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Fred & Rose

The Full Story of Fred and Rose West and the Gloucester House of Horrors
Narrated by: Howard Sounes
Length: 14 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (68 ratings)

Non-member price: $30.38

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Publisher's Summary

This is a new recording, read by the author.

As featured on The New Podcast 'Unheard: The Fred & Rose West Tapes'

Fred & Rose is the definitive account of this infamous case - now updated with a postscript from the author. 

Fred and Rose West are virtually unique in British criminal history: a husband and wife who loved and killed together.

During their long relationship, the Wests murdered a series of young women, burying the remains of nine victims under their home at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, including those of their daughter. What was left of Fred West's eight-year-old stepdaughter was dug up from under the Wests' previous Gloucester home; his first wife and nanny were buried in open country. Most victims had been decapitated and dismembered, their remains showing signs of sexual torture. These 12 are just the ones police found when the Wests were arrested in 1994. There may be more whose bones have not been located.... 

Howard Sounes broke the first major story about the Wests as a journalist, and covered the murder trial of Rosemary West, before writing Fred & Rose, the definitive account of this infamous case. Beginning with Fred's and Rose's bizarre childhoods, Sounes charts their lives and crimes in forensic detail, creating a fascinating and truly frightening account of a marriage soaked in blood.

©1995 Howard Sounes (P)2020 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about Fred & Rose

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great

The guy who read the book is fantastic with accents and voices. Brought the characters to life (or death?!?).
Awful tale, I'm glad they were caught. So many shattered lives....

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Mind Blowing

as disturbing as the story is, it is a very interesting and couldnt put the book down. another seriel killing family and how the system failed all the victims

1 person found this helpful

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not for the faint hearted.

pretty harsh to listen to but get through that and it's a fascinating story.

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excellent, exciting and vile.

this is well worth the money. what a vile, disgusting pair these two were. I get the feeling Rose West was the primary killer here. she still refuses to admit any fault or guilt. both there childhoods were despicable and sad, but it's no excuse for the brutal , evil crimes they commited. complete incompetence by the police and social services who failed these woman and children terribly. fred also got away with his crimes unpunished due to pathetic police incompetence yet again. Rose you deserve to rot in hell for all eternity. of there is karma, you will! psychopathic people the wests have no empathy.

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oh wow ... insane evil exists

great read I couldn't put it down though several times I thought the depravity of the crimes made me think that's enough. But I wanted to finish for the sake of finishing it. I don't think I'll be reading another true crime for a while unless there's more of a focus on the deserved punishment that such people receive. That's my own criticism is that I would have loved to read more about their punishment and anguish after being discovered. People in the USA get the death penalty for lesser crimes than what these depraved individuals got ... though I think they should have openly been put in prisons with others who despise crimes against children ... that would have been an appropriate punishment the constant fear and intimidation of others hurting them. They got off lightly for the crimes they committed.

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Detailed and thorough

Really quite good, certainly offered a lot more detail than I'd heard before. Narrated by the author, who was obviously great with pronunciations, accents etc.

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Fascinating

But not for the feint hearted. These people were wicked and did terrible things.

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Shocking !!!!!

No idea how this story can be remotely true. Such descriptive detail makes the listener shudder in disgust but one is compelled to listen on. Howard Sounes has done a remarkable research job which must have been difficult in itself. Jonathan Oliver brings craft to the narration. Well done. A good book.

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Crazy and fascinating!

I was really fascinated by this book. The story was so detailed, dark and horrendous. The narrator told the story really well and made it easy to distinguish between people. I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in true crime!

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True Horror

great story and the narrator did a fantastic job of making it come to life

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  • Suzy
  • 21-06-2015

Gripping, Respectful, Candid

Would you consider the audio edition of Fred and Rose to be better than the print version?

Yes, the narration contributed to the realism, in my opinion.

What did you like best about this story?

The narration was very matter of fact and respectful- a constant reminder that real people died. The facts of the story are so beyond normal it would be easy to slip into believing this was fiction, perhaps more comfortable viewing it that way. This is a challenging read it has to be said.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The Author's summary at the end is an excellent end to a very difficult but gripping read

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I found the book very emotional. The author, quite fittingly, built a picture of the girls who fell victim to Fred & Rose and I was very upset despite already knowing their fates as each one fell into the clutches of these predators.

