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Editorial Reviews

Two teenage girls who murder the mother who intends to separate them - it sounds like the stuff of pulp fiction, but it's the true life story of best-selling mystery writer Anne Perry and her friend Pauline Parker, as revealed by New Zealand true crime writer Peter Graham in Anne Perry: The Murder of the Century. Performer Eric Brooks narrates this fascinating investigation into the horrifying murder and the sensational, attention-grabbing trial that followed, including allegations that the girls were lesbians. Brooks maintains a dramatic tension in his narration throughout, enhancing an already-fraught story with even more interest. Listeners will be enthralled by this shocking story of real-life murder and the wildly different lives the now-adult women live today.

Publisher's Summary

The spellbinding true story of Anne Perry, her friend Pauline Parker, and the brutal crime they committed in the name of friendship.

On June 22, 1954, teenage friends Juliet Hulme - better known as best-selling mystery writer Anne Perry - and Pauline Parker went for a walk in a New Zealand park with Pauline’s mother, Honora. Half an hour later, the girls returned alone, claiming that Pauline’s mother had had an accident. But when Honora Parker was found in a pool of blood with the brick used to bludgeon her to death close at hand, Juliet and Pauline were quickly arrested, and later confessed to the killing. Their motive? A plan to escape to the United States to become writers, and Honora’s determination to keep them apart. Their incredible story made shocking headlines around the world and would provide the subject for Peter Jackson’s Academy Award-nominated film, Heavenly Creatures.

A sensational trial followed, with speculations about the nature of the girls’ relationship and possible insanity playing a key role. Among other things, Parker and Hulme were suspected of lesbianism, which was widely considered to be a mental illness at the time. This mesmerizing book offers a brilliant account of the crime and ensuing trial and shares dramatic revelations about the fates of the young women after their release from prison. With penetrating insight, this thorough analysis applies modern psychology to analyze the shocking murder that remains one of the most interesting cases of all time.

©2013 Peter Graham (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.3 out of 5.0
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    14
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    7
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Performance

  • 2.5 out of 5.0
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    9
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    7
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    16
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    13
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    25

Story

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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    20
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Horrible reader

What did you like best about Anne Perry? What did you like least?

I love the books written by Anne Perry. I am dismayed the story of her youth was so bloody.

What was most disappointing about Peter Graham’s story?

I think the story might be okay but I could not tolerate the reader.

What didn’t you like about Eric Brooks’s performance?

Eric Brooks reads like a four year old child reading to a three year old child. I cannot imagine a worse reader. PLEASE don't let him ever read another audio book!

Could you see Anne Perry being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I don't know if this should be made into a movie, I will have to buy the book to know how it ends.

Any additional comments?

How can any author allow someone to read his work so badly?

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Good Book/Bad Narrator

Exhaustive study of an interesting and unique crime. I believe everything known about this murder is covered here. I liked it in spite of the narration.

The narrator is simply awful. I've been a member of Audible for many years and never complained about a narrator before. This narrator reads as though he is addressing a kindergarden class -S L O W. It helps to dial up the speed on your Ipod.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Sharon
  • WEST FRANKFORT, ILLINOIS, United States
  • 05-02-13

Longest listen ever!

Would you try another book from Peter Graham and/or Eric Brooks?

I seriously doubt it.

Would you be willing to try another book from Peter Graham? Why or why not?

My answer would depend on the subject matter of the next book. This book was titled "Anne Perry: The Murder of the Century" but it should have been titled something like "A Deep Psychiatric Dive into Mind of a Possibly Homosexual Murderer that Lived in Wonderland." There was far too much psychiatric analysis - and I enjoy that perspective but, this was overkill.

How could the performance have been better?

A different narrator could help but I would have preferred reading it myself to the dull narration.

Did Anne Perry inspire you to do anything?

Nothing new.

Any additional comments?

Read the book if you want the information but be prepared for excess droll. The timeline and subject jumps around constantly too.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely Incredibly Horrid, Horrid Narrator

What disappointed you about Anne Perry?

Eric Brooks is one of the worst narrators of anything I've listened to in a long. Stilted, emotionless, and unable to put the least emphasis into his performance, I will never buy another audiobook that he narrates. The story itself is interesting, but I suspect Brooks manages to rob it of some of its impact, so it's hard to tell if the story might be compellingly interesting. What a slap in the face for the author!

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Eric Brooks?

Anyone other Eric Brooks. Someone who had had their tongue removed could have done a much better job. How does this guy get jobs? He must use bribery AND blackmail.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was amazed by these two girls and what resulted from their friendship. Apart they may well have been harmless. Together they were explosive.

Any additional comments?

