Killing For Company: Case of Dennis Nilsen Paperback – 1 Jun 1995
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"Killing For Company must stand as one of the most remarkable and accurate accounts ever written of the singular relationship between a mass murderer and a society. Brian Masters, in the writing, has achieved the impossible. Though dealing with sensational and horrific matters he has managed, God knows how, to treat his material with such objectivity and restraint that what we have is not a penny dreadful from the Hammer House of Horror, but a bloody masterpiece" (Beryl Bainbridge Observer)
"A truly awesome tale, brilliantly told" (Literary Review)
"Probably the best thing of its kind since In Cold Blood ... a classic study in criminal mentality" (Colin Wilson Yorkshire Post)
A groundbreaking criminal study of the serial killer and necrophiliac Dennis Nilsen. Known to himself as 'The Kindly Killer' and to a shocked society as 'The Muswell Hill Murderer', Nilsen was a psychologically disturbed mass murderer. This thrilling investigative book won the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award for a non-fiction crime book.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I was constantly moved by Masters' portrayal of Nilsen's life, despite the crimes that he committed. Nilsen was someone who experienced no real love or affection in his life and because of this, he closed his emotions and became "cold". One can easily understand why he did what he did.
This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in the psychology of serial killers and it presents a warning to society of what might become of the unloved.
I took issue with 2 points. Firstly, Nilsen is an egoistic man who delights in talking about himself. He enjoys the analysis, attention and 'fame', and events in recent years (demanding gay pornography, fight to publish his autobiography, letter to the Evening Standard detailing the first murder)have done nothing to change my mind on this point. Masters points out that Nilsen's work colleagues & few friends tired of his constant protesting & inability to know when to shut up. This very much shines through in the book. Essentially he came across as a tedius man, too locked in his own solice. Retrospectively he has manipulated the evidence to create his own 'version' of events, & this makes me disbelieve lots of what he has to say.
Secondly, Masters comes across, especially at the beginning of the book, as someone fixated on creating a 'setting'. Some of his narrative is tedius, the descriptions of a Scottish childhood especially kitch - I cannot imagine many Scots identifying with the romantic imagery he presents us. Neither did I go for the 'heartfelt' summaries of the lives of some of the victims - sometimes they are so embroiled in crime & drugs no amount of prose can presnt them as 'young boys with a potentially bright future ahead of them'.Read more ›
‘Killing for Company’ is a biography of the life of the serial-killer, Dennis Nilsen who murdered several young men in the late seventies and early eighties. It tells the entire story of his life from childhood in the far reaches of northern Scotland, a place rife with incest apparently, to his life in the army and civil-service. Obviously, the central part of the book is focussed on his murders of several young men in the late seventies and early eighties before examining in some detail the possible reasons for these despicable crimes.
I have long been (perversely, no doubt some will say) fascinated with murder, torture and pain and the minds of those that commit such atrocities, but it is only in the last twelve months, since I have been reading some fabulous fictional works about the subject, that have started to give it some real thought. Such works include those by Joe Conlan, Graham Masterton and Chris Carter. I am enthralled with what must go on in the minds of these perpetrators and as such, I am fascinated by those novels that go into great depth about the thoughts and actions of the killer. However, they seem few and far between of late and most of the police procedurals that I have been reading have come up short by concentrating exclusively on the work of the police and detectives and barely mentioning anything done by the killer at all.
To further my curiosity and interest in this subject, I began looking up online (Wikipedia etc.) the lives and deeds of real-life serial-killers such as Peter Sutcliffe, Charles Manson and now, Dennis Nilsen. However, this never provided enough information that I could trust, so I started looking for more.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic book, Brian Masters really writes well, almost as good as the Dahmer book he wrote. Fast delivery.Published 5 months ago by P SIMS
A great book about Nilsen, covering his activities in depth. The author has an upper hand in that he met and got to study Nilsen personally after his incarceration. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Airborne Constable
I love a good book about a serial killer - call me old fashioned. This one in particular was absolutely fascinating, packed with lots of detail and facts, and a book that makes... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Carole Nash
Some parts are incredibly gripping, other parts are exhausting to read but you persevere because the good bits are so good.Published 14 months ago by Jennifer Harkins