Title: Facing the Yorkshire Ripper – The Art of Survival

Author: Mo Lea

Pages: 176 Pages

Publisher: Pen & Sword

The Blurb

As a survivor of a brutal attack by the Yorkshire Ripper, this book gives fresh insight into the consequences of being labeled a victim of this notorious serial killer.

Mo Lea was followed home and attacked by Peter Sutcliffe, who hit her over the head repeatedly with a hammer. She was stabbed with a screwdriver leaving her with life threatening injuries. The book reveals how Mo has wrestled with the past, struggling to come to terms with the well-trodden, morbid narrative. She has written a new, fresh perspective for the present day.

Her writing offers an alternative account, one which repositions her as a survivor with a success story. While sympathy has its place for the victims, this book gives insight into processes of recovery and success. Mo had no control over unwanted media interventions. Sometimes the Ripper story would appear on the morning news while she was getting ready to go to work. She learnt to contain her anxiety but she could neither predict or escape these uncomfortable moments that reminded her of her past trauma.

Mo Lea’s art practice has been an important factor in her life. She has been fortunate to use this as an outlet to explore her pain, anger, suffering and recovery.

After years of personal growth and recovery, a short film was made of Mo Lea creating a drawing from the iconic photograph of the man who had tried to take her life. She is filmed ripping up the Ripper. She is filmed tearing up the portrait that she had so carefully drawn, rendering him as disposable as a piece of litter. The film shows how Mo turned her story around, making Sutcliffe the victim and herself, the triumphant survivor.

Mo had finally found a way of stepping out of the frame. She no longer felt Iike running away. The illustrations contained within describe better than any words, her journey from tragic despair to calmness and acceptance. By writing this book Mo Lea has found a way to reclaim her story.

The Review

Oh dear. I don’t know what I was expecting with the true crime novel Facing the Yorkshire Ripper but I know I wasn’t expecting to come away from the story feeling unsympathetic to the survivor. Not in a horrible way, I mean, I am glad she survived but I just felt that she didn’t seem to help herself with her survival and this is where I am going to sound awful but it is almost like she used her victimhood too much but then proclaimed that she didn’t want to be a victim. It was almost like she used what had happened to her to justify her behaviour. This is probably due to me and author Mo Lea having very different perspectives when it comes to trauma and I don’t want to take away from her lived experience but the book Facing the Yorkshire Ripper didn’t endear me at all.

Facing the Yorkshire Ripper – The Art of Survival by Mo Lea is available now.

Title: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

Author: Michelle McNamara

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Harper

The Blurb

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer—the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade—from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.

“You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.”

For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

At the time of the crimes, the Golden State Killer was between the ages of eighteen and thirty, Caucasian, and athletic—capable of vaulting tall fences. He always wore a mask. After choosing a victim—he favored suburban couples—he often entered their home when no one was there, studying family pictures, mastering the layout. He attacked while they slept, using a flashlight to awaken and blind them. Though they could not recognize him, his victims recalled his voice: a guttural whisper through clenched teeth, abrupt and threatening.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic—and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.

The Review

True crime fascinates me. Not to the extent that is fascinated Michelle McNamara. She became obsessed with the Golden State Killer and made it her mission to find out as much as she could. Sadly, she did not live long enough to see him incarcerated. 

The book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is a thorough account of criminal activity that took place across America. The crimes were heinous and led to the infamy of the killer. After reading the book, you get the sense that Michelle McNamara missed her calling in life and that she should have been a police officer in charge of homicide. Her dogged determination would have been an asset to any police force.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is a brilliant read if True Crime is your genre. 

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara is available now.

For more information regarding Harper (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page. 

Title: Epstein – Dead Men Tell No Tales

Author: Dylan Howard

Pages: 201 Pages

Publisher: Skyhorse

The Blurb

This is—for the first time—the full and unedited story behind the sick life and mysterious death of Jeffrey Epstein that is being called one of the most significant scandals in American history

He was the billionaire financier and close confidant of presidents, prime ministers, movie stars and British royalty, the mysterious self-made man who rose from blue-collar Brooklyn to the heights of luxury. But while he was flying around the world on his private jet and hosting lavish parties at his private island in the Caribbean, he also was secretly masterminding an international child sex ring—one that may have involved the richest and most influential men in the world.

The conspiracy of corruption was an open secret for decades. And then this summer, it all came crashing down.

After his arrest on sex trafficking charges in July, it seemed Epstein’s darkest secrets would finally see the light. But hopes for true justice were shattered on August 10 this year, when he was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York.

The verdict: suicide. The timing: convenient, to say the least.

