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Perfect Victim

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  139 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
One night in March 1999, fifteen-year-old dance student Rachel Elizabeth Barber vanished. No one could have guessed that she had become another girl's 'perfect' victim. Happpy. Beautiful. Talented. She had everything her killer could want.

Perceived by crime experts everywhere as one of the most bizarre homicides they had encountered, Perfect Victim recounts two stories: Ra
Paperback, 334 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Penguin Books (first published September 1st 2002)
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James Casatelli
Nov 13, 2012 James Casatelli rated it it was ok
I didn't really want to give this book a low rating because I understand that it is supposed to be about a victims mother trying to give something back to the world in the wake of her daughters death. But I found little to keep me captivated and the only thing that kept me reading was a hope that there would be some finalization to the story, at least for the readers. There wasn't.

I realize there were a lot of people involved in the life of and search for Rachel, but Elizabeth's attempt to incl
Jan 11, 2010 Shannon rated it it was ok
This is such a weird book. Given the subject matter it should be much more interesting than it is but the mother/author continually raves on and on and on about how special and talented and unique her family is and repeatedly lists their accomplishments as though this book were a Christmas newsletters.

This is a compelling story but it is told in a shoddy self congratulatory way that sat uncomfortably with me.
Karen Field
Sep 10, 2009 Karen Field rated it really liked it
This book is a true story about the disappearance and murder of 15 year old Rachel Barber in March 1999 in Victoria, Australia. There are two “stories” running parallel – the story of Rachel's family's anguish and grief as told by her mother, Elizabeth Barber (using the pen name of Elizabeth Southall), and, an account of the investigation and court case by criminal court reporter, Megan Norris.

Because of the natural of the book, I do not feel it's relevant to dissect the book as I usually do and
Aug 17, 2013 Sarah rated it really liked it
Chilling account of the kidnap and murder of a teenage girl - made especially so by the words straight from the murdered girls' mother, Elizabeth Southall (real name Elizabeth Barber), who recounts her side of the investigation as compared to what Megan Norris writes from the point of view of a court reporter. I read this as an older teenager and it prompted me to say to my mum "If I ever disappear, it's not because I've run away or I'm out with friends. Something's happened to me and you need t ...more
May 18, 2015 Shantel rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. It is a must read.
Linley Mckenzie
Jun 06, 2016 Linley Mckenzie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
so sad, well written my Elizabeth
Apr 20, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it
Eye opening!
Oct 11, 2015 Yelleana rated it really liked it
It is a story that needed to be told and I am so glad I read the book if only to honour the life of Rachel lost too soon. There are parts where I thought hey that needs more detail like the "friend" of Elizabeth's who was bordering stalking her and the ballet school issues. Don't allude to something but not give the reader appropriate details is just my way of thinking. Overall it is a very brave story to be told. RIP Rachel.
Aug 03, 2013 Supabrat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tragic story. The mothers account is heartbreaking but she has an amazing compassionate outlook on life. There's no way I could imagine one of my first thoughts being worried for the twisted perpetrators mother and sisters and how they would take the news. A must read.
Jan 12, 2011 Kimberley rated it it was amazing
I read this book in my late teens and couldn't put it down. It was a tragic true story of the disappearance of a teenage girl told from her mother's point of view. It was intriguing, very sad and compelling.
Aug 29, 2012 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great book. tragic story of a beautiful young life taken way too soon
May 14, 2011 Adriana added it
Shelves: own
this one was shocking and so sad....
Sarah Weekes
Jul 13, 2013 Sarah Weekes rated it really liked it
Quite scary stuff :(
Jul 26, 2011 Amy added it
Decent book.
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Elizabeth Southall is the pen-name of Elizabeth Barber. She was born in Victoria in 1959, one of four children on Ivan Southall, a distinguished Australian writer of children's literature. Elizabeth herself is known for her work as a children's book specialist.

The disappearance and murder of Elizabeth and Michael's eldest daughter Rachel first made headlines around Australia in the first weeks of
More about Elizabeth Southall...

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