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Rose West: The Making of a Monster Paperback – 15 Mar 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; Reprint edition (15 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340992484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340992487
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Praise for After Evil: (...)

If you read any book this year, you must read this one. (Alma Cullen, Scriptwriter, TV's Inspector Morse)

Unsparing, shocking, beautifully told story of a young boy who woke up to a nightmare. (Norman Hull, AVP Films)

Insightful, revealing and detailed, AFTER EVIL is a warm and human portrait of the collateral damage inflicted on a whole family hit by a serial killer. And it is ultimately a moving story of survival and how, against all odds, it is possible to go beyond tragedy. (Andrea Michell, Bravura Films)

Book Description

Jane Carter Woodrow goes right back to the start of the infamous serial killer Rose West's life, to try and piece together what happened to turn her into the violent monster she became.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Dec 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I remember the media coverage of this horrific case at the time and I felt it was time to read a book about it more than a decade later to see how I felt after all this time. If anything it had more effect on me now than it did at the time. I found this book interesting because it showed how Rose's childhood possibly contributed to her later career as a serial killer.

Abuse in childhood has a huge effect on adult lives though not everyone who is abused as a child becomes a sadistic killer as Rose and Fred West did. Both had similar childhoods with physical and sexual abuse from parents - in Rose's case from her father and in Fred's case from his mother. But in spite of similar childhoods not all their siblings turned out in the same way and their children have not gone on to repeat their destructive lives. I was interested to learn that Fred West was not the father of all Rose's children.

As the book frequently says Rose had no boundaries and she did what was necessary to get what she wanted - not apparently seeing anything wrong in killing to get rid of inconvenient people. Maybe if she had made a life with someone else she would not have gone on to kill but because she met Fred West who was also a sadistic psychopath they brought out the worst in each other.

This book is an interesting read though clearly not for the squeamish. The gruesome details are not dwelt upon unnecessarily but some sections of the book make unpleasant reading. I felt some of the writing was a little clunky and I found I had to read some sentences more than once to fully understand them. Apart from that I did think the book was an interesting insight into Rose West's early upbringing. There was no index in the edition I read but there is a short list of further reading and some illustrations which displayed well in the e-book edition.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert James on 6 Oct 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is very hard to comment on books about subjects like this. The content itself is so shocking you're more compelled to talk about the story, rather than the book. Every book I have read about this case has wrung me out and left me to dry, due to the level of shock you feel when reading this story. The author here however has done something remarkable - I actually feel now that I understand (as much as anyone can). She delves into the past, which in my view is always relevant in cases like this, and to me gives a very good explanation as to why this woman turned out so unemotionally sadistic.
Reading the cases again, and some of the details of the offences are still repulsive but they are skimmed over here. Our fascination with the subject always wants more information and detail, but there's enough here to know what happened and have a suitable sense of revulsion.
The real shocker for me is the new evidence from an eyewitness. I read the passage over and over again, unable to take in the implications of it. It has left me now wanting to know so much more about that witness and what has come of their revelation.
This is definitely one of the better serial killer books out there, but for a fuller picture I would recommend reading Anne-Marie West's book to complement this. It's not well-written, but painfully and brutally honest.
I don't think anyone will ever match Rose West's depravity, and I hope no-one ever does. I also doubt she will ever tell us the truth, but there's enough here for us to know it and relax that she is in the right place.

My heart goes out to the remaining Wests and what they have endured and still have to endure, along with all the victim's families.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CatherineB on 29 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a good book and well written. It goes into great detail about where this woman came from, her family history and her regrettable childhood. It is shocking in some places and the author interjects some quite raw and gruesome facts when you're least expecting them. I think this is intentional and intended to keep reminding the reader the horror of what this woman did.

It would have gained 5 stars but for the fact that the author buffers the facts with fiction, and I say that because there's no possible way she can know how Rose - or any other person featured in the book - was feeling at the time of these horrific events yet still speculates with conviction.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Angel Star on 20 Nov 2011
Format: Paperback
Having read several other books on this subject, this book, in my opinion was just okay. I also think it is about 80 pages too long. Whilst it is essential in cases such as this to establish background and an insight into both the materal and paternal grandparents gives us this,I felt no need to mention the neighbours and their occupations. The endless changes of addresses, jobs and schools was also hard to keep up with and started to become monotanous.

Although the author pulls no punches in telling us of Roses horrific crimes, I still feel there is a slight bias and Rose is somewhat seen as a victim of circumstances. I totally disagree with this and also the notion that Rose is or was in any way slow, it would be naive to accept this. As they say it takes a wise man (or woman) to act the fool and I think this is what Rose West has done throughout her entire life, firstly for self preservation and thereafter to lure victims and to appear innocent to the police. Her dialogue in letters she wrote to Fred coupled with her ability to cook, clean, dressmake and take on 2 children at 17 also show, in my opinion, maturity beyond her years, how many 17 yr olds these days would be capable of that? I think her "play dumb" act was a good disguise for someone who was a master manipulator from no age and I feel her manipulation of Fred was no exception.

I believe Fred on the other hand was either genuinely slow or badly effected by the head injury he sustained as he seemed to suffer some sort of multiple personality disorder as despite his horrendous crimes he was actually capable of showing compassion, unlike Rose who without any remorse cast him out of her life as well.
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