Death in Perugia: The Definitive Account of the Meredith Kercher case from her murder to the acquittal of Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox Paperback – 25 Oct 2011
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A gripping read: a balanced, detailed account that allows the reader to respond to the central question: did they or didn't they?... It's hard to imagine there will be a better book on the subject. (Tobias Jones, The Observer)
an excellent account of the tragedy and the very Italian drama that followed. (Stephen Robinson, The Sunday Times - a Sunday Times 'MUST READ')
I was very much in the grip of this book. For two days I didn't switch on the TV ... Follain's account will trouble you for days. (William Leith, The Evening Standard)
In a case as familiar as this has become, it is surprising to go over it from the start ... (DEATH IN PERUGIA) does a good job of reminding us that amid the reams of print and reel are human lives; some innocent and some guilty, but all irreparably disfigured by this horribly sad story. (Ed Cumming, The Daily Telegraph)
I've been absorbed all week by ... the enthralling, soon to be best seller, I'm sure, DEATH IN PERUGIA. (Paul Holmes, The New Zealand Herald)
A fascinating book. (Ray D'Arcy, Today FM, Dublin)
A hot-off-the press account of the riveting murder trial of American student Amanda Knox, accused with her boyfriend and a drifter of killing her flatmate Meredith Kercher. (The Newcastle Herald)
Follain's impartiality works beautifully ... Follain always manages to bring humanity to the book in between the gory detail. (Tim Ellis, www.suite101.com, Vancouver)
'a careful, factual account of the case from the very beginning, complete with exhaustive interviews with key players, assiduous explanation of the complex details of the case, and a good understanding of the Italian judicial process'. (Gillian Lord, The Canberrra Times)
A riveting account of the whole affair, from the murder and trial to the electrifying appeals-court decision ... a vivid portrait of the woman at the center of it all ... Follain's book, based on hundreds of interviews and enriched by his unique access to the complete case files, is remarkably objective and fair-minded to all parties involved. (The Wall Street Journal, on A DEATH IN ITALY)
The British journalist John Follain has drawn upon the transcripts of Knox's lengthy trial and hundreds of interviews to give what may be the definitive account of the case. It's an ugly, confusing story but one he relates with clarity, compassion and a wealth of fascinating detail...Follain's account of this saga is gripping. (The Washington Post on A DEATH IN ITALY)
John Follain, who covers Italy for the Sunday Times, tells the definitive inside story of this extraordinary case.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Follain has excellent credentials to write about the case, having covered it from the very start as the Sunday Times correspondent in Rome. He's been based in Italy since 1998, is fluent in Italian and had full access to the 10,000 page case file. The book is also based on interviews with most of the individuals involved.
I back other reviewers' comments that very occasionally Follain misses the mark, e.g. stating that Amanda filled her `interest' box on Facebook with one word: men. As any user will know, this is to choice sexual orientation and the only choice she could make was `men, `women' or `both'. It's a cheap shot and one which will be ridiculed by most readers for either being cynical or naïve. There is also one or two loose ends, e.g. mentioning early on that blonde hairs were found under Meredith's nails and in her vagina but then not mentioning them again.
I came to the Follain's book knowing a lot about the case through other books and websites. It's a great reference volume to have on hand to check facts and dates.Read more ›
There are some weaknesses though. Strangely, Guede is only caught in outline in these pages. The only person found legally responsible for Meredith's death draws the least attention.
One other issue is that the wealth of contradictory evidence is never analysed. The story is told strictly chronologically and no time is spent summarising keys bits of evidence to hep the reader understand the respective view points of Prosecution and Defence. Finally, certain (on the face of it) key strands are forgotten. This may be the result of these being forgotten in the trials themselves but still, the omissions are curious. For example, early in the book, the author explains that blond hairs were found both in the victim's hand, and her vagina. Who did the hair come from and how did it get there? We don't know, because this seemingly crucial evidence is never mentioned again.
Don't read this if you want to be told who did it; the author does not give a view. But if you want an intelligent (as opposed to titilating), well researched account then this fits the bill.
It was a story I'd heard about in the papers, but wasn't really interested as it seemed very cut and dry. But then I was told to keep my opinions to myself until i'd read all the facts of the case.....so I bought this!
By far and away the best book i've ever read. It provides a good well rounded, unbiased picture from ALL sides, discussing all points of view and describes everyone involved, in great detail.
I am now 1 chapter from the end, but has had me thoroughly gripped all the way through.......and after having read it, my initial opinion is completely different!!
What is striking from the account is the weakness of the overwrought scenario brought forward by the prosecution - Knox comes over as an unpleasant attention-seeking weirdo, but that is still a huge stretch to make her a suspect. However, it's clear that the author considers the forensic and circumstantial evidence fairly damning, particularly the strong evidence that two or more probably three people were involved in the murder.
Follain's fairly cursory examination of the case against Rudy Guede, the third of those originally convicted probably weakens the book. Where this will all go to is anyone's guess, at the moment the pressure seems to be on Sollecito to do something in the way of a plea bargain. Whatever, the least likely outcome remains that of giving the Kercher family some sense of closure over the death of their beloved daughter.
Turn to any page, and the text is identical.
Here is my review of "Death in Perugia," which applies equally to "A Death in Italy":
The premise is admirable. John Follian, a London Times journalist who covered this case from the day of the murder, lays out an unbiased account of the bare facts. He has interviewed most of the key participants and witnesses, and quotes them at length. They tell us exactly what they saw and how they felt.
The reader, armed with this information, should now be in a position to judge for himself what really happened.
Says Follain, "I have done my best to give a voice to as many of those involved as possible, with the help of both case files and author interviews, and with the aim of writing an objective, chronological account". We do indeed get the impression, turning these pages, that Follian is objective. He neither judges nor insinuates, and presents facts in crisp, clear, unambiguous prose.
And herein lies the problem.
Many things his participants say are now known to be false or at least not what they seem, but Follain is too objective to tell the reader this. Even worse, many official "facts" are also known to be untrue, or at the least poorly understood due to conflicting accounts and questionable witnesses. Follain "cures" all such ambiguity by simply omitting it, giving us a simple, unambiguous, but arbitrary and selective account.
This problem is fatal and best illustrated by specific examples:
(1) AMANDA'S VIBRATOR AND CONDOMS
Follain - p.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Comprehensive and riveting . Thoroughly enjoyed by me. Well written. Compulsive and informative.Published 14 days ago by Woodruff Worm
Highly recommend if you are interested in this case. Very thorough and informative. Would recommend to friends and family. And makes me want to read morePublished 2 months ago by Amanda Fernyhough
Very disturbing read but book was well written and I couldn't put it down at timesPublished 13 months ago by Shelley
A good read. Didn't say enough about the boyfriend and co-suspect.Published 15 months ago by kpr murray
Very repetitive but I guess that is the way to familiarise yourself with multiple characters. Only three q way through. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Angela
A very detailed and neutral account which does not judge Knox and Sollecito. After reading it I do think they were instrumental in her murder.Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very interesting read. It sheds lots of light on what happened. I'd have like to have known the author's thoughts though.Published 16 months ago by Joanna Carpenter
I bought this book after taking a casual interest in the case when it was featured in the news. It's very well researched and overall a really solid piece of independent... Read morePublished 16 months ago by chris