Now, Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales delivers bombshell new revelations, uncovers how the man President Trump once described as a “terrific guy” abused hundreds of underage girls at his mansions in Palm Beach and Manhattan… all while entertaining the world’s most powerful men—including President Clinton, Prince Andrew, and Donald Trump himself. How much did they know about his perversions? And did they take part? How might they have helped him to continue his abuse, and to escape justice for it? What responsibility might they have for his sudden, shocking death? And is there a shocking spy and blackmail story at the heart of the scandal? The answers to these questions and more will be explored in Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales with groundbreaking new reporting, never-before-seen court files, and interviews with new witnesses and confidants.

Combining the very best investigative reporting from investigative journalists Dylan Howard, Melissa Cronin and James Robertson—who have been covering the case for close to a decade—will send shockwaves through the highest levels of the establishment.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales is another explosive book regarding the case of Jeffrey Epstein and his sex trafficking crimes. This book was written and released after Epstein’s death (alleged suicide) and looks at the case going back to the earliest accusations up to his time incarcerated and subsequent death. 

Now there are several books on this topic so you may be wondering what makes this book so special. What I can tell you is that this case has so many layers that are still being uncovered that you are bound to learn something new, some new insidious detail that makes the plot of this real life drama thicken. 

For me, Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales poses the question of Epstein’s death – was it really suicide or was it murder – or is he actually even dead? It also highlights the worldwide implications of his crimes and pulls the curtains on those in power who do not want information being leaked.

Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales is fascinating. Anyone who is a true crime fan needs to read it. 

Epstein: Dead Men Tell No Tales by Dylan Howard is available now.

For more information regarding Skyhorse (@skyhorsepub) please visit www.skyhorsepublishing.com.

Title: Filthy Rich – The True Story Behind the Jeffrey Epstein Sex Scandal

Author: James Patterson

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Century

The Blurb

A shocking true crime tale of money, power, and sex from the world’s most popular thriller writer.

Jeffrey Epstein rose from humble origins to the rarefied heights of New York City’s financial elite. A college dropout with an instinct for numbers–and for people–Epstein amassed his wealth through a combination of access and skill. But even after he had it all, Epstein wanted more. And that unceasing desire–especially a taste for young girls–resulted in his stunning fall from grace. From Epstein himself, to the girls he employed as masseuses at his home, to the cops investigating the appalling charges against him, FILTHY RICH examines all sides of a case that scandalized one of America’s richest communities. An explosive true story, FILTHY RICH is a riveting account of wealth, power and the influence they bring to bear on the American justice system. 

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

The Jeffrey Epstein case has fascinated and revolted many of us since it became public knowledge. However, Epstein’s insidious actions have been happening a lot longer than his arrest and subsequent death in 2019. In James Patterson’s book Filthy Rich we look at the historic sex crimes committed by Epstein and others who are implicated by association. 

Filthy Rich is an in-depth look at who the man was, where he came from and how he got to be as powerful as he was at the time of arrest. With short, to the point chapters, this no frills book really does get straight to the point and doesn’t quibble with speculation or drama. 

True crime is not really a genre that I am au fait with however, if they were all written as well as Filthy Rich was written then I would be reading much much more.

Filthy Rich – The True Story Behind the Jeffrey Epstein Sex Scandal by James Patterson is available now.

For more information regarding James Patterson (@JP_Books) please visit www.jamespatterson.com.

Title: The Five – The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

Author: Hallie Rubenhold

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The Blurb

Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London—the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper.

Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers.

What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. The person responsible was never identified, but the character created by the press to fill that gap has become far more famous than any of these five women.

For more than a century, newspapers have been keen to tell us that “the Ripper” preyed on prostitutes. Not only is this untrue, as historian Hallie Rubenhold has discovered, it has prevented the real stories of these fascinating women from being told. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, revealing a world not just of Dickens and Queen Victoria, but of poverty, homelessness and rampant misogyny. They died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time—but their greatest misfortune was to be born a woman.

The Review

I stand accused. I stand accused of being guilty of the exact thing that Hallie Rubenhold has written about in her fabulous book The Five – The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper. I, myself, have only ever known them to be prostitutes and never once have I thought to consider these women as actual people. They are almost myth and legend. Nowadays we are titillated over the gruesome crimes of a serial killer. You have to ask yourself, if this crime happened today would we celebrate a murderer? Probably not.

What this wonderful book does is delve into the history of these women and show how their lives were shaped by the environment they were living in. Victorian England was harsh to a lot of people – working class women in particular. Rubenhold gives you a glimpse in to a world that you wouldn’t even want to imagine.

What I have taken from this book is that these women had a life beyond their death and I will now remember them for who they are: Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine ,and Mary-Jane.

The Five – The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold is available now.

For more information regarding Hallie Rubenhold (@HallieRubenhold) please visit www.hallierubenhold.com.

For more information regarding Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (@HMHCo) please visit www.hmhco.com.