Deadlier than the male review 13.10.2009


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Deadlier than the male review 13.10.2009

  1. 1. DEADLIER THAN THE MALE: Australia’s most notorious female criminalsAuthor: Adrian Tame <br />Publisher: Pan Macmillan AustraliaISBN 9781405039567RRP $34.99Reviewed by: CK Bray <br />I readily admit to being a bit of a rubber-necker when it comes to gristly true-crime exposés. I turn my head at car crash scenes secretly hoping for body parts on the highway and I’m riveted to the television during coverage of murder and mayhem, so when I saw the cover of Adrian Tame’s tome of “irredeemably evil” true-life Aussie women criminals I leapt at the chance to immerse myself in the macabre.<br />I would think that the main reason for anyone to purchase a book about the deadliest femme fatales known Down Under would be predominantly for the vile, voyeuristic experience of hearing all the truly ghastly, thoroughly gory details of the crimes themselves – unedited. To immerse oneself in raw, uncut versions of crime scenes too gruesome for the mainstream media to print would be worth the $34.99 cover price, leaving one shivering with horror in bed late at night, unable to sleep following exposure to unexpurgated gore.<br />Instead, most disappointingly, this book minces around any graphic detail of the crimes like a prudish school girl. It is one of the worst pieces of tripe I’ve ever read.<br />Following a tepid introduction with a feeble drawn-out explanation of exactly how the male author has attempted to establish some kind of advanced understanding of the female criminal mind, the book fails to deliver even as much detail as is readily available from the most superficial of searches on the Internet. Tame vacillates between empathy for the criminals (she) “received another savage blow from the (legal) system” to condemnation of the violence and the perpetrators.<br />Floundering for any thread of continuity, the book is as subdued as its author’s surname.<br />“Deadlier Than the Male” repeats the same boring snippets of information, as if on a loop. I had the distinct impression, more than once, that the book appears to have been made up of sections written by different people with absolutely no collaboration. It is not inconceivable that Tame conducted a Google search on each criminal and simply cut and paste information from each site, failing to edit out repetitive passages. I found the book not only poorly written, with awkward segues, but in sections lacks even basic sentence structure or proper English.<br />There are some dull photos that provide a rudimentary visual framework for the compilation of stories about such colourful characters as “The Lesbian Vampire Killer,” “The Boot Bitch” and “The Angel of Death.” However the pictures, like the stories, lack any sensationalism. Some basic mug shots and stock snaps lack the punch or graphic shock impact one would expect from a book claiming in-depth insight into the exploits of sadistic killers, corpse mutilators, drug dealers and escape artists.<br />Tame teases the reader with passages such as “hard-bitten police officers wept and were physically sick when they heard the choking cries and terrified screams”. He then fails to deliver further detail to support his description, just as the stories fail to deliver any insight into the crimes<br />“Deadlier Than the Male” leaves the reader cold...and not in a scary, bang for your buck, cold shivers down your spine way, but in a what a monumental waste of time and money way.<br />