This is the first true crime/biography audio book I have listened to and I was a little unsure of what to expect…
Running Length; Approx 18 hours 9 minutes
Narrated by: Maggie Mash
The Goodreads Blurb…
On 15 November 2002, Myra Hindley died in prison, one of the few women in the UK whose crimes were deemed so indefensible that ‘life’ really did mean ‘life’. Without a doubt Britain’s most notorious murderess, her death has done nothing to diminish the shadow she casts across our collective consciousness. This book presents a study of Hindley.
I was not sure what to expect from this, so far my experiences with audio books had revolved around fiction so when I decided to try out the true crime genre and this popped up I thought why not, I am pretty sure everyone is familiar with the story of the Moors Murders so I am not going to discuss that here in detail, but before we discuss the content I want to talk about the narration.
I had to go double check the narrators name as she was not known to me, it seems she is most known for audio work and has split the reviews down the middle when it comes to narration. I lot of people did not like the ways she attempts various accents as she was reading the book, and I will confess a couple did jar, but overall I liked her voice, it was quite conversational, almost as if she were sat across from you telling you the story.
However, I have to say when she puts on the Lancashire accent and you here her speak Myra Hindley’s own words, it sends chills down the spine, but that is nothing to when she reads the words from the Lesley Ann Downey tape. For me her narration works but I can understand who it might distract people who are less used to the accents she depicts.
So the story itself, well, it is fascinating. I don’t think you necessarily learn anything new about the case but what you do get is a slightly different perspective on some things, and there was one aspect I had never thought of before. we all consider the pain left for the family of the victims but I had never really stopped to think about Myra’s family, they did nothing wrong, played no part in the crimes but their lives were also changed forever. You here about her mother, ending her life in a nursing home, spending most of her life living under different names and hiding in her room so no one knew of the relationship and the other event which made me stop and think was her sister’s funeral. Myra was refused the right to go, quite rightly I believe but what I found disturbing was that the flowers at the grave where ripped apart and destroyed, now maybe I misunderstood, but it sounded like it was not just flowers that might have been sent by Myra but all of them and I could not help but feel anger and sadness for her family, they did not do anything but at a time where they are grieving for someone who was innocent and had suffered terribly, both through illness, personal loss and the infamy of her sister, for her grave to be wrecked as a way of lashing out at someone else seems cruel, if someone had done that to a victims grave or the relative of a victim there would have been an outcry, but are Myra’s family not as much victims of her actions as the others? Some may argue if the stories of childhood abuse are true you might pass some level of blame onto the parents but her sibling did not deserve that, my feelings after listening to this anyway.
It also raised another question in my mind, one which has been asked over and over again, would either of the have committed crimes if Myra had never met Ian? My feelings are that Ian would have still gone on to abuse if not kill, he might not have been as prolific but I think he sexual proclivities would have surfaced no matter what, Myra is a different matter. I think she would have moulded herself to fit whatever was required by the person she fell for, if it had been a gangster she would have been a moll, if it had been a banker she would have turned herself into the perfect businessman’s wife, the fact it was a psychopath meant she become his partner in crime.
This book worked well on audio book I think partly because the case is so well known, obviously you miss out on the photos, maps etc that feature in the actual book but because it is well know it does not diminish your understanding of events. I do recommend it and I will certainly try other biographies and true crime books on audio.
The score for this one is 4.5 out of 5 stars it would be five if maybe they offered some for of file download option for the images in the book, as I say maybe not as big an issue for those acquainted with the case but would be useful to someone who was not.