Friday

Book review: Ian Brady and Myra Hindley- Murder on the Moors

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley by Mel Plehov
By now, I think I've reviewed enough serial killer books to stop with the "trust me, I'm not a psycho" introductions. Of all England's 26 modern serial killers (yes, I know this stuff), these are the two that I know the most about and I have read quite a lot about the case of the Moors Murders. After being horrendously disappointed by the Harold Shipman book of the same publishers, I didn't have particularly high hopes for this. The introduction certainly confirmed my fears and was one of the most terrible pieces of writing I have ever read. (Funnily enough, the worst book I've read in my life was about Myra Hindley. What is it with serial killers and terrible writing?).

There is no author attributed to this book although, judging by the horrendously inaccurate use of commas, I assume it's Mel Plehov, the writer behind the Harold Shipman book. Somehow they manage to spell Hindley in three completely different ways within the space of 3 pages and repeatedly give Ian Brady the middle name Thomas instead of his actual name Duncan. As well as the erratic use of commas, misspellings and inaccuracies, there is also the problem with completely incoherent sentence structure. Here is a genuine quote for you, copied out word for word:

The way that so much pain, which doesn't diminish over time, could in a vile way provide a continuation of the sadistic pleasure, and reminder of his actions to the one living person who knows where the remains of the victims are.

That's not even a sentence! How did that get published? Did anybody proofread the book?
Extract of Mel Plehov Murder on the Moors
Luckily, the rest of the book is of slightly better quality. There are still basic errors but the majority of the facts are accurate and it's not appallingly written for the most part. The chronology is bizarrely inconsistent, jumping from the pair's imprisonment, to their trial and then to Myra's death back to her time in prison.

However, my main problem with the writing is that, although we can all agree the crimes were horrific and abhorrent, the author loses sight of professional distance and ends up becoming far too emotionally involved. Phrases such as "both these people personify the word EVIL" (capitals included) and "women around the world still hate her, hate what she represents, and hate what she allowed to occur" reveal a sensationalist bias which makes it difficult to find any credibility. 
Murder on the Moors Igloo Books
For anyone who is interested in finding out more about the Moors Murders, especially Myra Hindley, I'd recommend steering well clear of this sensationalist account, seemingly published only with the motive of easy money-spinning, and instead try the far superior One of Your Own by Carol Ann Lee. 

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4 comments :

  1. Have you read Robert Ressler's 'Whoever fights monsters'? It's not quite your average serial killer book, as Ressler was an early criminal profiler, so he talks about the formation of the FBI's Behavioural Science Unit & the profiles of killers & violent criminals. He's not the best story teller & there were of course the standard typos you find in serial killer books, but it's the best serial killer book I've read. He talks about the crimes in an informative way, he isn't sensationalist & it was refreshing to read about these crimes from a profiler's opinion.

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  2. I watched a programme on them once. It was really quite good. They used people from their past and people acting out the roles etc. This book sounds rubbish

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  3. LOL how do these books even get published? I can't believe they can even be sold with that kind of grammar. It's kind of a shame because I find serial killers really interesting (In a completely non-freaky way) so it'd be nice to find an interesting and well written book.

    hellomissjordan.blogspot.co.uk xx

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