Tag: True Crime

Shelf Control #51 – 29/07/2022

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! Shelf Control is a regular feature on my blog. It’s a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies… a celebration of the unread books on our shelves! The idea is to pick a book you own but haven’t read and write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

If you want to read more about the Shelf Control feature, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

If I recall correctly, I own today’s featured book on Kindle. I saw this a long time ago but was immediately pulled in by the synopsis, and sneak peak of the opening line, below.

I am trying to read more non-fiction, more so now than never. If you recall my midyear review post, I set myself a goal of reading at least one non-fiction book a month. This book will fit nicely with this challenge. Having reminded myself of the synopsis, I may well be picking this up soon!

Here are the details for today’s book: –


The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous Deception – Emmanuel Carrère

Genre: Non-fiction / True Crime

Pages: 208

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Picador

Publication Date: 31 Jan 2000



Goodreads – The Adversary

On the Saturday morning of January 9, 1993, while Jean Claude Romand was killing his wife and children, I was with mine in a parent-teacher meeting…

With these chilling first words, acclaimed master of psychological suspense Emmanuel Carrère begins his exploration of the double life of a respectable doctor, 18 years of lies, five murders and the extremes to which ordinary people can go.


My Thoughts…

With this synopsis, I cannot help but think that less is more. There is not a lot of detail to go on, but that opening line really sucks you in. Who is Jean Claude Romand, and what is his story?

From the basic research I’ve done, the answer is, he’s a fraud. He is a man who fails to qualify to become a doctor, lies about getting a job with the World Health Organisation and lives comfortably for 18 years off of other people’s money. However, when the web of lies risks coming undone, he murders those closest to him.

I’ll admit, I have never heard of this case before. This book is translated from French, so it’s not necessarily a story you would know about. Other books and even films have been made on the subject, so you may be more familiar with the story than I am. I can’t wait to dive into this particular book, as Jean is clearly a very sinister character. My understanding is that the author initially wanted to complete some kind of psychological assessment with this book, however he wasn’t able to do so.

I am looking forward to coming to my own conclusions about this man and his behaviour. I’m a huge fan of psychology, and it’s for this reason that I wanted to read this book!

Have you read The Adversary, watched any of the films about Jean Claude Romand, or read any other true crime books that you would recommend?

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First Lines Friday – 14/01/2022

Hello and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular series in which I take the opportunity to share the opening paragraph from a variety of books. These may be books I’ve already read, are looking to read, or am even just a little bit intrigued about! Sometimes I set myself a challenge for these posts, but other times I leave it open to feature whatever catches my eye. 

For today’s post, I set myself the challenge of featuring a non-fiction book. At first, I was going through my list of non-fiction books on my TBR to find one to feature, however, today’s book is one I discovered in Goodread’s lists or recommendations whilst I was browsing around.

Can you guess what today’s featured book is?


There would be plenty of time for questions later.

For now, the nurses and security were intent upon breaking the lethal nine-hour barricade inside the little corner of hell that resident murderer Robert ‘Bob’ Maudsley had created. Bob and his companion, David Cheeseman, had sealed themselves inside with a third patient, David Francis, a known paedophile. He had apparently riled Bob and David Cheeseman by conducting a homosexual attack on one of their friends. Inside sources had a reason to believe, though, that their preference if opportunity had presented was to ‘go for a member of staff’.



Inside Broadmoor – Jonathan Levi & Emma French

Goodreads – Inside Broadmoor

Broadmoor. Few place names in the world have such chilling resonance. For over 150 years, it has contained the UK’s most violent, dangerous and psychopathic.

Since opening as an asylum for the criminally insane in 1863 it has housed the perpetrators of many of the most shocking crimes in history; including Jack the Ripper suspect James Kelly, serial killers Peter Sutcliffe (the Yorkshire Ripper), John Straffen and Kenneth Erskine, armed robber Charles Bronson, gangster Ronnie Kray, and cannibal Peter Bryan.

The truth about what goes on behind the Victorian walls of the high security hospital has largely remained a mystery, but now with unprecedented access TV journalist Jonathan Levi and cultural historian Emma French paint a vivid picture of life at Broadmoor, after nearly a decade observing and speaking to those on the inside.

Including interviews with the staff, its experts and the patients themselves, Inside Broadmoor is the most comprehensive study of the institution to-date.

Published at the dawn of a new era for the hospital, this is the full story of Broadmoor’s past, present and future.


My Thoughts…

Doesn’t that extract draw you in straightaway? Now, I appreciate that today’s snippet is quite short, however that is deliberate. Something unpleasant happens to David Francis next, and in the interest of keeping my block neutral and not risking upsetting anyone with graphic scenes, I’ve left the rest out. So there is a warning to you – if you’re not squeamish and you want to find out what happens next then you’ll have to pick this up for yourself!

Obviously I have read it and although it’s unpleasant i’m not sensitive to things like this. Naturally growing up you’ve heard of Broadmoor. When studying performing arts in high school one of our plays involved a child who had links to Broadmoor. That said, I wouldn’t say I know that much about the institution or about the people incarcerated there. The thing I like about non-fiction is that it gives you the opportunity to learn something new, and I have much to learn here. As a former student of psychology as well I am interested in the people involved from that perspective as well. Every day is a school day, so they say!

Have you read Inside Broadmoor, or anything like it? Let me know in the comments!


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