2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
It Could be You,
By A Customer
This review is from: Lone Wolf: True Stories of Spree Killers (True crime) (Mass Market Paperback)
Not only the best of Virgin's true crime titles I've read, but one of the best true crime titles I've read from any publisher. Partly because it can happen anywhere and to anyone, spree-killing is among the most disturbing of all crimes, but the author's calm, intelligent and dispassionate analysis helped me to come away from this book with a much better understanding of both what causes it and what may help prevent it becoming more common in the future. Like all crime, spree-killing is part of wider political and cultural phenomena and this book is also very useful as an examination of the extreme right-wing and racist ideologies that so often inform the murderous rage of spree-killers. Don't read it if you want voyeurism or sensationalism, because you won't find either here, read it if you want to understand and even, perhaps, to pity: like serial killers, these men aren't any kind of counter-cultural hero, but they're not simply monsters either.
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Initial post: 14 Nov 2011 13:23:21 GMT
Man of the Third Eye says:
Good review, although I disagree with part of it. In particular the statement: 'the author's calm, intelligent and dispassionate analysis'. Firstly although it is fairly well written the book starts off with one glaring error - Michael Robert Ryan was NOT 29 when he carried out the Hungerford Massacre, he was actually 27. Now supposedly the author had researched the material very thoroughly (and indeed his sections on Thomas Hamilton, Martin Bryant and the rest of the section on Michael Ryan are very thorough in comparison to other books on the subject).
I would say the author is anything but dispassionate, indeed, he does try to analyse what causes these tragedies, but he write with far too much left-wing bias and his section on Benjamin Nathaniel Smith was extremely erratic to the point where I could not tell if he had been personally impacted by that particular killer, as he kept repeating the same old things about the killer with an extremely personal view point which was thankfully absent from most of the other sections.
As well as this the author seems to enjoy dropping hints of the maniacs being potentially racist with his remark about Michael Ryan's attempted murder of the petrol station attendant and how he was never a very friendly character who took part in small talk with the petrol stations all asian staff. Perhaps they were not that friendly to begin with. Plus Michael Ryan appears to have been withdrawn and unfriendly to absolutely everyone and he certainly didn't discriminate when he went on the rampage.
For these reasons the book should not be above a 3 or 4 star rating, as it is no where near perfect and with certain sections full of personal opinions it is not very useful a reference book unless you want a book written from a singular view point or you share that authors personal opinions.
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