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By Jury, Ted | Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), October 23, 1999 | Go to article overview

Books


Jury, Ted, Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)


TV vets' wildlife adventure

Vets in the Wild by Steve Leonard and Trude Mostue (Boxtree, pounds 14.99).

THEY are the sex symbols of BBC television's two series, Vets School and Vets in Practice - Steve Leonard the handsome bachelor working in Lancashire and Trude Mostue the really-not-so-dizzy Norwegian blonde based in Somerset while looking after the animals at Longleat Safari Park.

Now they are the stars of another follow-up TV series, Vets in the Wild, which follows them on a special veterinary "safari" through Africa.

With a big yellow Land Rover as their home and the BBC crew in tow, they journey from South Africa through Zimbabwe, Botswana and Kenya to Uganda to meet some of the rare and fascinating native creatures and the fellow professionals working with them.

This revealing diary account of their adventures is entertaining and probably more personal than the edited TV programme is likely to be.

But the wealth of photos, many in colour, are a mere taste of of the small-screen version, due to hit our screens next year.

Ted Jury

The women with murder in mind

When She Was Bad by Patricia Pearson (Virago, pounds 6.99)

RATHER naughtily for the British publication of this psychological study into female killers by a Canadian journalist, the blurb mentions Myra Hindley and Rose West by name, as if they feature prominently.

In fact, West is mentioned only in passing, while the Moors Murderer merits barely three pages.

Otherwise, this is an account of largely Canadian and American excesses: A woman who drowned both her daughters within months of their birth - her story made somehow grimmer by the fact that she didn't physically hold them down but left them to slide under the bathwater as she sat downstairs with a drink; the mother assumed to carry a "death gene" when her eight children died in succession; and the case of Dorothea Puente, who systematically murdered the tenants of a "board and care" home she opened in California in the 1980s.

The central thesis is that women can literally get away with murder because of the perception of the female sex as innately innocent, when in fact they are at their most dangerous in the very arena where they are adjudged to be models of caring - at home, looking after children, or in hospitals and institutions where they are in charge of the ill and vulnerable. …

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