Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century - Peter Graham

Summary: On June 22, 1954, in the depth of a southern winter, teenage friends Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker went for a walk in a park with Pauline's mother. Half an hour later the girls returned alone. Honorah Parker lay in a sea of blood on a lonely track. She had been savagely murdered.

In this mesmerising book, lawyer and true crime writer Peter Graham tells the whole story for the first time, giving a brilliant account of the crime and ensuing trial, dramatic revelations about the fate of Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker after their release from prison and their strange lives today, and a penetrating insight into the crime using modern psychology.
Summary and cover art from Goodreads.com, book provided free for review

My Review: Where have I been? I had no idea that bestselling novelist Anne Perry, aka Juliet Hulme, was convicted of murder in New Zealand in the 1950's. One cold winter day Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker convinced Pauline's mother, Honora, to take a walk with them in a remote park. It was on this walk that the two teenage girls bludgeoned Honora to death with a brick carefully wrapped in a stocking. Peter Graham carefully details this horrific murder and the events leading up it in Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century.

While the subject matter is difficult to read, Graham does a terrific job of remaining unbiased as he unravels the mystery surrounding this murder. A great deal of information on the background of both girls is provided leading up to their peculiar relationship. Many of Pauline's insane journal entries are also included, allowing the reader a more intimate view of Pauline's mental state at the time. There is no doubt that this story has been greatly researched. Some of the information is overload and weighs down the story, but for the most part the book flows nicely. If only one could forget that this is a true story it would be a great read. Knowing these events actually took place left me a little queasy.

Admittedly I have never read an Anne Perry novel. Armed with her background information I am now curious just how much of her past experience makes its way into her mystery stories. If you have read them let me know because I have a feeling I won't be able to stomach her writing after this read.

My Rating: 3 Stars

To Sum it up: Well-written yet difficult to read, this story provides deeper insight into Anne Perry.

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

I have been meaning to red this book for awhile, ever since I found out about her dark past. Thanks for the review!

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