Friday 2 September 2016

Almost The Perfect Murder by Paul Williams

Almost the Perfect Murder: The Killing of Elaine O'Hara, the Extraordinary Garda Investigation and the Trial That Stunned the Nation: The Only Complete Inside AccountAlmost the Perfect Murder: The Killing of Elaine O'Hara, the Extraordinary Garda Investigation and the Trial That Stunned the Nation: The Only Complete Inside Account by Paul Williams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages - 283

Publisher - Penguin

Blurb from Goodreads

'A great book ... really comprehensive' Miriam O'Callaghan, RTÉ

'Fascinating' Pat Kenny, Newstalk

'It is very rare for murder to involve the degree of calculation revealed in this case' Irish Times

For over a year everyone assumed missing Dublin woman Elaine O'Hara had ended her own life. But after her remains were found gardaí discovered that Elaine was in thrall to a man who had spent years grooming her to let him kill her. That man was Graham Dwyer, a married father of three and partner in a Dublin architecture practice.

Almost the Perfect Murder details the exhaustive investigation - one of the most complex and chilling in Irish criminal justice history - that allowed gardaí to build a case against Dwyer. And it outlines the twists and turns - both in the courtroom and behind the scenes - during the dramatic trial that followed.

Almost the Perfect Murder contains startling new material based on extensive research conducted especially for the book. This includes fresh insights into the garda investigation and background information on Graham Dwyer.

This is the definitive account of the case that gripped the nation by Ireland's leading crime journalist, Paul Williams.

'An example of doggedness and tenacious police work, which saw that justice was done, and seen to be done' Irish Independent.

My Review

I had never heard of this case before, Elaine O'Hara went missing from Dublin in 2012, presumed to have committed suicide. Elaine had a long history of mental health issues and previous suicide attempts, a year later Elaine's body is found. The police discover evidence that points to murder and start a thorough investigation that uncovers the gruesome details and exploitation of a vulnerable woman.

Apparently if you followed the case when it was in the news there isn't much in this book that would be new. The police recover text messages sent between Elaine and her killer, very graphic and quite disturbing. Violence, blood letting, sexual torture, BDSM, exploitation and sexual deviancy. The book covers the run up to the trial, actual copies of text messages sent and received, personal items from the killer, sexual fantasies that many readers may find disturbing.

I have read a lot of true crime books, this is one of the more unsettling ones, I think because of the brutality of the relationship and how graphic the evidence is. The writing is relatively clear although I felt some of the timeline between events jumped a bit without clear distinction of how much time had lapsed. Otherwise, if you like true crime and don't mind stomach turning details of brutality then this book will be a winner for you, 3/5 for me.

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