This book provides a collection of text sketches of serial killers, starting off with Prince Vlad III of Wallachia, AKA, Vlad the Impaler, Son of the Dragon, Dracula. The serial killers are grouped into sections relating to their method of killing, such as Shooters or Poisoners. This approach allows a relatively large number of serial killers to be reviewed by the book.
NAME: Serial Killers
CLASSIFICATION: Book Reviews
AUTHOR: J F Derry
PUBLISHER: Haynes Publishing
BINDING: soft back
GENRE: Non fiction
SUBJECT: Peter Tobin, Dennis Nilsen, Harold Shipman, Rose West, Fred West, Tony Blair, Charles Chi Tat Mg, Beverley Allitt, John Haigh, Jack The Ripper, Robert Black, Myra Hindley, Ian Brady, John Reginald Christie, Peter Sutcliffe, Graham Young, John Bodkin Adams, Peter Manuel, Stephen Griffiths, Donald Neilson, George Joseph Smith
DESCRIPTION: At the time of review, it is not clear how many books will form this new series from Haynes Publishing. The first four books follow the same format with softback binding and economy paper. The printing is crisp and the plate section includes full colour and b&w images. The concept is to base the book on the Case Files of the People and Daily Mirror newspapers. The series therefore has some scope for further development because new categories of criminals could form additional books in the series and/or the publisher could add volumes to existing topic groups because the newspaper Case Files will include many more criminals, of equal or greater notoriety, than have been covered in the first books. This book provides a collection of text sketches of serial killers, starting off with Prince Vlad III of Wallachia, AKA, Vlad the Impaler, Son of the Dragon, Dracula. The serial killers are grouped into sections relating to their method of killing, such as Shooters or Poisoners. This approach allows a relatively large number of serial killers to be reviewed by the book. Each killer has generated detailed books and/or news coverage, so that the reader will be able to find much more information from other sources, if this book, and its entries, encourages further study. Of the 120 plus killers included in the book, there are many different motives and methods of killing. There is also considerable range in numbers of victims. Vlad, or any more recent national leader, such as Tony Blair, will be responsible for thousands or hundreds of thousands of deaths although in some cases will not have been responsible for personally killing anyone. Considering the great and enduring fascination that crime has for every generation, the publisher may decide to publish detailed books on some of the subjects covered briefly in this series. Not all subjects would necessarily justify more detailed coverage and even here, there is variation in the sizes of entries. The author seems to have worked to a formula that produces longer entries for those subjects that merit it and reading through the book, it feels as though all entries are proportional which allows it to be read conveniently as a single book, rather than as a number of individual elements. This is a book that potentially appeals to a very wide audience and should sell very well, sales being limited primarily by the exposure achieved by the marketers. An absorbing approach to a terrible topic group.