Litercurious Book Review
|Publisher||Conway; 1 edition (April 2, 2020)|
David Fathers is the author of Bloody London and several other publications on Great Britain’s capital city. You can find more about him here: https://londonist.com/london/uncategorized/david-fathers
Who is the target audience?
Those who want a crime magazine experience may consider this title.
Bloody London is sort of a travel-log of London locations where true crimes took place. Included are suggested routes to aid the reader on any self guided tour.
I was excited to get a copy of Bloody London, by David Fathers and when the opportunity arose, I jumped at it. What started as anticipation filled joy quickly turned into a serious disappointment. It’s instantly apparent that the books concept was poorly executed. The illustrations were ill matched to the body of the text. The maps were less than useless. In addition, the narrative was simple to the point of being insulting to the reader. Rather than a roundly described crime with context and characters, almost all the crimes were a sentence or two long. It’s frustrating how little information there was to get my teeth into. This lack of substance continued for page after page and quickly became tedious.
I rarely receive my favorite type of subject – true crime. Writing about true crime is a time consuming task due to the twists and turns of the average investigation. Books on this subject require long and arduous research, extensive lists of citations, endnotes, and a bibliography. Fact checking an actual investigation or story is an essential prerequisite. Bloody London by David Fathers was found wanting.
Bloody London did not live up to my expectations. The book felt as though it had been cut and pasted rather than being well researched and thought through. The whole work felt weak, as though it was not even first draft ready. Usually when an author reference a specific item used in an actual crime or a location they will include photographs. This work used cartoon drawings. Overall, I felt there was potential had the author done his own research rather than relying on the limited list in his bibliography. I wanted this book to be great, but sadly I was disappointed. I sincerely hope that the author or the publisher consider a rewrite prior to public release.
My recommendation is: if you want a compelling read on London’s crime locations read Bloody London: Shocking Tales from London’s Gruesome Past and Present, by Declan McHugh.
I would like to thank David Fathers, NetGalley, and Conway for affording me the opportunity to review Bloody London.