Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Search for Anne Perry

The Search for Anne Perry

By Joanne Drayton

Anne Perry is known as a best-selling writer of historic crime fiction. In 1994 the revelation that she was, in fact, Juliet Hulme, the teenager who along with Pauline Parker was convicted for murdering Pauline's mother, shocked the world and turned Anne's new life upside down. Anne Perry was understandably cautious when it came to allowing interviews, especially as most focused on the murder, so it was an absolute coup for New Zealand writer Joanne Drayton to gain permission to write this biography and have the opportunity to spend time with Anne. The result, in my opinion, is a fascinating insight into the woman and her writing.

Drayton has approached the work as a biography of Perry's writing, weaving in the events of her childhood, illness, the murder and her imprisonment in a way that neither sensationalises nor minimises it, and that lets the reader see how Anne Perry expressed elements of her past through her characters and writing. In this biography we see her all-consuming friendship with Pauline Parker and the events that lead up to that fateful day. We also see how she rebuilt her life in another identity, how vital her novel writing was to that and the impact of her past life being revealed and fears of how people would now perceive her.

I found The Search for Anne Perry to be a fascinating and sensitive biography, but also one that asked and answered the hard questions.

1 comment:

Margot Kinberg said...

Vanda - I'm glad you enjoyed that one. Such a shocking story; I'm glad Drayton treats it with sensitivity without shying away from the difficult issues.