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4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 6 March 2004
Holly and Jessica's bodies were found on my wedding day and so this tragic case affectes me deeply. When I bought the book I was sceptical about how in depth and accurate it would be so soon after events.
I was not disappointed. It is a balanced account of shocking events that gives you a real insight into why Huntley committed these crimes and Carr covered for him.
What I liked most though was, unlike many crime books that focus very strongly on the perpetrator, you get a strong insight into what Holly and Jessica were like. It is clear they were vibrant, happy, intelligent girls. I got an overwhelming sense of sadness and tragedy reading this. What a tragic, sensless waste of the lives of two beautiful girls with everything to live for.
You also get an massive respect for their families and the dignity and strength they have shown throughout.
Overall an excellent book which deals senstively with such a horrific subject. Well worth a read.
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on 28 February 2004
I couldn't put down this book about ian huntley. He comes across as a terrifying character, and there is so much info about him in there that you really get to know what makes him tick. A lot of crime biogs are written by people who've come along afterwards and looked at the subject, but this one is really unusual in that the writer was there even before they found out who'd done the murders and actually met Huntley and Carr and went in their house.
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on 21 January 2008
It's certainly a tragic story, but the whole book is written in such a sensationalist way that you forget you're supposed to be reading a factual book, it's like reading a tabloid report. All through the book we are constantly reminded that Huntley is "sick", "twisted", "evil" etc. Personally I prefer to read the facts and make up my own mind. The book offers no new information on the case, and it seems to me like a ploy by the author to prise open the wallets and purses of the bleeding hearts, what with all the heartfelt warbling about the two "perfect little angels" and the "sinister evil man who killed them in cold blood".

The author puts across largely fictional accounts of what happened, describing Huntley's feelings / fears while committing the murders and disposing of the bodies etc when there were absolutely no witnesses to testify as to how he was feeling or what he was thinking at any of these times, and he's never confessed any of it.

Nobody relevant to the case was interviewed in the book. The quotes all come from "a person close to the familes", or "An old school pal". In fact I am of the opinion that most of the quotes were made up.

There are other books out there that offer a much better insight and will give you fact instead of opinion and speculation, this is just utter tripe.
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on 21 February 2005
I honestly didn't know what to expect when I was given this book as a gift, but once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down.
It gives real insight into the twisted minds of Huntley & Carr & the pain that they caused the Chapman & Wells families.
As much as Carr makes out she is innocent in all this I cannot see how she could possibly have covered/lied for Huntley in such a way and still insisted that he did nothing wrong, even continuing to write to him in prison until the case itself, at which point she tried to distance herself.
If you're looking for the gory details of this case then don;t bother with this book, it deals with the taking of these two precious lives in such a delicate way that you learn nothing more than has been printed in the press, which is only right, these poors babies parents have been put through enough !
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on 19 September 2014
A good factual book, setting out the events as they happened and the way the Police handled the knowledge that Ian Huntley was the main suspect, without him guessing. The knowledge that Huntley's previous actions were not on record because he had not been convicted was frightening, also that he was able to gain a job as a school caretaker, with his liking for young girls. As a school helper years ago, I had a Police check, how did he slip through the net. The bare-faced lying of Maxine, and realising that she had more knowledge of what had happened than she said, makes me wonder why she is not still in jail. No accounting for the British Justice system. Sad, sad story and will the authorities ever learn from what happened. I really hope so.
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on 26 May 2013
I was under the impression this was an in depth look at the evidence that convicted the two accused of their murders.
However I have been sorely disappointed with the "gutter press" style of "easy" writing this author has chosen....I shall avoid ALL I see with his name on it in the future as I consider this book a no more than propagandist and containing nothing more than was reported in the "gutter press"
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I was struck with horror when Jessica and Holly disappeared but when the caretaker was arrested, I always felt there was something more to the tragedy. I bought the book to see if I could discern anything more.

And I didn't. (Not suprising! Why I thought I could find out more than the entire Cambridge constablary!!)

