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 529,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

An inexorable accretion of detail, maintaining a firm grip on the reader's attention... a cool, uninflected narrative that allows the facts to speak for themselves to chilling effect... the customary banality of evil, but also the fashion in which that evil can flourish in a totalitarian state. It is a chilling and salutary read. --Barry Forshaw, writer and journalist - British Crime Writing: An Encyclopedia

An almost perfect reconstruction... a huge effort of research which reconstitutes the destiny of a murderer framed in his multiple contexts - domestic, social and historical... exceptionally well conceived and very well written! --Liviu Antonesei, writer and journalist - editor of Timpul, Romania's leading arts magazine

About the Author

MIKE PHILLIPS is the author of a series of crime novels featuring black journalist Sam Dean: Blood Rights (1989), The Late Candidate (1990), Point of Darkness (1994), and An Image to Die For (1995). He received the Silver Dagger award of the Crime Writers' Association in 1990. He also wrote The Dancing Face (1997), and Fast Road to Nowhere (1994, as Joe Canzius). STEJAREL OLARU, born in 1973 in Bucharest, Romania, has published a great number of specialised studies and books on recent Romanian history. At the present time, he is a university lecturer in the history of intelligence gathering.

Customer Reviews

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tiberiu on 28 May 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a serious, well researched and well written book. Its subject matter is very hard to be approached properly by Romanian writers, especially nowadays when sensationalism is sadly omnipresent. It took a collaboration between British writer Mike Phillips and Romanian historian Stejarel Olaru to create a book - a true crime book - that approaches the sensitive issue of communist Romania's serial killer Ion Rimaru.

No doubt many people will say why do these people write about such negative things, why do this to the image of Romania? But I think it's good this is discussed, because it's discussed rationally and with arguments that take into account archive documents and witness statements of the time.

I had no idea, to begin with, that Ion Rimaru was a student of veterinary medicine. Or that he was from Corabia, a tiny town in southern Romania. Urban legends I that heard made him look like a super-villain with dark powers, keeping a harem of women that hid him when the police were chasing after him. As many such tales, they are completely false, born out of gossip and the sweeping under the carpet of the true information about the case since 1971 well until after the revolution of 1989.

The truth is more prosaic and as such much darker than any of the "legends". The killer's misdeeds were aggravated by the authorities' desire to suppress the politically non-compliant reality, but also by sheer bad luck, incompetence and the general atmosphere of fear.

Although it is not a pleasant story, this is a very good book. It tells not just the story of Ion Rimaru, the butcher of Bucharest, but also the story of Romania during a dark period of its history. We need more stories like this, we need more discussions based on facts, treated objectively - like in this book. Congratulations!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adrian C on 30 May 2012
Format: Paperback
What I liked best about this book, besides the actual story, is that the style is clean and factual. It reminded me of cover stories in serious current affairs magazines. Very fitting, if we take into account the book deals with the story of a notorious serial killer from 1970 Romania. The story gripped me from the first page. I thought I knew what to expect from the book, I had read the publishers' press release. But I was still surprised by the details of Rimaru's criminal career that encompassed everything from theft to violent murder. I was afraid I would be inundated with gory details, but my fears were unfounded. It's impossible not to have some graphic descriptions in a book about a murderer, but the authors Mike Phillips and Stejarel Olaru kept them to what was strictly necessary. I congratulate them for this, it must have been hard to maintain a balance between harsh fact and literary description.

The resulting story is dark and unsettling. There are people who could be offended by realist descriptions of events in their country's fairly recent history. I can be sensitive about this issue as well. However I think they should not worry this story reflects badly on Romania. If it does reflect badly on something, it does so on the unjust system that was lacking social equilibrium. I recommend Rimaru - Butcher of Bucharest too all people interested in Romania's recent history and social history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Danm on 21 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading this true crime story from the 1970s. I was particularly interested in the social environment of those horrible crimes, their impact on the culture of their times, and their lingering legacy.
The text itself is not too long, but it is packed with very relevant information about the murderer, his victims, and the social and political climate of those days' Romania. I knew the authoritarian regime ruling the country back then had troubles admitting the existence of a crazed murderer, but I had no idea how far they went with sweeping away the truth under the carpet of censorship.
There are many picturesque details that bring to life not only the setting of the story, but also some of the characters. There are also very fine and non-judgmental insights into why everybody acted the way they did, from the police to the witnesses. This book is a team effort by British writer Mike Phillips and Romanian historian Stejarel Olaru. Their literary venture is both very instructive and enjoyable (as far as true crime stories can be enjoyed). A well documented tale.
`Rimaru - Butcher of Bucharest' is a fine glimpse into the mind of a notorious serial killer and a fascinating read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By paula h on 3 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I thought it will be something about communism and Eastern European murder cases crossed no doubt with vampires turned out to be a book based on historical facts, well researched. The authors had access to top secret documents which made the story factual. Rimaru is no Dr Crippin or Fred West but the murders, the works of the police and the communist regime made him a disturbing character. An interesting and thrilling read!
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