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3.8 out of 5 stars59
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 4 November 2014
Very thought provoking. !!!
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on 4 November 2012
Murderous mediocrity - Christie, not the book! The first true-crime book I've ever read, and it wasn't nearly as macabre as I thought it might be. Jonathan Oates, true-crime, local, and Jacobite historian, has explored the original sources in depth, and produced a gripping and tightly focused if sometimes dense work which tackles Christie and peels back the "journalistic" superficialities of some earlier studies. I say dense, for one gets the positive impression that much more could have been said about the subject, space permitting. This is somewhat Tacitean concision as the author succeeds in combining facts with interpretation while providing new insights pithily and with a professional distance. Mostly however this is an admirably comprehensive study, and for a short book, it packs in much that invites a second (or third) reading. (It is engrossing stuff.) The devil is indeed in the details, it would appear, as Christie's personality is exposed as both unassuming and forgettable, conventional almost to the point of banality, while his crimes were bound together by a tissue of lies and a tendency to self-importance and self-destruction. He claimed, near the end, his destiny was as a killer. Perhaps that was all he could do better than other mortals (but he was still caught by the stench after packing his sinister flat with bodies). More surprising were his numerous sexual conquests and small-neighbourhood respectability (he liked children and animals, apparently). This was no isolated psycho-killer, but one seemingly happily married; albeit one lacking constancy in employment and never brilliant at or with anything. Neither insane nor passionate, Christie was a malodorous entity devoid of reasons for killing. This I suppose makes him even more puzzling and unlikeable, though he cuts a shabby and pathetic figure at times. Evil as the absence of good, rather than as a force of nature, then. Overall, a very fair and concentrated look at a grubby and somewhat depressing series of grisly crimes. One to revisit in order to soak up the chillingly bland contingencies of this miserable human specimen and his milieu.
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on 3 November 2014
very interesting book
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on 6 February 2015
Very engrossing read
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on 21 July 2013
Jonathan Oates raises a number of issues in this book; particularly with regard to Evans guilt. My first encounter with the slaughter at Rillington Place was through the film where Attenborough so chillingly portrays Christie.

That film was based on Ludovic Kennedy's book. Oates righfly points out it conveys the air of documentary.

It is open to debate as to the extent of Evans guilt. This finely written book is a good exposition of the Rillington Place murder case.
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on 25 July 2014
enjoyable read
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on 28 April 2014
has arrived at some truly bizarre and inexplicable conclusions about the guilt or otherwise of John Christie and Timothy Evans, which not only mar an otherwise compentently written book, but are actually rather distasteful. Very disappointing.
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on 16 May 2014
This is a really interesting approach to a very well known case. No one else has fully researched Christie himself and his background until now. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the whole 10 Rillington Place saga.
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on 14 March 2015
Excellent
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on 24 November 2014
Very good
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