Stalking Claremont – Bret Christian

Exactly as the title states, this book is about the hunt for a serial killer. It is the true story of the disappearance and murder of three young women between 1996 and 1997 from an upmarket suburb of Perth in Western Australia after nights out at a local club.  Sara Spiers disappeared during the early hours of January 27th 1996, her body has still yet to be found.  Jane Rimmer disappeared on June 9th, 1996, she was found a few short weeks later brutally murdered.  Then in August 1997, Ciara Glennon disappeared, her body also found a few weeks later.

Stalking Claremont painstakingly takes you through the details of the disappearance and subsequent murders of these young women and what would become a twenty year man hunt by the Western Australian Police to catch who they would come to term as the Claremont ………

The author, Bret Christian, is noted as a newsman and reporter and it’s evident in his writing of this book.  It’s a long read which is thoroughly researched throughout, chronologically detailed from the early sexual attacks of women in the Claremont area in the early 1990’s through to the eventual charging and conviction of the perpetrator almost twenty years later. I cannot even begin to imagine the time and effort that must have gone into the writing of this book, such is the detail.

I’m a huge fan of true-crime documentaries and can often be found watching the Crime Channel on Foxtel as well as reading true-crime books and this one had me mesmerised from the very first page.  I felt horror, sadness, anger and such absolute frustration as I devoured every page.  Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing but to read through how much evidence was missed over the years, how many years were wasted on the wrong “suspects”, and how disjointed the investigation seemed to be over such a long time, I often found myself verbally yelling at the book as if it was to blame for not taking a particular piece of evidence seriously, or looking in the wrong direction for the killer.

Again, evident in the authors background, the book in no way sensationalises the story and is extremely respectful to all those involved in these horrible crimes, especially towards the victims and their families.  That is one of the things I loved most about the book, it was just a true factual story about how these poor girls died, how their killer was able to remain free for so long and ultimately how the police were finally after almost two decades, able to catch The Claremont Killer.

Broken down into short chapters, each detailing an important step in the investigation, Stalking Claremont is an absolute must-read for any true-crime or thriller fan.  Obviously it is at times distressing, with a few graphic and upsetting sections in the book about the sexual attacks and murders, more especially so knowing this is a true story, but again, the author keeps his story very fact based, it is not written for shock value.

Highly recommend grabbing a copy of what for me was a 5 star read.  Stalking Claremont is out today and I want to say a huge thank you to Harper Collins for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review.

*****

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