- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; 1 edition (May 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1620876302
- ISBN-13: 978-1620876305
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 6.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 304 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. Something we hope you'll especially enjoy: FBA items qualify for FREE Shipping and Amazon Prime.
If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you increase your sales. We invite you to learn more about Fulfillment by Amazon .
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
“. . . A readable and eye—opening story of 1950s Christchurch and the complicated family dynamics that produced one of New Zealand’s most famous murder cases.” (Library Journal)
“Graham psychoanalyzes Parker and Hulme from afar but does so tastefully and insightfully. Matricide is a rare crime. As a result, it has not been written about much in the popular literature, a gap Graham fills admirably. A worthy retrospective that feels chilling in the manner of novelist Perry.” (Kirkus Reviews)
About the Author
Peter Graham served as a barrister for many years before turning to crime writing. In addition to Anne Perry, he is the author of Vile Crimes: The Timaru Poisonings. He lives in New Zealand.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The Hulmes' coldness and neglect of Juliet accounts for a great deal in her personality. The Reipers were not blameless in their handling of Pauline, but they seem to have been much better than they were painted. While class was an important factor in 1950s Christchurch, both families made full use of the egalitarian aspect of New Zealand society to cross that divide, and the Reipers were not the clods they are sometimes painted.
Juliet (Anne Perry) has made all the running in rewriting the history, turning herself almost into a bystander to the murder (as it may well now seem to her), but Peter Graham delves into her later life less sympathetically than more authorised biographers and interviewers. (Never has anyone whose life handed them such bitter lemons turned it into sweeter or more plentiful lemonade!) He finds a narcissistic personality, who welcomed Pauline's worship and may have taken a more active role in planning the murder and carrying it out than she now admits. She says the whole affair lasted little more than a day, but Graham indicates how circumstances built up over a period of months, the girls inseparable, the parents more or less intent on separating them, Henry Hulme clearly lying to Pauline that she could join Juliet in South Africa or England when he had no intention of letting that happen. As Graham implies, had the girls known their parents' true plans, it might not have been Pauline's mother who died.
The film "Heavenly Creatures" has been criticised for suggesting the girls lived in a world of hysteria, yet as Graham tells it, that is how it was, each living for and through the other, feeding each other's fantasies. The lesbian aspect added titillation, but Graham puts it into perspective. It was physical, but that probably meant more to Pauline than Juliet, and not a great deal to either.
The case's major source has always been Pauline's diary. Juliet also kept one, and her resourceful mother Hilda Hulme ensured that it was destroyed before the police could find it. What a different story it might have told us! Pauline has resolutely guarded her privacy. If she were to speak out, the kaleidoscope of this case might turn again, revealing a quite different pattern.
I read this book under the tile of "So Brilliantly Clever". Since it seems to be the same content, it is misleading to imply it is especially about Juliet Hulme/Anne Perry. While she may have smoothed over her past (who wouldn't?), she has served her time and is entitled to the new life she has made for herself. Putting her new name into the title is exploitive and cruel. And "the crime of the century"? I think Parker/Hulme is challenged for that title by Leopold/Loeb, Christie/Evans (which helped bring an end to hanging in Britain), the Manson "family" or several others.
Also, the author's post-trial analysis of Juliet's and Pauline's characters is astute and avoids sensationalism. He rightly takes the adult Juliet (who now calls herself Anne Perry) to task for her convenient self-forgiveness and revisionism in painting herself as an unwitting child who was coerced by fear and guilt to take part in the crime, but he does so evenhandedly. Perry's comment when asked if she ever thinks about the woman she killed may tell the true story of her degree of contrition: "No. She was somebody I barely knew." Less is known about the adult Pauline, but her marginalizing herself on the fringes of a society she cannot face seems to at least suggest remorse.
One more caveat: for a book named Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century, a much clearer picture is painted of the teenage Pauline than her partner in crime, Juliet Hulme (Perry). I get it; Perry is now a fairly well-known mystery writer. A book called Pauline Parker and the Murder of the Century would have sold fewer copies. And Juliet's personal diary, a potentially valuable resource to the author, had been (wisely) destroyed by her family. To be fair, this wasn't the author's original title; the book was originally released under the more measured title, So Brilliantly Clever: Parker, Hulme and the Murder that Shocked the World, and recently repackaged by the publishers for maximum sales punch.
A good account of a very intriguing crime, despite it's problems, and a worthwhile read once you get past the slow parts. Three and a half stars, perhaps four stars for the latter half of the book.