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Infamous Murderers – Maniacs Filled with Hatred and Rage



Original Source: RTN WEDNESDAY 07 APRIL 2010
Written by Danny Collins  Wednesday, 07 April 2010 Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 April 2010
Author: Rodney Castleden
Publisher: Time Warner (paperback)
Price: €9.15
ISBN: 0 7515 3648 2

WHEN, IN 2007, I wrote
Vanished, I suggested to my publisher that the shout-line, The Truth About the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann was a trifle arcane and that I preferred its original description of an in-depth investigation into the disappearance of the three-year-old in Portugal. I could write only of my conclusions in the investigation and although I believed them to be accurate based on the evidence; I saw the shout-line as typical jacket designer’s blurb.
Mr Castleden appears to have suffered the same fate. Publishers want to sell books and authors are therefore often hoist on a publishing house petard. Infamous Murderers has little to do with Maniacs Filled With Hatred and Revenge: Lizzie Borden was acquitted of all charges; Crippen simply preferred the charms of Ethel La Neve to those of his nagging, slothful wife and James Hanratty probably felt more enmity towards the hangman than he did towards his supposed victims.

True enough, poor old Ruth Ellis was bent on revenge when she shot her two timing lover David Blakely and the lovely Charlotte Corday – a boyhood heroine but I was a strange boy – certainly hated the blood stained French Jacobin Jean-Paul Marat when she stabbed him in his bath, but all told I found the author’s compilation of murders and skulduggery more interesting in subject matter than the violence of the crimes. Ruth Ellis’s story should tug at the emotional strings of any woman who’s ever been crossed in love and one wonders if the actor John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln out of political mien or because he’d had to learn the Gettysburg Address for a part by the following Tuesday.

I found the book interesting and well researched and I can only wish that the publishers would let the authors describe the contents to their public. Infamous Murderers was sent to me as a review copy and it’s likely I wouldn’t have picked it from a rack given the lurid cover – which would have been a shame. Well recommended in any event.
 Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 April 2010 )


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