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The Boy in the River: The shocking story of Adam - the body in the Thames

The Boy in the River: The shocking story of Adam - the body in the Thames [Kindle Edition]

Richard Hoskins
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'The Boy in the River is Hoskin s account of his involvement with not only the Adam case, but a decade of abuse and murder cases involving African children in Britain. Intermingled with details of these sinister cases are vignettes from Hoskin s own life. His connection to the unsettling world of traditional African religions is, we discover, intense and personal.' --Sunday Times Culture

'As well as being an important book for all sorts of reasons, The Boy in the River is a remarkable one. The horror it evokes will be matched by a sense of disbelief that such appalling things are happening, now, in London. What makes it all the more powerful is the deliberately measured manner in which it is written. Throughout, there s a sense that Hoskins is struggling to maintain his own equilibrium, his own sanity even, as he explores what he calls, with ample justification, the darkest underbelly of human nature ' --Evening Standard

'An eye-opening book that makes a strong case for cultural understanding'
--The Economist

Product Description

On 21st September 2001 the mutilated torso of a small child was found floating beside London’s Tower Bridge, one tide away from being swept into the North Sea. Unable to identify the victim, the Murder Squad turned to Richard Hoskins, a young professor of theology with a profound understanding of African tribal religion, whose own past was scarred by a heartbreaking tragedy. Thus began a journey into the tangled undergrowth of one of the most notorious murder cases of recent years; a journey which would reveal not only the identity of the boy they called Adam but the horrific truth that a succession of innocent children have been ritually sacrificed in our capital city.Insightful and grippingly written, The Boy in the River is an inside account of a series of extraordinary criminal investigations and a compelling personal quest into the dark heart of humanity.

The Pan Real Lives Series brings together some truly remarkable stories. From moving accounts of suffering and redemption to fun and fabulous confessions, entertaining adventures and touching tales of devotion, these are life-changing stories told from the heart. For the full range of titles available in The Pan Real Lives Series, visit

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 440 KB
  • Print Length: 349 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; 1 edition (7 Jun 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00843ODTO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #108,502 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BOY IN THE RIVER 10 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Dr Hoskins time spent in Africa was both heart warming but also tragic. How he continued to live his life afterwards is unimaginable but he did. He was drawn into Adam's case and others after that are so harrowing it's hard to believe people can be so evil. Dr Hoskins never loses his humanity and tells of the impact these cases had on him and his family. I am glad there are still people in this world like Dr Hoskins and the police officers who took such time and care to discover Adam's story. Read this book and remember it is not a reflection of the people of Africa but of those who hide their own psychopathy behind kindoki. May Adam Ikpomwosa rest in peace
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking but compelling reading 13 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Richard Hoskins has managed to draw the reader into the world of ritual killings in a compelling read...I loved it and couldn't bear to put it down westerners the thought process of child sacrifice is an anathema, but Richard manages to portray that horrific as it is, this in confined to a small 'fringe religious sect' and there is real sympathy for the majority of the Congolese people who certainly do not condone this...
His evocative description of living in Kinshala drew me in, and I could almost smell and feel the heat and living conditions..
An extraordinary story that deserved to be told..RIP Adam
Highly recommended
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important need to read it! 21 Jun 2012
By melr94
I was gripped by this book right from the beginning and I had to keep reminding myself that this was non-fiction.

The story of Adam has been well-publicised so I need only mention the discovery of a torso in the Thames for most people to have some context. However, what we have here, for the first time, is evidence of the pain-staking lengths Hoskins and the police and the forensics teams went to try to uncover the truth of WHO this boy was and what had happened to him. Of course I'm not going to ruin any of that for you - I'm simply going to encourage you to buy this book so that you see the truth of what happened during this case.

What really sets this apart though and gives it such meaning, in my humble opinion, is Hoskins' own story. We travel with an idealistic and green young man to the Congo in the 1980s and we live his life with him while he finds his feet, while he falls in love with the place and the people. I laughed and I cried at his memories. The descriptions were so vivid, so real, that I was there with him. I began to understand the bond that he formed with the land and the lives of many. Again, no spoilers here - you just have to read it! But I have to thank Richard for sharing such personal stories with us...and applaude the man that grew out of those experiences.

