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4.4 out of 5 stars51
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 14 December 2006
I read this book as part of my degree course and I didn't realise what an impact it would have on me....it moved me. The author has written a detailed story of what happened to James Bulger from when he was at the Strand with Denise to when his body was found. But thankfully and sensitively he has left out the horrific details of James' injuries. With that in mind this book is still difficult to read. It takes you on a roller coster ride of events that the family of James experienced and left me very distressed at some points. Please be aware this book is not for the faint- hearted but nontheless is a fascinating book.
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on 25 November 2008
Mark Thomas can be proud of himself again with this book.
Has it all, very informative and when reading you feel like you are actually there experiencing the whole event, especially in the shopping mall when Mrs Bulger is in the butcher's, it only takes a nanno second for James to disappear.

Very disturbing and worrying that society can breed such youngsters capable of murder in the worst degree, you have to wonder what kind of parenting/society has lead to their demise.

I also read Mark Thomas' book on Jon-Benet Ramsay which I can also recommend.
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on 14 December 2010
By 'difficult' I mean the subject matter is a highly sensitive and emotive topic that cannot be deemed as a source of entertainment or amusement in any sense. The death of a child is a tragic occurrence in any circumstance, but the way young James Bulger died provokes an immense sense of sadness, anger and helplessness to a degree that is rarely paralleled in murder cases. The age of the young boy, the tragically bad timing that culminated in his abduction, the knowledge that 38 people could have intervened but were clearly innocently oblivious to the snapshots they each witnessed of the tragedy that was unfolding before them. Then of course to top it off, the killers themselves were just 10 years old, mere school children. This book covers a detailed, yet sensitive, account of the events that unfolded that day in February 1993 and the days that followed. Sometimes chilling and harrowing, and at others uplifting a positive, this book is a really good representation of what happened and how the people involved coped and provides strong evidence that Jon Venables and Robert Thompson were children in desperate need of help, help that never came. After all, we are all products of our upbringing, no-one is inherently evil by any means and to label children evil is a meaningless task. Perhaps it is to cover up the guilt and knowledge that some humans are capable of bringing up children, or neglecting children to the point of no return!
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on 28 July 2009
I feel as sickened as any mother over poor little James' death and to this day, my mind and my heart still weep. This book gives some details that weren't disclosed at the time but they are only details at which we probably knew in our minds or were hinted or guessed at. James' death will never be more horrific to some of us if we read a 'million' books as the pain and anguish will always be there but this is an account that helps to a degree but as time has gone on, more answers are needed. May you rest in peace James. You are so well loved.
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on 1 April 2006
If you have kids, this book will affect you...if your compassionate ...it will move you to tears...
Although we have all read details of what happened to poor little James Bulger, did you actually imagine the scenario in your head. This book delivers all the horrific details of what happened to him from when he was taken until his extremely untimely death at the hands of two 10 year old boys, and we get to hear what the murderers had to say in their statements to the police, then through the court case also. Unfortunately it leaves you with so many questions...number one being....WHY?..It was clear they knew they were doing wrong.
This was re-published in 2005 with updates as to what has happened since the book was written many years ago but due to laws, we dont find out details that we may actually be interested in knowing.
I recommend this book, if not out of interest in the case but for a TERRIFYING REMINDER TO HOLD ON TO YOUR CHILDS HAND....WHETHER THEY WANT TO OR NOT....I know its made an impact on me.
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on 1 January 2005
Although I remember the outline of this case, I never realised the extent of what happened. This book is by far the saddest true crime I have ever read. At times is has you in tears. You can't help but think of little James Bulgers darkest hour as he was battered to death by two evil 10 year old boys. Although Mark Thomas in extracts from physcologist reports trys to find a reason behind this tragady you can't help but conclude no reason on earth could comprehend what happened that tragic day. Robert Thompson and Jon Venebels may now have been releases and James's mum Denise Bulger (fergus) remarried. But little James will never be forgotten.
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on 13 October 2005
I was eager to read this book - it is very well written and is full of detail about this horrific crime. However, I actually wish I hadn't read this book as I am now haunted by images and thoughts about that beautiful, kind, but tragic little boy. Parts of the book are just so harrowing that I just wanted to finish it and never read it again. This book is not for the faint hearted and will leave a lasting, tormented impact on anyone who reads it. I challenge anyone who reads this book and still agrees that those evil sadistic boys should have been released. Think carefully before reading.
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on 31 October 2009
May have been badly put, but this book is not for anyone who wants a "light read", it's a truly horrific scene-by-scene telling of the death of a sweet and innocent 2 year-old baby.

Where to start; the press didn't go into much detail about the events of the abduction, but this book does. It's very descriptive and tells the tragic events of that horrible day in Febuary. The thing that amazes me is how detailed it is, it's very cleverly worded and the author uses some of the most interesting words to describe different parts of the book. It really delves deep into bits that you didn't know. After every chapter i was just desperate to continue reading. Whilst the description is good in some parts it's quite graphic when it comes to James' death. Obviously it was probably even more graphic (the real event i mean), but i think there should be a line drawn at so MUCH description. The one thing that stuck in my mind was this... "this is a two-year old boy..." and the disgraceful torture that he went through...at 2 YEARS OLD!!!! will really have you weeping into the books pages.

Despite that it's a really interesting read and you find yourself feeling so emotional that you just want to hug the child and make it all better. Me personally, i was left a little ill after reading it, i felt myself thinking about the poor child even in strange moments (watching the TV, out with friends etc). If only there was something i could do...if i'd been there i could've spotted him...

That's the affect this book has on you, it's very gripping, but in a bad way.

It's worth the read and i really think that it should've won an award or something because it truly is a book that you'll not forget in a hurry.
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on 11 January 2004
This book is the saddest book i have ever read, it is excellently written, and tells the unbelieveable story in full detail, The pictures are very touching, Mark Thomas trys to understand the crime and how it came to happen. He details Robert Thompson and Jon Venables life and also little James Bulger's. A very sad book.
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on 17 September 2004
One of the most disturbing stories I have ever read. ALthough shocking in the detail you just have to finish it. Leaves a lasting impression on you.
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