‘Life Means Life’ by Nick Appleyard – BOOK REVIEW.

Following a review from Emma (@bookinggoodreads) I purchased Nick Appleyard’s true crime book ‘Life Means Life’; I believe it is also a documentary and I’m inclined to give it a watch after this chilling read.

It features notorious murderers and psychopaths such as the Moors Murderer, Hannibal the Cannibal, Rose and Fred West, Ian Brady and other absolute nutters who thought they had the right to take someone else’s life. They are now paying the price for their crimes by enduring life imprisonment – and quite rightly so. After reading this book I totally stand by the view that murderers, rapists and other psychopaths who commit unthinkable crimes should face the death penalty. It is unfair that they are even allowed to live the rest of their lives after taking other people’s. Totally unjust.

I must say, this book will send shivers down your spine, it gives intimate details of each crime, that we know of, that was committed by these despicable monsters. There are statements from family members, and other people close to the victims, which are utterly heart-wrenching. It tells us about the life that the murderers and rapists lived before taking lives of the innocent – and even after. The majority of the murders that took place in this book, the psychopath had already committed crimes before and even brutally took lives before. So how on earth were they allowed to roam our streets? Why weren’t people warned or notified? What sort of world is it that we live in? I’m so weary of people now after reading this.

Furthermore, there are a selection of pages in the middle of the book, which show photographs and images of the murderers. The majority of them look so normal. Well, you know what I mean. It looks like the kind of people that I sit across from on the bus, the kind of people that I stumble across on social media, the kind of people I went to school with – it’s mind-boggling. What goes on in their heads?

Here are a few of the statements that were highlighted in the stories that are so shockingly striking (just to give you an insight in to how goosebump-triggering this book is):


“Put the light on, scream and you’re dead”


What he did to my mum was straight out of a horror film. I think he killed her in some kind of sick, satanic sacrifice”


“He covered her body with a duvet, turned on a fan and sprayed deodorant to mask the smell of decomposition”


“He held a knife to me while he raped me. I screamed at him ‘I’m pregnant’ but he did not care”


“My skin was on fire and I could feel myself disintegrating”


“You beat your wife to death in her bedroom and then coldly and deliberately you brought your sleepy children downstairs to meet their deaths”


…It’s a very intense read. Your heart is in your mouth and you just want to shout and lash out as you turn the pages. However, it’s an important read, these things really happened. As chilling as it is, we need to be aware that there are people like this among us and we need to do our very best to prevent them from carrying out these sick acts. So much could have been done, in many of these cases, from preventing the murderers to take lives over and over again. Things were overlooked, dismissed and ignored.

‘Life Means Life’ is a book full of violence, gore and heart-wrenching accounts from a variety of cases where people have been murdered, raped and tortured in the most brutal and unimaginable ways. It isn’t easy-reading and may take you a while to work your way through as you find yourself taking breaks after reading each story. You will think about these events when you are out and about in public, trying to imagine if the person sitting across from you or walking by you has the potential to kill, it really does shake you up. It gets in your head. But it’s definitely something worth reading. It could happen to any of us.

Have you heard of this book/documentary? Is it something you would be intrigued to read? Have you heard of any of the cases or notorious murders mentioned in this post?Let me know!

Charlene McElhinney






Email: charlenemcelhinney@icloud.com




  1. February 4, 2018 / 2:04 pm

    Great review, although I feel the subject would be too much for me to read. Having kids myself it always haunts me when I read these type of stories and I always picture the families who have cruelly been affected by these crimes. Saying that, I may add it to my TBR just in case I have the bottle to read it :). Good writing style!

  2. Bookinggoodread
    February 4, 2018 / 3:56 pm

    Great review, I’m with you it can be a bit of an upsetting read in parts. I did think it’s a good job these people will never be released x

    Emma x http://www.bookinggoodread.com

  3. March 13, 2018 / 7:50 pm

    This is the type of book I would read. The why, and how on what goes through these peoples minds fascinate me. Its the wanting to understand why or what snaps in someones mind to commit something so vile. Great review!

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