Practically Perfect: Killers Who Got Away With Murder…For A While by Dale Brawn (2013)
Practically Perfect: Killers Who Got Away With Murder…For A While
by Dale Brawn
As morbid as it sounds, murder almost always makes for a good story. Murder is central to the plot of many Hollywood movies and prime time television dramas. The networks are littered with programs documenting real-life lethal crimes, and murderers grab the attention of the media during their captures and trials. And, of course, books on the subject are easily found in any library or bookstore.
Author Dale Brawn, a law professor at Laurentian University in Sudbury, explores a number of Canadian cases in Practically Perfect: Killers Who Got Away With Murder…For A While. In each case, Brawn describes the original murder, the motivation and the means for each, and follows up with the circumstances that led to the criminal’s capture. In some instances it was the suspicions of surviving family members; in others it was another kill. In nearly every instance, a combination of the murderer’s stupidity and law enforcement’s luck contributes to the arrest.
While the stories themselves can be somewhat interesting, Brawn’s dry approach detracts from appeal. The author uses an almost journalistic approach to each, simply reporting facts for the most part. However, clarity is an issue. Brawn introduces a number of characters at the beginning of each chapter and then relies on pronouns throughout, which proves to be distracting and a bit difficult to follow.
If you enjoy true crime stories can wade through the confusion, there may be some good fodder here for your writing projects. For the casual reader, however, there are better choices than Practically Perfect.