What happened to Adam and, horrifyingly, what continues to happen (witnessed firsthand by Richard) is almost inexplicable and too ugly to consider. The implications for our society is massive and Hoskins refuses to ignore this. He challenges complacency and whilst acknowledging and understanding the fear that many of us have he still will not allow us to walk away unaffected. This is a book that everyone needs to read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The boy in the river 27 Jun 2012
By Trudy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read the book ( I too could not put it down), as a nurse married to a doctor and involved in health care including child protection I found this such an important book to read. I have made it available to my colleagues. Everyone who works in the field should be aware of the potential for such harm to children coming from families with such extreme belief systems.
Although the subject matter is deeply distressing, it is sensitively and honestly communicated, without gratuity in my view,and I was left with nothing but absolute respect for Dr Hoskins. I am glad to have shared in his journey and also to have wept for Adam, a child who should never have suffered as he did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly gripping, but heart-wrenching 26 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a truly gripping, heart-wrenching book.

I will not add to the excellent overview in the product description, except to add that the book is well-written, very personal and refreshingly honest. Dr Hoskins expresses outrage, yet does not force the reader into drawing conclusions (indeed I wonder to what extent he has been able to reach a cogent conclusion for himself).

Having read the book, I'm not sure I want to keep it. Part of that is that I want to pass it on to others - others that come from the cultures represented in the book or work in fields that its subject matter covers - but more than that I am troubled by the experiences that have been part of Dr Hoskins' journey and which must remain unfinished within the scope of this work.

Selecting a five-star rating brings up the phrase "I love it". I wouldn't, couldn't put it in those terms, but that is the only rating appropriate. Highly recommended.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, Moving, Sensational 20 Jun 2012
By Becky
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm always slightly dubious about crime-fiction, or even novels that are 'based on true accounts', The Boy in The River however has led me to seriously reconsider my choice in reading. I saw Dr Hoskins on various news channels and was intrigued by his commitment. The story consists of two seemingly distinct strands- The Congo in the late 80s, and London in 2000. Yet it soon becomes clear that Richard's personal story and work with the police are intricately bound together. His life in Africa gave him the cultural experience that enabled him to assist the police on one of the most harrowing cases of the decade. The story itself is beautifully written; think Conrad's Heart of Darkness and Kingsolver's The Posionwood Bible and you are there. Hoskins' character depictions are so true to life, humorous even. If ever literature could be deemed vicarious, it is found in The Boy in the River. What becomes clear in the narrative is that ritualistic killings are happening and are not as distanced from our Western lifestyle as we may like to imagine. Hoskins has since worked on other cases; namely the Kristi Bamu trial in which a conviction was drawn. The fact that Adam's killer remains unfound does not hinder this account in any way, rather it makes it all the more poignant, gripping and personal. A fantastic read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, I'm not really a book person
Excellent read, I'm not really a book person, but I brought this after reading an article in national paper about human sacrifice's. I couldn't put it down!
Published 22 days ago by selina rook
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book
Published 1 month ago by Tracy Chimejczuk
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Good Read
Excellent and disturbing. A good read but very graphic and worrying.
Frightening that it is based on fact. Be prepared.
Published 5 months ago by CLARE GARDENER
5.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing book with a humane and generous heart....
When the unidentified torso of a young boy was found in the Thames in 2001 the police soon found their investigation at a standstill. Who was he? Where had he come from? Read more
Published 5 months ago by Wynne Kelly
3.0 out of 5 stars proof reading
The story itself was macabre and difficult to believe it happened so recently but it obviously did. If the book was proof-read then it did not show as several spelling mistakes,... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Douglas Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing
I think we will all remember this shocking news story. Obviously one cannot know of its historical accuracy. A life changing text.
Published 7 months ago by Pixie
5.0 out of 5 stars Both fascinating and horrifying
As a result of his expertise in African religions and ritualistic sacrifices, Richard Hoskins has been called to testify in a number of cases of murder and abuse in British courts. Read more
Published 8 months ago by DubaiReader
5.0 out of 5 stars Boy in the River
The book was recommended to me by a running acquaintance, so I had no idea what to expect from the book. Read more
Published 12 months ago by monkeyx
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to be remembered
It goes without saying this is not a book for the faint hearted nor those looking for light entertainment. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening!
Found this hard going at times as it really brings it home to you how much of this is really going on. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Turkeysalad
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