Any additional comments?

I started this book wondering if the motivation to read it was just voyeurism. I'm still none the wiser, but feel now that people should read this book and others like it for lessons learned. We can never learn enough about how to pick up cues that indicate that a young person is in danger.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs Eastwood
  • 27-04-2014

The Depths of Depravity

What did you like best about Fred and Rose? What did you like least?

It was not a question of liking or not liking the book, it was a matter of reading about an event in greater depth than afforded by reading the popular press at the time

Would you be willing to try another book from Howard Sounes? Why or why not?

Yes, in order to learn more of the ways of the World

What about Jonathan Oliver’s performance did you like?

It was a good reading of the dreadful subject

Did Fred and Rose inspire you to do anything?

Draw my virtual comfort blanket a little closer

Any additional comments?

I am getting to the end of my life and realise how the average person is ignorant of the wicked happenings going on around us. We should all be more vigilant and aware of the dangers lurking in the shadows in order to protect the more vunerable members of society. Having said that, what protection can be offered against pure evil?

17 people found this helpful

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  • Anne-marie
  • 20-04-2015

thorough and excellent

very detailed, the trail of Rosemary was my favourite bit and the narrator was excellent

5 people found this helpful

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  • Chloe Rennison
  • 13-10-2014

Very Interesting Listen

Where does Fred and Rose rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was an extreamley interesting book, I really enjoyed listening to it, This is the kind of book I like, a book I can take something away from, or learn something from.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Fred and Rose?

Chapter 2 and 3 were highlights for me, learing about the childhood of both Fred and Rose, the detail and construction was rather good, and the actual content was quite fascinating.

Which character – as performed by Jonathan Oliver – was your favourite?

The character of Fred was very good, the whole book was an excelent performance on narrators part

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have very easily been able to listen to it in one sitting, but that is just not possible for me to do, but every spear minute I had I was listeing to it.

Any additional comments?

Jonathan Oliver was a treat to listen to, and the book itself was a great listen.... Really, really enjoyed it.

8 people found this helpful

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  • jennifer
  • 01-02-2014

Fred And Rose

Sick Sick Sick!
This is not for the faint hearted you need a strong stomach,
This author has done a great job on getting all the information on Fred and Rose growing up it is fascinating to know about their childhood and how they met, you can see why they ended up dysfunctional has with many serial killers it always starts in childhood.
A lot of people will know the story I have read the surviving daughter Ann Marie's book but there was still a lot I did not know about this couple great book.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jacqui
  • 14-01-2014

Great story, poor narration

Would you listen to Fred and Rose again? Why?

A well researched detailed account of Fred and Rose West. The author has obviously gone to a lot of trouble to use the main part of the book only to tell the known facts, leaving an analysis until the epilogue. For anyone interested in this subject I would highly recommend this book - but buy the written work not this audible version.

What didn’t you like about Jonathan Oliver’s performance?

Unfortunately the narrator all but ruined this book for me. His style of "gambling" through a paragraph and then pausing was extremely annoying, and it was only the quality of the story that made me continue. I have never wished so much that I had bought the book. Unfortunately there were no audible reviews at the time of my purchase.

Any additional comments?

The author narrated the prologue and epilogue. A shame he did not do the whole book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • John L
  • 16-04-2020

Great insight to a horror of the century.

well read and well researched. As a police officer myself I tend to be a bit critical but my links to this area at the time and my time as a police officer at the time made it all the more interesting.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andy Ellis
  • 18-01-2019

Spoiled by Narration.

This is a reasonable publication sadly spoiled by the narration. Personally I would have liked to have seen more about the investigation and the ways in which the Wests defensive strategy they concocted came undone and more about the trial. I appreciate the balance may work more for others though. My main problem with this publication is the narration which had long extended gaps between sentances. I also found the attempt to emulate the west country accent along with others such as the Caribbean accent were poor at best and bordering on offensive at worst. in short this was a reasonable book that was frankly spoiled by narration that detracted from its value rather than added to it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sally Howes
  • 22-05-2015

Very in depth and interesting

Well written, unbiased account of such awful crimes. Well narrated and gripping. I'd recommend to anyone that is interested in true crime.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Debra Mckay
  • 04-03-2015

brilliant book.

brilliant book, couldn't put it down, very interesting and full of factual details definitely worth a read.

5 people found this helpful