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Summary

Soon to be an ITV drama, Des, starring David Tennant.

Winner of the Gold Dagger Award for Crime Non-Fiction.

Dennis Nilsen, who died in May 2018, murdered at least 15 people before his arrest in 1983. This ground-breaking criminal study of his killings was written with Nilsen's full cooperation, resulting in a fascinating - and horrifying - portrait of the man who worshipped death.

On February 9th 1983, Dennis Nilsen was arrested at his Muswell Hill home, after human remains had been identified as the cause of blocked drains. 'Are we talking about one body or two,' a detective asked. Nilsen replied 'Fifteen or sixteen, since 1978. I'll tell you everything.' 

Within days he had confessed to 15 gruesome murders over a period of four years. His victims, all young homosexual men, had never been missed. Brian Masters, with Nilsen's full cooperation, has produced a unique study of a murderer's mind, essential listening for true crime aficionados.

©1985 Brian Masters (P)2020 W F Howes

Critic reviews

"One of the most remarkable and accurate accounts ever written of the singular relationship between a mass murderer and a society.” (Observer

What listeners say about Killing for Company

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Killing for Company

First off Dennis Nielsen was a monstrous serial killer who deserved to die behind bars but this book shows him to be intelligent, articulate and someone who gave the appearance of being just a normal joe.

Inwardly Nilsen harboured psychopathic tendencies which resulted in the deaths and dismemberment of young men whom he mostly pickup via gay bars.

In the book Masters , using correspondence from Nilsen, suggests this behavior began with the death of his grandfather. This left him with feelings of loneliness, rage and the need to relate to death. Who knows.....

I ‘enjoyed’ this book but it’s not for the faint hearted as it does contain some graphic descriptions of Nilsen actions against the bodies of his murder victims but it’s a book about a serial killer.

So to sum up it’s interesting, well written, well narrated and well worth my time and money.

33 people found this helpful

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A fascinating, unsettling and harrowing listen

I first read this book when I was a teenager, I think it was the first book about serial killers, and now 30 years later on audiobook, it’s no less difficult to hear because of Nilsen and his murders.
As a Scot myself I thought the insights about Nilsen’s life and spiritual death in Scotland were, un usually, for an English writer accurate and unsensational, despite such clear dysfunction on which Mr Masters could have drawn upon to make the end even more horrible.
The depictions of his life after leaving Scotland also rang true as I myself spent 15 long years in London tho unlike Dennis ( I’m no calling him Des, cos to me people who have to change their names usually have something to hide) i worked in mental health care and nursed many broken people, some of whom had killed and caused chaos to themselves and others.
This is a must read/hear for those with a desire to understand what made Nilsen what he became but it’s no fir the faint hearted, as some of the depictions of his murders can and would and SHOULD disgust and repulse us. Hell is other people, like Dennis Andrew Nilsen.
Now he’s dead at last he has peace and none of us will lose a loved one to his perverse sense of self.

6 people found this helpful

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Not for the queasy.

I watched David Tennant's stunning performance as Neilson on TV and hoped the book might give an interesting insight into the character of the man. Had I realised that a good part of the book (as far as I have been able to read anyway) was in Neilson's own words, giving in the most grisly details the murder and dismemberment of his victims, then I wouldn't have touched it.
Frankly it made me feel ashamed just to be listening to it. One to be returned I am afraid.

4 people found this helpful

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Compelling and utterly chilling

Great narration from Jason Watkins. Fascinating account of one of Britain's notorious murderers. An unpleasant listen at times and the last hour or so turns into a dissertation but ultimately worth a listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Dissapointing

Parts were interesting but a great deal read like a literature review, with comments and conclusions written by an author, not a trained experienced psychiatrist. Quite boring

2 people found this helpful

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A must for true crime reader

At times hard to comprehend a human can do this and at times made me cringe.
Well worth a listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Chilling

Last chapter went on far to long for me. The narrator was excellent though. It was a Horrific story off an evil twisted mind a must listen for true crime buffs

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant account of Nielsen's chilling crimes

Jason Watkins is superb in narrating this true crime story of Dennis Nielsen's monstrous murders. Brian Masters' account is as thorough, erudite, and gripping as you could wish for. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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Incredible

Brilliant, inspired prose, masterfully narrated by Jason Watkins (who portrayed Masters in ITV adaptation).
This and Jeffrey Dahmer’s Shrine also by Masters and Watkins are masterpieces

1 person found this helpful

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A tragic but excellent telling of the Muswell Hill Murderer

This is a must for any criminal psychology fan, or anyone wanting an insight into the mind of a murderer.

Jason Watkins was an excellent choice in narrator, having come from watching ITV’s ‘Des’ where Watkins played author Brian Masters, this felt like a natural progression from the show. His acting, his distinctive and different voices brought the book to life.

1 person found this helpful