(updated 27 April 2016) Sophie Lancaster Book reviews etc

Catherine Smyth's book on the murder of Sophie Lancaster - the 'Goth girl' kicked to death by teenagers because she dressed differently- has altbeen sold internationally.


APRIL: Weirdo Mosher Freak has now been rebranded The Sophie Lancaster Story and is being sold worldwideon Amazon by RJ Parker Publishing. It has been updated to 2016. See the latest reviews.


AUGUST: Ten years after the murder of Anthony Walker in Liverpool, five 'must-read' books on racism and hate crime were identified by bookseller News from Nowhere and Weirdo Mosher Freak was among the five. Here is what they had to say.

"An account of the murder of 20 year-old Sophie Lancaster, written by the first reporter to arrive on the scene. Sophie and her boyfriend were brutally attacked for dressing differently - as 'goths' or 'moshers' - while walking in her local park. Smyth relates the story of the subsequent inquiry, and the campaign then launched in Sophie's name to inform the world of the grave dangers of intolerance."


JANUARY: Several new reviews have been posted on Amazon by people who have bought the book directly from me. Here are some of the comments made:

This is an impressive book. I was told of the attack when I was at Bloodstock 2007 and although not appearing alternative I have been verbally abused and spat upon when queueing for concerts. Sophie's story goes way beyond this. The book is beautifully written, the author is involved and objective and gives a background to events. I'd recommend this as a good read

The author seems to have a lot of empathy for this particular case which one feels through the book and she tells the story in a personal way which makes it more readable.


NOVEMBER: I attended the University of Sussex in Brighton to speak to criminology students as part of their hate crime studies.

SEPTEMBER: Criminology lecturers are now including Weirdo Mosher Freak on the recommended reading list for Hate Crime students.

Here is feedback from Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Sheffield Hallam University Marian Duggan

"I read your book and found it very good indeed. The level of detail and research coupled with your personal investment in the case made it a very compelling, albeit emotionally taxing, read."

JANUARY: Latest review on Goodreads describes Weirdo Mosher Freak as

'This is the best "state of the nation" picture available, better than the attempts of any current novelist.'

sophie cover final web
To read more follow the link.


JULY: 10 Copies were given away free through Goodreads two in UK, three in Canada and 5 to US readers.

JUNE: Simon Belt wrote a comprehensive review of the book on Manchester Salon web site citing

"I found this book surprisingly illuminating, highly personalised, and offering some genuine nuggets of how the media report on stories, yet with a distance, style and narration of a journalist's notebook, reflecting who it was written by I suppose - journalist Catherine Smyth. Initially it reminded me of Error of Judgement by Chris Mullin, though with a couple of profoundly important differences that give us a real insight into some important trends in contemporary society."

Follow the link for the full review.

APRIL: More than 100 copies have now been sold through Kindle worldwide (many in America and Canada) and the book is also available through the Kindle Online Lending Library.

FEBRUARY: Since publishing Weirdo Mosher Freak on Kindle it has been read and reviewed by a Canadian true crime author RJ Parker. Describing it as a 'must read' he said:

"The author writes a brilliant recap of the events leading up to and including the attack including the trial. I admire the fact this author is graciously donating a very large percentage of the royalties to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. I wasn't aware of this book or story until I stumbled across it while browsing. It's an amazing story and well written."

To read the full review follow the link.


APRIL: An very detailed review of the book was written in German by Ralf Julk on the Leipziger Internet Zeitung website.

APRIL: An article on the book featured in the Goth special printed in the Whitby Gazette.

MARCH: a hardback version of the book went on sale in Germany through Amazon

MARCH: Jenna Grabey at Apex Magazine reviewed the book. She described it as "giving her a shiver from start to finish". Read more

JANUARY: John Greenwood of the Todmorden News reviewed the book and described is as "an uneasy but compelling read". To read more follow this link 842-9-smyth-u1 1 web


DECEMBER: Bizarre Magazine, the magazine for alternatives, printed a double page interview with Catherine Smyth in its December edition as part of its Proud to be Different campaign.

DECEMBER: Lee Morgan of website Glasswerk reviewed the book Read more

NOVEMBER: An article on the book was printed in The Big Issue in the North

NOVEMBER: Max Dunbar reviewed the book on 3:AM website

NOVEMBER: Glasswerk's Lee Morgan interviewed Catherine Smyth Read more

NOVEMBER: Ian Duncan, Crime Correspondent of the Scarborough Evening News, reviewed the book describing it as "a gripping read".

OCTOBER: Kev reviewed the book on The Beat Surrender website catherineweb web"overall an interesting read and a book that does make you think about things from a social perspective, raising questions along the way for the people in government to certainly think about."

SEPTEMBER: The Rossendale Independent reviewed the book "Never get involved with the story. That is, they say, the first rule of being a newspaper reporter. If so, it's one that Rossendale journalist Catherine Smyth spectacularly ignored... Adding an element of controversy to her book, Catherine comvincingly surmises, despite official denials, that the first ambulance was actually sent in the wrong direction...thereby losing vital minutes which could have saved Sophie's life."

A portion of the profits benefit the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.