Book review: Myra, Beyond Saddleworth

Myra, Beyond Saddleworth- Jean Rafferty
Myra, Beyond Saddleworth review
Although I hate crime drama, crime thriller novels, horror films or any other form of crime fiction, I am fascinated by true crime, specifically serial killers. I've reviewed a few non-fiction crime books before, such as Witness and Hunting Evil, but this book is something a bit different: It's a novel exploring the idea that Myra Hindley didn't actually die when she was reported to have. Instead, she was released by the authorities with a new identity. The novel follows her life after release and how she deals with life in a modern world.

Let me start by saying I thought the concept was really interesting. I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories, but this book was very clear fiction, rather than someone claiming to have insider knowledge. I had no personal issues with the synopsis. However, it is the Worst Book I Have Ever Read. Yep, capitalised. 
Extract from Jean Rafferty's Myra, Beyond Saddleworth
The print quality was hinted at by the cheap design and the website of Wild Wolf Publishing. Seriously, go and look at it. However, I'm not one to judge a book by a cover, so I started with excitement.

Let's start by talking about the print quality. It's terrible. Line breaks seemingly at random, question marks where they're not needed, inconsistent speech marks, an old-fashioned use of lower case letters after a question... The list goes on. 

Then there's Rafferty's awful use of research. To her credit, she's obviously researched the Moors Murders well, but clumsily shoehorns her knowledge into her writing. Brady once referred to the murders as an "existential exercise", so Rafferty uses this phrase wherever possible. I literally rolled my eyes on several occasions. Other areas are less well researched, such as when harsh, ballsy teenager Kezza selects Tatu's All the Things She Said on the jukebox and merrily sings along. It seems as though Rafferty chose a 2002 number one at random, without doing any research into whether it was appropriate for the character. 
Review of Jean Rafferty's Myra, Beyond Saddleworth
Finally, the quality of writing is mediocre at best. Almost every single line of speech uses "says" as a verb. There are so many amazing verbs in the English language. Why limit yourself to "says"? Ultimately, the novel just reads as bad fan fiction, including moments of slash fiction. You read that correctly. It's awkward at best! 

In the end, I was just so relieved to finish. It's such a shame that the quality of this novel was so terrible, as the concept is so brave and interesting. A real let-down. 

Buy Myra, Beyond Saddleworth here (Except don't)

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  1. It always makes me happy to find another person who enjoys books like this. Have you been into Poundland lately? They have quite a few true crime books at the moment, a couple about Myra and some about Rose & Fred West. If you ever fancy doing a book swap let me know. I've just put a couple of the books you've read on my shopping list.

    1. Ooh no but I found a couple in Asda! I'm really possessive about my books so I can't take part in book swaps haha!

  2. I clicked on the website... I'm a little speechless over how awful it is!
    Megan x

  3. shame that it was so crap, I love crime books and this is a great concept! shame the writing's terrible! xo

  4. When I started this post, I thought, yeah sounds pretty interesting. But, it's always such a disappointment when something isn't as good as you imagined. Especially if you can find where it could be improved then you might as well have wrote it yourself and taken all the monies! ;)


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