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Haines, Max.

Toronto, Grosvenor House, cl984.219pp, paper, $8.95, ISBN 0-919959-14-8. Distributed by Grosvenor House, 75 Sherbourne St., Toronto, Ont., M5A 2P9.

Grades 9 and up
Reviewed by Jerry McDonnell

Volume 13 Number 1
1985 January

Max Haines developed an interest in murders and the perverse people connected with them as a childhood hobby. He is now a crime writer with his own radio program and contacts around the world. His obsession with crime has become a full-time career.

The book consists of a large number of four- and five-page articles on murders, both simple crimes of passion, diabolical plots and long, agonizing deaths. The crimes described occurred mainly in Europe and North America and after the beginning of the nineteenth century. Sections or chapters group the murders by categories, such as poisons, the wild west, nasty ladies and monsters.

The accounts move along briskly, describing the crime and the punishment meted out. Examination of motive is frequently cursory in these journalistic articles. The narrative is quick and almost casual.

The cover illustration is startling and should help to sell the book. The topic and the short articles might be attractive to reluctant readers who could handle the grade 9 reading level. Although there is little examination of who murders or why, the book will have a great appeal to many readers.

Jerry McDonnell, F.E. Madill S.S., Wingham, Ont.
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