‘Fascinating retelling of the gruesome suburban murder that became the media sensation of 1910′. Sunday Times
‘Offers a compelling account of this terrible crime, uncovering new evidence’. Christopher Hudson, The Daily Mail
‘It was a gruesome murder case which rocked Edwardian Britain and holds a grim fascination until the present day…Smith gives a superb psychological insight into a man who was thought to be inscrutable and inexpressive but was capable of one of the most sickening crimes of passion of the time…Smith’s impartial journalistic eye gives a balanced account of events, untouched by the hyperbole so prevalent in many contemporary accounts. In the course of the book, he also manages to give a detailed and morbidly fascinating account of capital punishment in the early twentieth century’. The Herald
‘David James Smith…has been meticulous in his research and this book is likely to remain the definitive account of a crime which still intrigues and to an extent baffles aficionados of murder’. PD James, Sunday Telegraph
‘The story is just as resonant in the retelling almost a century later’. Christopher Sylvester, Sunday Times
‘A first rate book in the best tradition of true crime writing’. Martin Edwards, Tangled Web
‘Smith has produced a completely absorbing book, which recreates life as it was in the Edwardian era. You might almost be there at one of the convivial dinner parties hosted by the American-born Crippens’. Glasgow Evening Times
‘David James Smith treats his subjects as a good journalist should: he weighs up the value of witness accounts that were perhaps influenced by the newspapers in which they were published; he tracks down statements that were not used in the trial; he investigates the subsequent lives of those who were involved, including Ethel herself and her relatives; he distinguishes fact and speculation, and he itemises his sources.’ Andrew Taylor, Spectator
On the cover of The Sunday Times Magazine…
The Sleep Of Reason – The James Bulger Case by David James Smith:
Faber Finds edition with new preface, available September 15th, 2011.
Young Mandela the movie – in development.
From The Guardian
Read the article
In the Diary column of The Independent, April 13th, 2011
More on my previously unsubstantiated claim that the writer-director Peter Kosminsky, creator of The Promise, is working on a drama about Nelson Mandela. I’ve now learnt that the project is a feature film, in development with Film 4, about the young Mandela. Kosminsky is currently at work on the script and, given the complaints about the anti-Jewish bias of The Promise, it is unlikely to be a standard bland portrait of the former South African president.
Nelson Mandela was circumcised as a 16-year-old boy alongside a flowing river in the Eastern Cape. The ceremony was similar to those of other Bantu peoples. An elder moved through the line making ring-like cuts, and foreskins fell away. The boys could not so much as blink; it was a rite of passage that took you beyond pain. read full review
Jon Venables: What Went Wrong
BBC 1, 10.35
Thursday, April 21st, 2011