Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[Book Review] Practically Perfect

Practically Perfect
by Dale Brawn
July 6, 2013
Dundurn Group
Non-Fiction, True Crime

Links: Goodreads // Amazon

Book Info:
A man murders the first four infants he fathers with his lover, then tries again with a fifth. Two men have three things in common: each commits what seems like a perfect murder, each marries his victim's wife far too soon, each has an overdue appointment with the gallows. A man cuts up the body of his victim into little pieces and gets away with the crime until he slaughters another neighbour six years later. 
"Practically Perfect" details the crimes of killers who very nearly got away with perfect murders, including the tale of Marie Beaulne, who laced her husband's food with poison, only to be found out when a priest recalled someone else dying that way in his village. Each tale provides specific details on the planning of each murder, the events leading up to the discovery of the criminal, and the results of the trial, usually resulting in an execution.
Practically Perfect is a chilling reminder that the world isn't always rainbows and butterflies.

After reading a substantial amount of fiction (most notably contemporary romances), it's nice to clean my bibliophile palate by reading something brutal and preferably non-fiction. Hee. This was where Dale Brawn's Practically Perfect came in. It is a collection of real-life murder cases where the murderers initially evaded the law but made a mistake along the way, which became the cause of their arrest.

Truthfully, this isn't the first book I've read about serial killers and psychopaths as I have previously read Evil Serial Killers by Charlotte Greig and The World's Most Evil Psychopaths by John Marlowe. Let's just say that serial killers fascinate me so I when I had the chance to review this book, I did not hesitate to take the opportunity.

What I like about this book is that it didn't color the murder cases with intrigue or mystery, or suspense. It didn't dramatize the cases and claim them to be something they're not. All it stated were facts, which I really appreciate because this book is like a summary documentation of the many murder cases in the 1990s.

I'll have to admit that while the murder cases were intriguing, it became a little dragging by the middle of the book. I struggled to finish it, and the only reason why I finished reading the book is because of my fascination for murderers, psychopaths and serial killers. The reason why it got dragging is probably because the murder cases became repetitive.

On the plus side, this book is a great reference for murder cases. It highlighted common attributes of the murderers, summarized facts and detailed how the murders were committed.


  1. Well well well, hello fellow fan! I have a morbid fascination for them too :))

    What's your favorite psychotic fiction? Mine is Silence of the Lambs. I scare myself sometimes, but Anthony Hopkins was just so, so good. I read Hannibal Rising as well. The ending was freaky! Good thing I wasn't eating that time :p

    1. Would it be weird if I say that I've only read non-fiction about killers and psychopaths? I've been meaning to read Hannibal Rising. haha I read suspense/thrillers about serial killer profilers though. J.T. Ellison's books are good. =)

      Also, would it be weird if I say I've never watched Silence of the Lambs because I'm a scaredy-cat in real life? Seriously. I don't even watch horror movies anymore. I used to be able to watch them before but I have a wild imagination so I just can't go to sleep after watching. Heh.

  2. Thanks for sharing your review, I must check this book out immediately!

  3. Oh wow, this sounds really interesting! Great review!


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