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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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This book is not entertainment but a terrifying real life story that makes a riveting read.
I am quite sure that if a thriller writer had produced this as a work of fiction it would probably be better written than
the style of prose achieved by Christine McGuire.
Nonetheless this is a compelling read. I won't go into detail as a synopsis has already been written and other reviewers
do dip into the plot.
I am astonished that Hollywood hasn't yet turned this into a movie.
If real crime is your interest then get this book, I found it a great read even though McGuire isn't Stephen King.
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on 29 October 2008
The strangest thing about this book is not the crimes it describes...even though those crimes were very strange indeed, but the fact that no other author has attempted to write in depth about Cameron Hooker's depraved scheme to live out his most twisted sexual fantasies in real life. Colin Wilson included a couple of pages about Hooker and his passive/aggressive wife in his "Serial Killers", but (though he provided information not found in Ms McGuire's work), it cannot be seen as more than a passing reference in comparison to "Perfect Victim".

Without a doubt, any reviewer with normal sensibilities will soon run out of morally-damning expressions with which to label "Colleen Stan's" (not her real name) ordeal. The story is genuinely scary, depressing and sad; at times it really brings home how bestial the worst kinds of human beings can be. Yet, careful analysis of the text suggests that though Ms McGuire had access to the Prosecutor who handled the trial, to Janice - Hooker's wife, to "Colleen" - Hooker's victim, and also to most (if not all) of the official records, she chose to write a book that was "fit to print", glossing over details to make the story suitable for the kind of readers who might be put off by too much bad language, sex and violence. She also pandered to her informants by reshaping aspects of the case and their parts in it to suit their post-trial requirements.

For example, Janice Hooker - the wife who made her husband's crimes possible, the woman who helped to lure a girl to a life of hell and torture, the willing accomplice who hacked off "Colleen's" hair and regularly demanded painful punishments for her - is presented as merely Hooker's first victim. The Prosecutor made a similar compromise to ensure that Janice would testify against Cameron, so maybe it should not surprise us that the credited co-author's public stance on that subject is not contradicted?

Ms McGuire is a good writer in the sense that she manages to limit the information she provides without making it obvious to the casual reader; a person who is new to the case (and already shocked by what is actually revealed in the text) will not notice that "Perfect Victim" devotes less than three pages to the significant period when Janice decided to take a job which entailed being away from home for 5 days each week. The author is perhaps deliberately blind to the fact that this time represented both a turning point in the Hookers' marital relationship and a steep escalation in the sexual violation of "Colleen Stan". Whilst his wife was absent, Hooker unleashed his sick desires to their fullest extent - however, Ms McGuire coyly covers the entire period in a small paragraph containg a scant 117 words.

If you wish to know about Cameron Hooker and his perverted crimes, this book is your only choice, so I recommend it - though I do so with reservations. At this juncture, it seems unlikely that somebody will write a better account - a 'warts and all' evaluation which rises above the supermarket press mentality that limits the worth of "Perfect Victim".
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on 2 January 2000
I remember picking this book up and reading the back cover about a girl who was kidnapped and after some time in captivity was going out shopping for the couple who held her and she didn`t even try to escape, I thought this can`t be real so I bought the book. I was astounded at the ordeals this girl went through but after reading the book I could understand why she didn`t try to escape. It opened my eyes to the power of brainwashing and the thought that some one can hold that much control over some one else. Scary.
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on 9 April 2006
An absolute must for readers of true crime.
Cameron Hooker was, and no doubt still is a very evil and conniving man. In fact he doesn't even deserve to be called a man.
What he did to poor Colleen Stan is horrendous. Is it any wonder that eventually after years of being kept his captive, she thought that she was falling in love with this man. He knew exactly what he was doing to this poor 17 year old girl.
For 7 years, after abducting Colleen along with his wife Janice; and keeping this girl either locked down in the cellar with a 'head box' on; hung by the ceiling by her wrists bound in chains; then evenually given a home in a box that she had no room whatsoever to manover in, under the marital bed!
Cameron Hooker tortured this girl both phsically and mentally -even forcing her to sign a slavery contract!!
So then when he allowed her a little leeway; i.e- Didn't keep her hanging by the wrists for so long, or spared her from the body stretching 'instrument' he had devised, Colleen mistook this for kindness and thanked him for that.
The only way to truely know about this story is to read the book.
I was absolutely gripped by it, and did not put it down from the moment that I picked it up. which was on an outbound flight for a one week holiday to Cyprus.
I didn't do very much sightseeing though. I was more than happy to lie on the beach with this book.
Very well written, Obviously a lot of research has gone into this book. Very greatly recommended.
One of the top books I have ever read on my favourite subject, True Crime.
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on 5 April 2000
I first read this book in 1993 and I could not put it down. After loaning it to numerous friends I never saw it again and have only recently re-read it after purchasing it again from Amazon.
The story of a young girl kidnapped and abused in every way possible sometimes makes tough reading but I promise you'll be gripped from start to finish.
I believe there has been a film made of this book but I have not been able to find out if it is available in the UK.
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on 29 January 2002
A story I couldn't put down. Full of the worst and the greatest traits of human nature. A story of survival, torture and the most terrible deprivation. You wonder how you would cope. You look at the world with different eyes after - is she in the same situation as Colleen Stan or is he another Mr Hooker? Would you recognise someone with such evil in them if they were your neighbour, father, brother, friend, work colleague. You think there is nothing worse that can happen to you than rape and murder and then you read this book.
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on 16 July 2013
This is a harrowing novel about the abduction and imprisonment of a young woman by a depraved couple. When reading you get the feeling that the author may have skimmed the surface of the real events that may have taken place. However whether you believe that this poor woman endured more than is written it is still a truly terrifying read of how human behaviour can be so cruel and violent.
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on 24 March 2015
Great book. Reads like crime fiction BUT it actual happened.
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on 16 January 2017
A concise well told true story of a horrific crime involving abduction, torture, enforced isolation and various sex crimes lasting 7 years. The psychological impact on Colleen Stan was astounding however she survived and had a positive outcome eventually
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on 13 February 2014
...... and found it fascinating. I would like to read it again so bought this kindle version. It is not for the faint hearted though, as I recall it is fairly graphic in some places. I think it is based on a true story.
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