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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 8 September 2017
Great book, goes into detail...
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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.
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on 16 June 2014
not the best book, although well written, it appeared to be quite dull at times, very sad case however, and well documented.
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on 12 August 2011
I have given my review a title that is also the title of a chapter of the book. unfortunatly the words appear hollow to the authors.
all too often poetic florishes are added that can not be considered fact. given that Steven Wright refuses to be interviewed, and famously answered every question with "no comment" how can the authors say that that as he was prowling the streets he was thinking about how he was going to need to clean his car by the cover of darkness? or that one of the victims wished to be rescued like the stray dog that was her childhood pet? or that another victim was thinking of her school moto on that fatefull night? personally I prefer to deal with facts over poetic license when reading "non-fiction" and these constant additions make me feel more like I am reading a cheap whodunit than a non fiction work.
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on 20 December 2011
This case was widely covered at the time, however with the court case coming I never felt like I knew much about it as the police kept their cards close to their chest. Having read this book I'm still none the wiser. The book written by a TV reporter and it shows, passages are spent dealing with him following the police in a media scrum and all too little to the actual murders. There is no clue whatsoever about WHY Wright killed the women and WHY he did so within a relatively short space of time. Surely these are the two biggest questions about this case and what made it unique. On the good side, it is well written and it did remind me of certain elements of the case.
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on 31 March 2008
I have been studying British serial murder for five years and in 2006 was able to witness from beginning to end a real life case of a serial killer on a 50-day killing spree before my eyes on TV, radio and the internet.
There have been at least 75 serial killers in the UK since 1888, most of them after the 2nd World War, and Steve Wright classes as one who will go down in history.
This book captures every detail of the case, provides a deep analysis of serial murder, and explores all aspects of the case; the victims, the killer, the families and the society which produced them.
Paul Harrison is an accomplished writer, this book proves it. David Wilson's contribution is noted also. It's easy to read, almost like reading a novel, but it captures the reality of the situation with a down-to-earth attitude.
An easy read, in depth, incisive, essential reading for anyone interested in the Suffolk Strangler case.
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on 5 August 2010
I too have written a title about the Suffolk Serial Killings, and originally contacted Sky News - who I later worked with on this case, to bring to Paul Harrison's attention that the port near Ipswich that he referred to on a number of occasions as Folkstone was in fact - Felixstowe. That aside, Paul's book is pretty much a cut & paste of media stuff and although I found it useful as a reference point I don't think it would justify anything more than 2 stars. My title is released in Feb, 2011 and with any luck details will appear on Amazon in due course.
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on 18 April 2008
A fascinating insight into the mind of such a twisted character by the journalist who broke the story. I really could not put this down and found myself reading it late into the night. Well researched and thoughtfully crafted, with a wonderful mix of journalistic prose and psychological comment which adds up to an enthralling read.
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on 21 June 2008
Let's cut straight to the chase: this book is ultimately a disappointment.

On the plus side, the book is a good journalistic account of the course of the investigation into the 5 murders, and does reveal several facts that were not publicised during the investigation (particularly in relation to suspect Tom Stephens). But it will never go down as one of the great true crime books.

The lack of an interview with the killer, Steve Wright, is a glaring omission - and the authors know this. That is why the reader is repeatedly reminded of the fact that most killers either do not talk about their crimes at all (e.g. Harold Shipman) or, when they do, lie (e.g. Fred West). But this means that any conclusions as to why Wright committed the crimes that he did are speculative and lacking enough authority to really make the reader feel that (s)he has learned something about the motivations of this killer. As other reviewers have commented, details about Wright's life do not emerge until chapter 7 (190 pages into the 299 page book) which demonstrates the extent to which analysis of Wright is based upon second-hand information and academic theory. When details of Wright's life do finally emerge, they are largely uninteresting. The authors will no doubt say that they are uninteresting because Wright's life was uninteresting - but the more pertinent reason is that, not having spoken to him, they had no real insight into a man who, by their own admission, "was experienced at hiding certain aspects of his life". Come the end of the book, the reader feels short-changed, not really having gained genuine insight into Wright's motivations.

In truth, and with respect to the authors, there is little contained in this book in terms of behavioural profiling that readers could not find out for themselves elsewhere - in David Canter and Paul Britton, for example - and in a much more detailed and compelling form. The book is very much a dumbed-down account of the Ipswich murders designed for a public it perceives as yearning for a good old "English murder". It does not read like a book that simply HAD to be written because the authors had something new and important to tell us. And this, I fear, is because ultimately - they didn't.
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on 24 January 2012
If you want a vague background story of each of his victims, a brief introduction to profiling, a vague insight to the court case and an assumption to his motives, then this is the book for you.

If you want a detailed background of his childhood and life (which I did...) and possibly a real motive - then this is not the book for you (mainly because he hasn't confessed)
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