Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Up to 70% off Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

40
4.5 out of 5 stars
ROSE WEST: The Making of a Monster
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£6.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2011
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. The ripples of this case reach far and wide and I don't know that I'd be able to function if one of my loved ones had fallen victim to Fred and Rose, knowing what they would have had to endure.
Read this, but take a break between chapters and a few deep breaths before continuing.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2012
It was interesting to read about the history of violent abuse throughout the generations of Fred and Rose's ancestry. but I did find a lot of repetition and a lot of probabilities as well as facts. From what is written within these pages Rose, who in my opinion had less abuse than other siblings in the Letts family was the person who led Fred on.
Fred on the other hand had had the worst childhood I have ever read about among the serial killer genre. I do not see how anyone could live through what he did and not be affected and have a deranged sense of right and wrong.
Someone else wrote in their review that Rose knew all to well what she was doing and acted dumb to achieve what she wanted and I agree with them totally. I think she is very clever in the way she manipulates.
I think both Fred and Rose would have gone on to become serial killers even if they had not met.
Fred because of his upbringing and his obvious learning disabilities weather from birth or the accident
and Rose was well on her path before she met Fred with her abuse of her brothers and the fact that she must have liked sharing a bed with her father even after her marriage to Fred. If her father also played a roll in the evil inside the Cromwell house he and Rose would have gone on to become serial killer them selves.
What this woman did to her victims is beyond my comprehension and just pure EVIL.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2012
Very well written book and completely riveting. This book leaves me in no doubt that Rosemary West was and is a completely vile human being but there are several claims made within the book that I have never heard before. What is the source and veracity of these claims?

These are namely:

1. Victims' fingers and toes being removed prior to death (a possibility but surely impossible to prove without an admission).

2. Bill Letts involvement in the murders (I know he was violent and a sexual abuser but again his involvement in the murders can't be anything but supposition).

3. Same again re. John West.

As I said I really enjoyed (if that's the right word) this book but to make the above claims without adequate proof borders on the sensationalist. If anyone can subsantiate the above claims then please feel free to reply.
55 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2012
Easy read, full of relevant information. Main point is to show how family dysfunction passes so smoothly between generations continually ruining millions of people. Every now and then this combines with brutal tendencies in certain individuals to take them above the ordinary level of ruined lives normally experienced in these all too common situations and into the super league of murderers.
Can't understand any criticisms of the book - who cares about a few typo's or literary imperfection - don't pick up a book about such an episode if you can't stomach gory details - on the other hand if you only want gory details and no analysis on root causes just stick to superficial coverage of the subject.
Great little study, everyone should be encouraged to read it.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2011
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.

There are alot of phrase repetitions in the book, jumping back and forward of timescales and typos and it all seems to end to quickly with a page or so being dedicated to each of the victims, then again we have probably heard it all before.

To the authors credit she has painstakingly researched her subject matter but I feel there are some details that would have been better left out.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2011
You will have to clear your mind of any pre-conceived opinions of Rosemary West UNTIL you read this riveting book on arguably, the UK's most heinous female murderess.

Jane Carter Woodrow's book does not in any way sensationalise the story of Rose.
However, it does go into factual account, telling of her extremely disturbing parental upbringing. It did also for her siblings,but, one her sister's went on to become a respectable senior nurse.

Rose'upbringing was one of habitual beatings, incest and all pervading sense of uneasiness, until she fled finally, only to meet another monster (Fred West) who unfortunately had an almost carbon copy of the malignant and doom ridden early life of Rosemary.

Many young girls lost their innocence and life to this murdering pair, and what is contained in this book is very disturbing-especially when you realise that this woman was an equal participant in incest, torture,violence and sexual deviance culminating in death for those who entered the portals of Cromwell Street.

What Rose did to her step daughter was deeply disturbing and horrifying,it is unprintable in a review like this.

In the UK we are only too painfully aware of another pair of sexual sadists-in the past, which I won't go into here, but Fred and Rose easily surpassed those two in their sheer and calculating plans to satisfy their perverted and degenerate lust.

Roses' eruptions or rages resulted in the death's of two her own offspring, a fact proved by her partner Fred being in prison at the time one of the child's murder..

Certainly strong reading: 'Deadlier than the Male' springs to mind.

To summarise an excellently written book that tells it like it was- when the case broke in the early 90's.
55 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2011
A compelling, well-researched account of how the life of a young girl was shaped from a very early age by malign influences within her own family, and later on by her association with a man whose evil ways were formed similarly at the hands of his parents.The author describes in fascinating detail how the coming together of these seriously flawed characters resulted in a veritable explosion of sexual perversion, sadism and murder, including that of two of their own children. Notwithstanding the sheer horror of the events revealed the book once started is difficult to put down.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on 10 December 2014
A brilliantly detailed account of the life and evil times of Rose West. Her upbringing was pretty appalling and shocking but it appears that Rose (or Rosie as she was called) character was formed early on with her appallingly abusive schizophrenic father, possibly compounded by a disability. It's impossible to feel much sympathy for her however, as she later reveled in the sadistic activities she engaged in with Fred West.

The sad fact is that had Rose - nicknamed "dozy Rosie" by her family - not met Fred, she might have almost certainly led a humdrum life as a Gloucester housewife. Sadly, she and Fred did meet and they made an explosive pairing, feeding off each other and exploring their sexual deviancy and sadism. Bizarrely they were known figures in the community who were well regarded. Their unremarkable terraced house in Cromwell street was next to a little church and the horrific activities within the basement of that house somehow passed undetected.

They were a terrible pair together and apparently unstoppable. 32 visits to hospitals did not convince anybody that the West children were being abused and there is a litany of failure from the authorities running through this tale. No healthcare professional followed up on Charmaine West for instance - who should have been registered on the vulnerable list - and several days after a hospital visit for a questionable puncture wound on her ankle, she was dead at the hands of Rose West. This kind of neglect riddles the sorry saga.

Fred and Rose were allowed to continue because they chose their victims carefully, knowing that few if any people would bother to ask after them. This is one of the tragedies of the tale.

Had poor Heather West's remains not been found, they probably would have continued torturing and murdering young women. Therefore, there is some satisfaction in knowing that it was Heather who somehow exposed her evil parents from beyond the grave.

Janet Carter Woodrow has done a sterling work here and a highly readable and engrossing book full of interesting details and facts.

Don't be surprised if you experience mixed emotions as you read on. You may well feel enraged, sickened and sad. It'[s impossible to avoid these reactions because the victims often passed without a trace and only few of the women were even reported as missing.

Its a truly horrendous story and however macabre, it should be retold if anything for the victims who should not be forgotten.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
This is a fascinating book which doesn't concentrate so much on the horrendous crimes committed by Rose West but seeks to understand quite why this young woman became a killer. The first of the murders she was convicted of occurred when Rose was just 17 years old!

Jane Carter Woodrow follows Rose's life chronologically, starting with her birth following her mother's electric current therapy throughout her pregnancy with Rose. Using the accounts of the neighbours, relations and the few friends I think this book benefits with the time gap since Rose's conviction, giving a more balanced view of events. This isn't a book that in anyway seeks to condone the rapes and murders, after all, as the author points out, many people have a tough start to life but don't go onto be killers. It does however try to explain how Rose's psychological make-up and the warped view of what relationships consist of caused this particular woman to sink to a level of depravity almost unheard of.

For anyone who wishes to understand more about the most notorious of female serial killers, you can't go wrong with this book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Inside 25 Cromwell St
Inside 25 Cromwell St by Mae West (Paperback - 4 Dec. 1995)

 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.