Please give Peter Graham, the author, my heartfelt condolences that the audio version of his book has been so badly damaged in narration.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Eric Brooks makes a 4-5 star book a 3

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would maybe recommend the book, but not the audio book. Mr. Brooks reads this book like he is reading a text book. Honestly his cadence reminds me of a Harry Potter movie actor. If you've ever seen it you will recognize the reference. In "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban" when the rat turns back into Peter Petigrew he whines to Ron, "Dear boy, sweet boy. I was a good pet wasn't it? You wont let him kill me will you?" That might not be a direct quote, I was more fond of the books than the movies. The point is, there is a whine in the voice that drags out the words so that instead of sounding like an exciting crime book you have a needling voice that makes you want to yell at the narrator.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The book might be well written. I'm not sure. The narration is detracting to the point I just can't tell.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Eric Brooks?

I would probably ask Kevin Pierce to read it. Or better yet, have a woman reading it because the protagonist is a woman. I've run into a couple from Reese Witherspoon. She might be good for this one.

Did Anne Perry inspire you to do anything?

I am inspired to add Brooks to my "Never purchase, no matter how much I want the book," list of narrators. There aren't a lot, but there are a few.

Any additional comments?

I have not finished this book, and I'm not sure I can. I may have to request a return on this one. My best advice is before purchasing this book listen to the sample to be sure you will find the narration to your taste.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Ruined by the narrator

Would you try another book from Peter Graham and/or Eric Brooks?

No.

Would you recommend Anne Perry to your friends? Why or why not?

I would recommend that they read the print book and skip this audio version.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

His reading is flat, labored and sometimes halting, without any emotion. And he hisses the final "s" on plurals and possessives. Very unpleasant to listen to.

Do you think Anne Perry needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I would like to learn more about her life after her release from prison and before she began publishing, but those years are private and should be kept that way if Ms. Perry doesn't want to talk about her life.

Any additional comments?

This book contains only the information that came out at the time of the trial and during the imprisonment of the two girls. Neither of them contributed in any way to the book. As far as I could tell, no one involved was interviewed.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Rickapolis
  • Annapolis, Maryland, United States
  • 07-11-13

Horrid, horrid, horrid

Any additional comments?

This has got to be the worst narration I have ever heard, and Lord knows there are some bad ones. I couldn't finish. I could barely get started. I've read many of Anne Perry's books and really looked forward to this book but it was IMPOSSIBLE to listen to. You know that old joke that goes 'Who did you sleep with to get this job?', Ask Eric Brooks. DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS BOOK! <br/><br/>I'm not kidding. The narration is awful.<br/><br/> Rickapolis

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • ricketsj
  • St. Paul, MN United States
  • 05-13-13

Gratifyingly detailed.

I was pretty familiar with this story already, having seen Heavenly Creatures when it came out and having read a few things about the case, but there were many details included in this book that I hadn't known and enjoyed reading. The detail available, including actual testimony from the case, lengthy passages from diaries, and information from many close to the case, was very impressive. I was frankly astonished to hear accounts of the way both girls maintained their sickeningly grandiose superiority complexes well after they were separated and in prison. I suppose I had imagined that it wouldn't have taken long for them to come back down to earth, but this was not the case at all.

Knowing that Juliet Hulme would go on to become a famous and well-respected author, I had hoped to see some iota of remorse or guilt, but the book ends with no such epiphany. It was very discomfiting, actually, to consider the possibility that perhaps Anne Perry truly is not and was never able to appreciate the wrongness of her conduct. Likewise I would have liked to have heard more about when and whether Parker came to truly regret what she had done. There are no answers about this to be had, however, as neither woman was involved in the research of the book and there is little information available about what either thought of what they had done when they were adults.

The narrator was a bit annoying to listen to, primarily because of the mechanical way he was reading, but it didn't bother me unduly.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Margaret
  • Ville St. Laurent, Quebec
  • 02-05-14

Worse narrator ever!

Would you try another book from Peter Graham and/or Eric Brooks?

No!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Anne Perry?

The planning of the murder.

Would you be willing to try another one of Eric Brooks’s performances?

Never. This narrator is impossible to listen to.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

This is a tragic story of two young girls who brutally murder one of their mother's but it is so hard to follow because of the narration. It is such an interesting and terrifying story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Michelle
  • Rahway, NJ United States
  • 09-14-13

Very stitled

Would you try another book from Peter Graham and/or Eric Brooks?

I don't think I would listen to this narrator again. He is very stilted in his reading.

What was most disappointing about Peter Graham’s story?

The language was very stilted, which made it very hard to get interested in the story.

What didn’t you like about Eric Brooks’s performance?

The narration is uneven and the narrator seems to pause in the middle of sentences for no reason. The narrator has no flow and doesn't build any suspense. The uneven nature of the narration made it very difficult to listen to.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Very disappointed

2 of 3 people found this review helpful