Three words: Damn. Fine. Read.
I’m three-quarters of the way through this page turner which I borrowed from our local library. Not to put too dramatic a spin on it but I’ve breathlessly lived every one of those pages. Fascinating does not begin to describe the vice-like grip this true crime/biography has held me in this past week.
Anne Perry is the international bestselling British author of over fifty novels, which to date have sold over 25 million copies. She is currently 78 years of age. At the age of fifteen she was convicted of participating in the murder of her friend’s mother, in 1954. She changed her name to Anne Perry after serving her five-year sentence.
The centrepiece of this story is the outing of her, and her secret past life, back in 1994. That was the year Peter Jackson’s (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, King Kong and the forthcoming Mortal Engines) movie Heavenly Creatures was released. The film, which was actress Kate Winslet’s screen debut, was based on the real life relationship between two New Zealand school girls, Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme who, on June 22nd 1954, murdered Parker’s mother in a Christchurch park. Juliet Hulme was later to become the person the world would know as Anne Perry.
After serving five years in prison, Juliet Hulme was released and left New Zealand to start a new life in Scotland under the assumed name Anne Perry. By the time the movie came out, people knew Anne Perry only as the crime fiction writer read and adored by millions. A ‘slip of the tongue’ at one of the film’s official launches exposed the connection between the adult Anne Perry and the teenage Juliet Hulme.
Compelling if you’re into this type of thing and almost as hard to put down as the last non-fiction book I read, which happened to be on the subject of anti-gravity. Heard that one before? Maybe so, but if it’s originality you crave, this story has it – if you’ll forgive the bury-the-body related expression – in spades.♠
Ps. Not fussed on the idea of writing a 100 000 word novel but still feel the itch to cast the odd mesmerizing word spell? A competition being run by the Queensland Writer’s Centre could be just what you’ve been looking for. Entrants have until November 24th to submit a story of just eight words. The best will be seen on Goa Billboards throughout Brisbane. Go here to see some of the entries.
For the benefit of inspiring others to the firm belief they could do better, here’s mine –
Rich uncle Toblerone was finally off to prism.
PSS. Academy Award winning actor Tom Hanks also a writer?
Hanks has just published his first book of fiction, a collection of seventeen short stories entitled “UNCOMMON TYPE“. Everyone’s got a favourite Tom Hanks movie (mine are SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, CASTAWAY and FOREST GUMP) and now we have a chance to check out his writing smarts as well.