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Publisher's Summary

Both gripping police procedural and an insight into the motivations of a truly evil man, Babes in the Wood by Graham Bartlett with Peter James is a fascinating account of what became a thirty-two year fight for justice. 

On 9 October 1986, nine-year-olds Nicola Fellows and Karen Hadaway went out to play on their Brighton estate. They would never return home, their bodies discovered the next day concealed in a small clearing in a local park. This devastating crime rocked their close-knit community and the whole country. 

Following the investigation moment by moment, drawing on exclusive interviews with officers charged with catching the killer, former senior detective Graham Bartlett and best-selling author Peter James tell the compelling inside story of the murder hunt and the arrest of local man Russell Bishop. The trial that followed was one of the most infamous in the history of Brighton policing - a shock result sees Bishop walk free. ‘Not guilty.’ 

Three years later, Graham is working as a junior detective in Brighton CID. A seven-year-old girl is kidnapped and found wandering naked on the freezing South Downs. When Bishop’s name comes up as a suspect, it’s clear history had come close to repeating itself. With the law and science against them, the police are frustrated that, still, he would escape justice for the double murder. 

Decades later detectives are handed a surprise second chance. Can Bishop finally be made to answer for his horrendous crimes?

©2020 Graham Bartlett (P)2020 Macmillan Publishers International Ltd

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I was hooked

interesting and in depth story, albeit sad and frustrating. well narrated. good look into the workings of the justice system also

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  • Kevin
  • 22-02-2020

Exceptionally put together

This is mind blowingly written which will grip your attention to the end, excellent book

4 people found this helpful

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  • caringjayne
  • 27-07-2020

Compulsive reading/listening

I never normally write reviews but I was completely gripped by this book.

I moved to Brighton just after the terrible events unfolded and subsequently met a police officer who had worked on Nicola and Karen’s case. He always said that they knew who’d murdered the girls and weren’t looking for anybody else. It was just a question of proving it.

This book tells their story perfectly and also the story of the very brave, intelligent ‘Clare’ who still lives with her terrible ordeal.



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  • Mrs J B Gray
  • 26-07-2020

Babes in the Wood

Wow what a fascinating and in-depth In-sight to this very harrowing crime. Written with such compassion. So informative. So many facts I never knew about. Brilliant

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jude Bailey
  • 18-05-2020

No words

After this finished, I cried. Such a nightmare that by the grace of whatever, we are spared. And then to be accused of killing your own daughter. It also made me very thankful that those people that work to bring scum to trial and are faced with the worst of humanity every day. I could not do that job.

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  • Purbert
  • 12-03-2020

A superb description of pure evil....

This book is very good - it takes a little bit of time to get going with some slightly cliched and unnecessary detail. However once momentum has been built then it is fast paced and keeps you listening. One tiny tiny issue is the author comes across as being a bit lefty with his observations about cuts to public spending....

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 13-05-2021

great

I am from Brighton and I remember this all unfolding I was only 12 at the time but this really has left an imprint on the place.
A great book detailing a lot of things that the public never really knew.

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  • nosbig
  • 06-03-2021

badly written??

I think that considering the tragic subject of this story it could have been written less like a love story?
Too 'flowery' for me and as such does a disservice to the poor girls killed?

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  • margaret martin
  • 13-01-2021

A close up view of the way police way police really work.

Loved this book, I shed a few tears for the parents. Also great sympathy for police . Let the reader. See the hard work done by our police .

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  • lisa adams
  • 04-06-2020

Heartbreaking story

I found this book really difficult to follow. So many different people involved. I kept getting lost.
Very sad story for the girls and there families.

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