The Face Of Evil: book review

The Face Of Evil: The True Story Of Serial Killer Robert Black by Chris Clark and Robert Giles
is available to buy now from John Blake Publishing

It has been almost 30 years since the violent paedophile and child killer Robert Black was caught with a young girl bundled into his van on the Scottish borders. Minutes away from death, she was the final victim to be subjected to Black’s horrific fantasies. But now the real questions remain: how many more like her were there? How many were not as fortunate to get away? Since his arrest, multiple unsolved murders have surfaced, leading to four more life sentences being piled onto his tariff. Black’s crimes, although widely reported, were overshadowed by the likes of Fred and Rosemary West and Ian Brady and Myra Hindley due to their shocking scores of victims and the eras in which they occurred. But in this latest book, retired Norfolk police detective Chris Clark and Northern Irish criminologist Robert Giles explore the possibility that, in his decades of freedom prior to his 1990 arrest, Black was responsible for many more killings, with potentially dozens of victims having escaped his clutches with their lives.

Not since Tim Tate and Ray Wyre’s 1995 book The Murder Of Childhood has anyone been quite so explicit about Black’s inner workings and the lengths to which he went in order to conceal his crimes. While there have been two more books on Black’s crimes produced since his arrest, The Face Of Evil has become a contender for one of the best books to ever be produced on such a sickening, secretive and shady serial killer. Readers will find themselves amazed by the new evidence and the insight into what Black was really up to when he was out on the open road – something we may never fully know, as Black took many secrets to his grave in 2016. And while police have confirmed another likely victim since his passing, there remains the horrific truth that he will never face justice for the true extent of his sickening behaviour.

Thanks to the diligence of Clark and Giles’s research, it’s clear that Black was more than likely accountable for many unsolved murders both in the UK as well as overseas. Former Norfolk detective Clark’s section, on the unsolved cases he has dedicated much of his retired life to, shows that Black’s offending was not just limited to the UK but to Europe as well, where he travelled under the guise of a lonely postal delivery man. The documentation of his in-depth research comes packed full of insight that blows Black’s offending profile wide open. For those wanting to know more about the beast Robert Black, The Face Of Evil is a worthwhile addition to any true crime collection.

This review was taken from issue 35 of Real Crime Magazine, on sale now. Read more crime book, television, film and cinema reviews – Subscribe here and have the magazine delivered to your door every month.