Monday 9 August 2021

Finding Suzy: The Hunt for Missing Estate Agent Suzy Lamplugh and 'Mr Kipper' (Investigations by David Videcette) - David Videcette

How can someone just disappear?

Step inside a real-life, missing person investigation in this compelling, true crime must-read.

Uncover what happened to missing estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, as David Videcette takes you on a quest to unpick her mysterious disappearance and scrutinise the shadowy 'Mr Kipper'.

One overcast Monday in July 1986, 25-year-old estate agent Suzy Lamplugh vanished whilst showing a smart London property to a mysterious 'Mr Kipper'.

Despite the baffling case dominating the news and one of the largest missing persons cases ever mounted, police failed to find a shred of evidence establishing what had happened to her.

Sixteen years later, following a second investigation and under pressure from Suzy's desperate parents, police named convicted rapist and murderer John Cannan as their prime suspect. However, the Crown Prosecution Service refused to charge him, citing a lack of evidence.

High-profile searches were conducted, Suzy's body was never found. The trail that might lead investigators to her, long since lost.

Haunted by another missing person case, investigator and former Scotland Yard detective David Videcette has spent five years painstakingly reinvestigating Suzy's cold case disappearance.

Through a series of incredible new witness interviews and fresh groundbreaking analysis, he uncovers piece by piece what happened to Suzy and why the case was never solved.

People don't just disappear...

What did I think?

Wow!  This book is absolutely brilliant and I couldn't put it down.  I'm a huge fan of David Videcette's fiction books so just try and stop me reading his non-fiction, true crime account of the Suzy Lamplugh case.  I remember Suzy's disappearance in the summer of 1986 as we were given personal attack alarms at school.  If Suzy had had a personal attack alarm, would this be a different story today or would anybody have been around to hear it?

The Suzy Lamplugh 'story' is well known: estate agent Suzy went to show a house to Mr Kipper one lunchtime and never returned.  You may have noticed that I put 'story' in inverted commas as David Videcette's investigation proves that the story we know of Suzy's disappearance might as well be a work of fiction.  

David, along with his fellow investigator Caroline, look at the Suzy Lamplugh case with fresh eyes.  I loved the dynamic between David and Caroline, regularly playing good cop (David) and bad cop (Caroline) and it is clear that David has a lot of respect for his fellow investigator, which is more than can be said for some of the people that they interviewed.  Re-interviewing witnesses and asking the right questions, David Videcette sheds new light on to what may have happened to Suzy that day.  I'm not going to release any spoilers here but what I read is completely jaw-dropping and totally eye-opening.  

David's investigation is impeccable, leaving no stone unturned (and no cake uneaten) in his search for Suzy.  It's no surprise (and therefore not a spoiler) that the police haven't shown an ounce of interest in what David has found.  I wonder if Suzy's parents had been alive today, whether the police would be more inclined to take notice. Paul and Diana Lamplugh were heavily involved in the case, perhaps far too much as their desperation to find their daughter led to misrepresentations and false accusations.  

Of course I could write so much more about this fantastic book but I don't want to let anything slip.  David's writing is completely flawless and you'd be forgiven for forgetting that this is true crime, if the subject matter wasn't one of the UK's most famous unsolved cases.  It's a tragedy that Suzy's family never found out what happened to her, but they were never going to find her if they were looking in the wrong place.

Finding Suzy is absolutely brilliant, it's unputdownable, jaw-dropping and eye-opening.  It's the must-read book of the year, if not the decade.  Breathtaking true crime that's not to be missed.  So very highly recommended.

Many thanks to David Videcette for sending me a digital ARC to read and review.  This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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