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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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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 27 March 2013
Who can forget that haunting photograph of two smiling, happy junior school classmates wearing Manchester United shirts on the day of a family barbecue? A photograph taken just hours before they would be no more, victims of some dark and still unknown fate.

I think Nathan Yates has done an excellent job in recounting the Soham murders and the two-week period in 2002 when one of Britain's most harrowing child-murder cases gripped the world. I disagree with almost every one of the one-star reviewer's criticisms of this admirable true crime book.

Yates has told the sad story without resorting to hyperbole. The reader sees for himself how this tragedy has destroyed two loving families and left behind four heartbroken parents. These two girls (who went out without telling their parents where they were going) are not constantly called innocent little angels; nor does Yates demonise Huntley and his accomplice, Carr. The reader is left to make up his own mind about the protagonists - and, paradoxically, it is that very lack of mawkishness on the author's part - showing, not telling - which magnifies the tragedy of the Soham story.

Perhaps the most controversial chapter is the one dealing with the girls' deaths; another reviewer has criticized Yates for speculation since there was no forensic evidence in the heavily cleansed murder-house and Huntley has never confessed; but, in fact, all of Yates's speculations are quite reasonably derived from Huntley's known behaviour, the telling half-truths mixed with his untruths, and those revealed by Carr also.

Yates has researched his book thoroughly. This is not just a mish-mash of the contemporary press reports. Clearly those close to the protagonists have been interviewed and quoted extensively. The author provides copious background on Huntley, Carr, the girls and their families, and even the polarised communities which spawned such very different people. It is also a telling portrait of a police investigation and public response to a case of this magnitude. This is truly a book to make the reader cry.
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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 22 January 2008
As others have said, the book is flawed and betrays the tabloid journalist who wrote it. Although it is written in a readable manner, there are far too many suppositions, and all Yates' information is lifted directly from media reports. He also displays crass point-of-view petty criticisms, such as criticising Maxine Carr for not being beautiful (shallow) whilst declaring one of the less attractive parents as being "even-featured" (hypocritical). This double standard is seen throughout the book - typical tabloid journalism.

And yes, the "lemon flavoured disinfectant" is laughable.
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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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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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on 23 January 2006
This book details the story of the case in Soham. It brings together all the facts about what happened, as well as telling the history of Ian Huntley and Maxine Carr.
This is worth reading to anyone affected by the story, and although it doesn't provide any previously unknown details, it brings the whole story together.
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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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