My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 7 days on and off
Pages - 320
Publisher - John Blake
Source - Asda
Blurb from Goodreads
Christopher Berry-Dee, criminologist and bestselling author of books about the serial killers Aileen Wuornos and Joanne Dennehy, turns his uncompromising gaze upon women who not only kill, but kill repeatedly.
Because female murderers, and especially serial murderers, are so rare compared with their male counterparts, this new study will surprise as well as shock, particularly in the cases of women like Beverley Allitt, who kill children, and Janie Lou Gibbs, who killed her three sons and a grandson, as well as her husband. Here too are women who kill under the influence of their male partners, such as Myra Hindley and Rosemary West, and whose lack of remorse for their actions is nothing short of chilling. But the author also turns his forensic gaze on female killers who were themselves victims, like Aileen Wuornos, whose killing spree, for which she was executed, can be traced directly to her treatment at the hands of men.
Christopher Berry-Dee has no equal as the author of hard-hitting studies of the killers who often walk among us undetected for many years, and who in so many cases seem to be acting entirely against their natures.
Berry-Dee gives us a snapshot insight into some of the worst female killers, I know the book says female serial killers however some mentioned are only single killers. All of those mentioned are horrific, make your skin crawl, your breath catch and make you question humanity. Some of the names featured I recognised as I have read/seen a lot of true crime over the years but some were new for me.
Let me just start by saying this isn't a terribly written book however there was a lot that I didn't love. There is A LOT of self promotion and I don't have an issue with authors bragging on their previous work, why not they have worked hard for it. However this is one of his books and I think the focus should be on the material in the book. There are a lot of throwbacks and name dropping to his previous books/shows and not always relevant, in my opinion, to the sentence it is dropped in. There also seemed to be missed opportunities or cut offs, for example on one part the author is talking about how horrific something is the police seen or said and there is no detail given, the sentence just rounds up by X was killed or reference to their family. You get a wee bit of history on one killer and a token mention of who they killed then the next person will have more than a few pages on their background and who they are and their victims were.
I think my problem is when I read books like this each person gets approximately the same amount of focus or at least a chapter to themselves. This book you would have pages on one person then one paragraph on another. The other thing I noticed was the author would name call or negatively comment on the persons appearance or weight in quite derogatory terms. I haven't came across this before and everyone is absolutely entitled to their opinions and some of these individuals are the most heinous to have walked the earth but name calling from an author I found to be surprising.
I think many people have and will love this book as a snapshot introduction to female killers rather than an in depth look. The cover features Myra Hindley (well the one I read did) she features only in a passing sentence or two. He seems to have a fair few books under his belt and has worked/interviewed many killers so knows his stuff, I just didn't like how this one presented. I would read this author again I just won't be running out to buy his previous works. Try it and let me know, I would love to hear your thoughts as I think I may be more in the minority as I didn't love this one, 2/5 for me.