Top critical review
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on 24 October 2011
The book gives a brief account of the Suffolk stranglings of 2006, but contrary to the deceitful blurb this book is neither definitive nor have the authors spoken to the killer. The information about the victims is ok, and ditto about the investigation, though clearly from an outsider's view.
But the main problem is that the authors pad this book out to a significant degree with digressions on serial killers/killing and theorising about the state we're in (society largely being to blame). While comparisons with other crimes is a good idea, these need not take up more than a line or paragraph.
Some of the rather tendentious material is near the end and it is both verging on the irrelevant and is easy to rip apart. The author/s state that an unequal society and economic uncertainty is to blame. Yet income/wealth disparities were higher in the past and this did not result in an epidemic of serial murders at all. The authors do not consider social changes and family breakdown - victims and killers often suffer from family break up, though not always. Nor is there much emphasis on the fact that some people who are killed take great risks (not that they deserve any less sympathy), but this needs stating.
Do the authors consider the killer to be evil? The title suggests so, but there is no discussion of this, and the section on the killer is far too thin, though perhaps that's because the facts just aren't there. The pinning of additional murders on him - without any evidence - also seems unwise. There is no reference to any previous non-lethal violence on his part and this is certainly odd for a serial killer, but this is unremarked upon.
A disapponted and overblown book. A more honest one would include a discussion on the lack of primary material available to present a rather more rounded picture.