10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Decent enough - but no the best on Shipman,
This review is from: Harold Shipman - Mind Set on Murder: The True Story of Why Harold Shipman Was Addicted to Killing (Hardcover)I was hoping that this book and the accompanying documentary would reveal something new about Shipman and his crimes, specifically his motivations. It was a good read and synopsis of this horrific case without ever being groundbreaking. The book was written before the Public Enquiry published its full report, including the Pontefract years of Shipman's career, so this era - the least explored and potenially crucial time in his development - is touched on but not very revealing.
The sections about Shipman's own drug abuse are interesting and some of the better work on this side of his personality that I have read. The author also has made contact with some really excellent sources. For the first time his prison letters are explored, which mainly reveal the true arrogance and cold-heartedness of the man rather than any crucial information about his crimes. Doctors Shipman worked with, relavtives of victims, friends of Shipman are all interviewed here and so you get an excellent range of opinions on his crimes and why he was not caught sooner.
The book is also admirable in that the author makes a point of mentioning every known victim by name. Too many crime writers forget about the most important people in these horrific cases - the victims - and this is one book where that is certainly not the case. The author has also consulted a wide range of extremely well thought of forensic psychologists, and thus the book contains an interesting overview of Shipman's development as a killer, perhaps as close to the truth as we will ever get.
There were a couple of factors that let the book down for me. The proof reading is awful and so the book is almost littered with spelling and grammatical mistakes which did grate on me at times when reading. Also, the book skipped over some sections, such as the trial, a bit too quickly and I would have liked a more thorough examinations. However, to be fair, Shipman's crimes were huge and so to cover all ground thoroughly in one book is hard. Overall though this is a good read, perhaps best as an introduction tot eh case followed by reading of other more in depth books.