Well, I was visiting my brother over the weekend and saw that he had this book and I hadn’t read it, so I borrowed it. I have mentioned in the past that I miss looking at what everyone else is reading now so many people read on e-readers but have now decided this wasn’t the best choice of book to read on a train, in Costa and most definitely not when I was the one who had to empty their belongings at security at the airport! The security woman’s ‘Is it a good read? I wouldn’t give her the time of day!’ question left me weakly stating ‘I’m not a serial killer, honest!’ One rare moment when I didn’t want to talk about a book.
So why did I choose this one from my brother’s bookshelf? Well I used to live in Gloucester, I had grown up nearby, where the West’s had their ordinary house. Heather West whose body was the first to be discovered, was born the same year as me and the horrendous find was made while I was waiting for my youngest to be born. In fact all the news at that time was about these two killers. I am also interested in crimes that appear to go against female nature and so a book that seeks to explain how one woman could go on to carry out such horrendous acts was a must read.
I have read many books about the Wests as a couple but this is the first one that went into Rose’s background in detail.
This fascinating book doesn’t concentrate so much on the horrendous crimes committed by Rose West but seeks to understand quite why this young woman became a killer. The first of the murders she was convicted of occurred when Rose was just 17 years old!
Jane Carter Woodrow follows Rose’s life chronologically, starting with her birth following her mother’s electric current therapy throughout her pregnancy with Rose. Using the accounts of the neighbours, relations and the few friends I think this book benefits with the time gap since Rose’s conviction, giving a more balanced view of events. This isn’t a book that in any way seeks to condone the rapes and murders, after all, as the author points out, many people have a tough start to life but don’t go onto be killers. It does however try to explain how Rose’s psychological make-up and the warped view of what relationships consist of caused this particular woman to sink to a level of depravity almost unheard of.
For anyone who wishes to understand more about the most notorious of female serial killers you can’t go wrong with this book.
So thank you to the Irish gentleman in Costa who had a good laugh at my expense but did return the book after I nearly left it behind, I will now pop it in the post to its rightful place on my brother’s bookshelf!
Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading
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I am currently reading Water’s Edge by Jane Riddell
When Madalena invites her four children to Switzerland for a family gathering, she isn’t prepared for the excess baggage of their lives they bring along – secrets they are compelled to keep and those that must be divulged; the compromises they make, and, ultimately, what can and can’t be resolved – for Madalena, too, has things about her past that she would prefer not to reveal.
Set against a backdrop of mountains and lakes, Water’s Edge is a tapestry of love, lies and family. Amazon
I have just finished Rose West The Making of a Monster by Jane Carter Woodrow
Hard to believe it looking at her now, but Rose West was an exceptionally beautiful little girl, with a Maltese mother and English father. Strangers would stop and stare at her in the street and she could entrance people from a very early age. But looking back at photos of Rose as a child, you struggle to accept that she grew up to one of the country’s most notorious female criminals. What happened to that little girl to make her capable of such violence? Or was there something wrong, a predisposition to violence she was born with? In Rose, Jane Carter Woodrow goes right back to the start in her life to try and piece together what happened to turn Rose West into the violent monster she became. Jane has gained unprecedented access to the family and has revealed a fascinating story of how there was always something “not quite right” about Rose. And perhaps that’s not too surprising Rose’s childhood reads like one of the most grim misery memoirs. Her father was a violent schizophrenic and her mother received electric shock therapy for severe clinical depression, the whole way through her pregnancy with Rose. Jane has uncovered a horrific hidden story of a twisted family and how her upbringing made her a perfect partner for Fred West when they met when Rose had just turned 16. She was to kill for the first time a few months later. This is a gripping read that sheds light for the first time on the story behind what turned Rose West into a vicious and deadly serial killer. Goodreads
This is a fascinating book which concentrates on the reason why Rose West committed the crimes she did rather than on those horrific crimes. I am behind with my reviews but I will be posting soon…
Next I will be reading The Moon Field by Judith Allnatt
It is 1914. George Farrell cycles through the tranquil Cumberland fells to deliver a letter, unaware that it will change his life. George has fallen for the beautiful daughter at the Manor House, Miss Violet, but when she lets slip the contents of the letter George is heartbroken to discover that she is already promised to another man. George escapes his heartbreak by joining the patriotic rush to war, but his past is not so easily avoided. His rite of passage into adulthood leaves him believing that no woman will be able to love the man he has become. Goodreads
I’m really looking forward to reading this book, I’m sure it will be one of many I read commemorating 100 years since the start of World War I next year. The Moon Field