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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.4 out of 5
5 Stars
12 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
7 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Horrific

    A detailed account of a shocking piece of British history, very well written a d researched.

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  • Creepy

    Amazing indepth look into two of the most evil people that ever lived. I only hope they met there match in another life

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Devastatingly thorough

    An excellent and thoroughly researched account of the lives and crimes of this couple. The description of their respective childhoods and upbringing speaks volumes about the woeful inadequacy of their parents and the absence of any agencies to provide protection. In some ways their development appears to take on the air of inevitability. However the most striking feature is the total lack of respect for human life displayed by both parties.

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  • Before & After

    3.5 Stars Whilst there is a lot of investigative work gone in to this book it still felt, in my opinion, that it was going for shock value in several sections. Particularly in the description of exactly what happened to the victims of Fred and Rosemary West. The problem I have with this is that a lot of it is merely supposition and is an extrapolation of the limited information that could be gleaned from the post mortem examination of the skeletonised remains. Much of what is described as having happened would have left extensive soft tissue damage but no bone markings. Neither Fred or Rose ever admitted to what exactly happened so rather than being entirely factual it does take a leap of imagination in places and a very dark imagination it is too. Where this left me was wondering what happened in the intervening years when no murders are thought to have been carried out purely because no remains from this period were found. In my opinion they had run out of grave sites at Cromwell Road but had not stopped their activities so how many more murdered women and girls are there and where did they end up? Psychological research in to serial murderers has shown that they don't stop unless they are caught so why are there 10 years+ unaccounted for where they seem to have just stopped. Very disconcerting thought but one that is never touched on by this book. Yes, it would be mere supposition but the consensus seems to be they only committed the murders that bodies were found for which does seem vaguely ridiculous if you stop and think about it. The details of the early lives of Fred and Rose are well researched and it does give you an idea of why their moral compasses just did not exist. Rose in particular seems to have been born with severe brain damage and whilst Fred was relatively normal the brain injury received in his crash seems to have removed any last vestige of restraint he may have had. So brain injury seems to be a connecting theme, throw in childhood abuse both physical and mental and you can begin to see how a murderer can be "created" by circumstances. Put two such people together and it is going to be a recipe for disaster and this is definitely what happened here. It really interested me that Rose was the dominant partner, not something I had ever considered before but Fred certainly seems to have been in thrall to her. Overall this is an interesting book and well worth picking up if you want ot know more about the background of The Wests. This review has been a long time coming. I actually read this book between the 27th and 30th July 2020 so my memory is a bit foggy about all the plot lines. Fortunately, I have a notebook where I jot some initial thoughts on the book and an overall ranking so between the book blurb and that I did have a reasonable handle on what I thought at the time of reading.

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