Did you ever read a book that aggravated you so much you had to stop yourself from swearing out loud on public transport? If not, then you need to read this book. The aggravating factor was not the book of course but the subject matter. A vile, despicable specimen of a human being called Robert Black.
Robert Black may be best known for his convictions of kidnapping, sexual assault and murder of four innocent young children between 1981 and 1986 but ‘The face of Evil’ delves into the deplorable lifestyle and urges that this man acted out on and the possibility, if not likelihood, that there were more than just the four known victims. There are women, who are lucky to have gotten away, who can attest to that.
Robert Black’s life consisted of travelling around parts of Britain for work which gave him ample opportunity to seek out innocent victims and private areas to take them to. The use of different vans and the fact that he was not local to these areas gave him a disguise that enabled him to act out his fantasies undetected for years.
The bodies of his victims showed how unmerciful his sexual fantasies were and how sadistic and unrepentant this killer was. The youngest of his known victims was just 5 years old when she was kidnapped and murdered by Black with the eldest being 11. But for such a sadistic killer, surely his killing spree did not end after 5 years of a murder spree, nor could it have only started the five years previous. In ‘The face of Evil’ Black’s life is broken down and his whereabouts laid out for the readers to digest and conclude that Black had the means to have been engaging his fantasies for a much longer period of time.
I went into this book with not much knowledge at all of Robert Black and the crimes he was either convicted or suspected of. The authors laid out all the facts, sometimes even repeating them to iterate the sheer audacity of his actions, and interestingly provided a comprehensive timeline review including their own take on cases he could have been involved with. I was very impressed at the addition of survivor’s accounts who truly believe that Black was their would-be abductor and grateful that the research into these crimes has helped others come forward. You can sense the author’s knowledge and passion while still being a readable book for those who don’t have experience in this area.
It is easy to see that the authors Robert Giles and Chris Clark have extensive knowledge and experience in not only this subject but in crime in general, being from a criminology background and a former police intelligence officer respectively, and I look forward to catching up on their other titles!