Frenzy!: How the tabloid press turned three evil serial killers into celebrities Paperback – 30 Aug 2012
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"It serves as a brilliant joint biography of three serial killers, although four people here get hanged for the relevant deaths, pointing out all the similarities, differences, and noting just how close the cases were at times, geographically as well as historically. The style of writing Root uses is very compelling – I certainly found myself having a very late dinner the evening I started this book...Which brings me to why I did like this book – to repeat, for the friendly yet authoritative writing, and the exactly correct level of detail and insight into the murders, their victims of course, and the culprits. And now, having read this as avidly as any decent true crime book, I know a lot more about the interesting and very bizarre details behind those news headlines of old." (The Bookbag)
Three notorious serial killers. The press out of control. Police with their hands in the till. Judges and judiciary more concerned about private clubs and public image than the law. Sounds like a thriller? It is and it's all true.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Overall, this is an interesting read, although I don't feel the author really managed to write the book he wanted to. As a true crime book it is an interesting account of three murderers and their crimes, but once the men have been arrested there is little to give you a sense of how the press changed anything.Read more ›
The good points are that the book is well written, well organised and reads easily. There is an index and a bibliography. The book has 1944-1953 as a time line and covers the murders of the three protagonists in a chronological structure. I am not certain why it doesn't begin in 1943 with the first known murder of any of these, but plumps for Haigh's first murder (1944) not Christie's of 1943. It is also good that the crimes of these three men, though decades old, are kept fresh in the public mind as they are dramatic as ever - and horrifying.
However, the research is minimal indeed. As another reviewer notes, this is largely a cut and paste job from other authors, such as Ludovic Kennedy and Edward Marston. This has two problems. First of all, it ensures that there is virtually nothing new here, except for a few comments about a handful of tabloid journalists who were involved. Secondly, the author rehashes a host of myths, repeated from previous authors, some of whom were equally sloppy in their research. There is no reason for any of this. The author notes the excellent website 10 Rillington Place in his bibliography and this refutes lots of the old legends of the Christie case and the street itself, yet Root manages to igbore all that and keeps to the old errors - eg Ruston Mews is the old Rillington Place - it isn't. There are lots of other errors of fact. There are also omissions - Evans confessed to three other people as well as CI Jennings, as Root must have known if he has read John Eddowes' book, which is in the bibliography, but presumably he hasn't or is supressing quite relevant evidence.Read more ›
The book alternates between telling the story of the murders in fairly graphic (although not by todays standards!) way and the way the press reacted to them. I loved the way Harry Procter was described and for me gave me an outside perspective of the man and his achievements. The book is well written and easy to follow. A macabre insight into the twisted minds of three infamous serial killers.
As regards the 10 Rillington Place murders not even the most fundamental errors have been avoided even though all the research and information is readily available - for free - on the authoritative website (10-rillington-place dot co dot uk) which the author cites as one of his reference sources!
Sloppy and factually inaccurate - only the fluid writing style saves this from a one star rating.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quite well written, but many inaccuracies and a somewhat tenuous connection between the murders and sensational press coverage. Read morePublished on 28 Aug. 2013 by green4times
My Dad, Harry Procter was one of the characters in the book and his character is brought to life by Neil Root. Well written, very information and a jolly good read.Published on 16 Jan. 2013 by Amazon Customer
I found the book easy to read, thanks to the well structured approach of the author. I particularly like the use of descriptive text to recreate the time and place of post war... Read morePublished on 14 Aug. 2011 by 41
This book is an excellent read.
Neil Root is an author to look out for in the future.
'Frenzy' is well researched and the prose is very stylish and evokes the atmosphere... Read more
The three British serial killers were caught and executed after WWII (1946 - 1953) and although covered in the past, the book tells us that new material has been released. Read morePublished on 13 Aug. 2011 by Shaz Goodwin