The book is written by a journalist and pieces together the full story in one paper-back, rather than on different days in newspapers. In my opinion, it offers no new research or perspective and the author just uses the Wells and Chapman families tragedy to swell her coffers. She is a true hack.
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We were abroad when Huntley & Carr were arrested and we never knew a lot of the facts surrounding the case. When people talked about it, I realised that there was so much that I was ignorant of.

I notice that someone has commented under a review asking why anyone would want to read such a book. I was not sure myself if I wanted to read a book about such a terrible case and it took me a significant amount of time to overcome that reluctance. Having done so I can say that the author handles the matter sensitively and, frankly, reading this book is in my opinion no more distasteful than reading newspaper reports at the time. And, coincidentally, I write this on the weekend that someone has been arrested in connection with poor Mikaeel Kular's disappearance (the three year old who vanished from his home in Edinburgh) - the headlines in the tabloid press today have been more sensational than anything in this book. In additiion, reading a book means that you are more likely to be better informed than reading the story piecemeal in the media.

I was initially put off buying the book due to some of the negative reviews e.g. that it was like reading a tabloid newspaper. I did not get that impression at all even though it is written by a Daily Mirror journalist. I imagine that when you write for your employer, there are certain expectations on you; when you write for yourself, you write in your own style.

Earlier this month there was a programme on TV about people who lied on camera about the crimes that they had committed - it included interviews with/police appeals by Stuart Hazell, Karen Matthews and Ian Huntley. Ian Huntley's interviews were filmed before he was arrested and while the search for Holly & Jessica was still on. It was helpful to know the background to those interviews due to this book. Similarly, the programme touched on Maxine Carr - it was helpful to know what she did and precisely how she was caught due to this book.
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on 7 May 2015
By giving this book '5-stars' it apparently means 'I love it?' and yet how can I say that with reference to a book about the abduction and murder of 2 young children by a Psycopath who should NEVER have even been in his 'position of trust'. I'm as sure as I can be after reading this highly well written story about Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman and the perpretators Ian Huntley who was undoubtedly a paedophile and Maxine Carr who was COMPLETELY UNABLE to believe that her man was capable of such a hideous crime.It obviously draws similarities with Brady and Hindley in the 60's although Hindley took a very active role in the murders of children and an adult.I remember it well including the fact that BOTH unfortunately avoided the rope by a mere few months. SHE, like Huntley denied her 'part' in HER crimes and it was really only AFTER tapes were found in a Railway Station locker that reliable evidence convicted her.They became 2 of the most hated peope in the World.Since the conviction of Huntley and Carr, they have BOTH have played the system to their advantage with Carr given a complete new identity,Social Security details and secret address along with 'bodyguards' for life.Such is the Justice System in the UK that virtually ignores 'victims' BUT cares for criminal dross!
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on 14 April 2010
This is the true account of the murder of Jessica and Holly, a murder that i remember at the time managed to shock the world. I come from Malta and even here on the local news i recall that the story was making the headlines from the day of their disappearance to the day their bodies were found burned beyond recognition. It was a sad day as everone was hoping against all odds that they would be found safe and sound. The outrageous thing of it all was that their killer was the school caretaker, who was taking part in the searches and helping the police in their investigation. A part obviously played with the aid of his girlfriend to avoid suspicion from falling upon him but that eventually brought his downfall.
In this book, author Nathan Yates does a very good job in my opinion of taking us step by step through what happened in those dreadful days to what happened from the time the two girls vanished seemingly from the face of the earth until the case was solved. Plus he gives us some detailed background of Huntley and his girlfriend 's past that i found really interesting. Although this being sadly a true story, it still remains a mystery that only the evil Huntley himself knows the why and how it was done, since he never actually said what really happened on that fateful afternoon. What 'beggars belief' to use Huntley' s own words is that someone with his violent past, although he was never convicted before, was allowed to work in close proximity to kids.
I cannot say that i enjoyed this book, cause naturally it is not meant to. In actual fact it moved me to tears. Really admire their parents for the courage demonstrated which is truly beyond belief.
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