on 21 January 2014
This is a really good read. A detailed account of the murders carried out by John Straffen and his escape from Broadmoor. It provides a refreshingly different aspect of the murders carried out by a man whose motives seem to differ from that of your conventional murderer, opening a pathway of thought which other crime novels rarely allow. The insight into Broadmoor, an instiution which few can tap into gives the reader a clear and descriptive picture of life in such a place. This is a must read for anyone interested in crime - well researched and thought provoking.
on 13 November 2013
The cold and callus way that Straffen carried out these murders is shocking. Looks at events, focussing on the legal aspects of the trials in a factual, as it was, approach. A good insight to larval history.
Not for the reader who is looking for an in-depth analysis of the psychological aspect of a murderer. I would have liked more of that side, however, although a short book, I could not leave it down.
on 21 November 2014
A good book. The author writes very well indeed and the story flows marvellously. It is difficult to put down. I read it in a day. It is clearly the product of a great deal of research and thought. There are also relevant pictures and maps. The writer, unlike many who write criminal history, does not distract the reader with a mass of contextual information, and avoids moralising. Good to know who the 'Mad Parson' was (referred to in the CD Conversations with an acid bath murderer, where Haigh makes a reference to his escape)
There are only a few minor quibbles I would make. The author could have written a few paragraphs about the origins and role of Broadmoor, since it features prominently in the book. There are conversations in the book which would seem to be undocumented (in nonfiction where there's educated invention, this needs to be pointed out); there's not a complete biography nor footnotes, and a document is reproduced both as a picture and as text, which seems unnecessary as the former is perfectly legible.
However, these are relatively minor points in what is otherwise a very good book, and I look forward to the author's next one; about Haigh.