for true crime lovers, i recommend it.
not on the edge of my seat at all. somewhat upset at what my fellow human beings are capable of, though.
the narrator was good in that she did not detract or distract from the book. i think that is the most important quality, where the narrator is not the author.
what irritated and confused me about this book is just a couple features. one, in the beginning, it spends what feels like forever, explaining what an absolute ANGEL, a person PERFECT in every way, the victim was. i mean, she had no flaws. she was the true love in everyone's heart, the light in everyone's eyes. none of them could hardly LIVE without her. okay, okay. that could have been said in far fewer chapters, for my taste. i got pretty bored and angry when that line went on and on, and on.the other feature that annoyed me was how the story kept switching back and forth from how the crime and aftermath proceeded, to the background of the characters growing up, their relatives, etc. i had trouble knowing which world i was in, as i would listen and then put it away, and then listen again, etc. it was beginning to drive me nuts. after i was done with the book, i couldnt explain exactly how the story unfolded, i was so confused by all the switching back and forth. there could have been a much clearer way to handle this.
Right up there with the very best true crime books I have ever read.
I do not know if this book can officially be classified as a true crime story. It leans very (VERY) heavily on actual courtroom drama, which happens to be a special fascination of mine. If you hate courtroom proceedings, then this book is not for you, unless the general revelations about a particular justice system in Texas, which I believe could well have been a lot of other places, is of interest to you. Or even if that isn't of special interest when you start the book, I believe it will be by the time you finish it. And finish it you will.
This is all about one out-of-control "gypsy" law enforcement guy, I wouldn't call him an officer, although I suppose he officially was one, in title only. He figured out a way to actually enrich himself by setting up bogus drug busts, knowing his own word was all that was required to make the scheme work, while meanwhile he was pocketing a lot of the cash received from the sales he set up. For the sales, he used greatly watered down cocaine originally purchased by him with agency money, then thinned way down. He turned in some of the buy, then sold the altered remainder. This went on for some years. Very lucrative.
So he succeeded in implicating a large group of mainly young black men, but some of them actually had nothing to do with the scheme and the rest, of course, were trapped by illegal means. But most of them ended up in prison with very long sentences. They had ineffective, or no, legal representation. The charges just slid right through the system, in spite of some evidence which was passed over or never presented.
It was quite distressing to be taken step by step through the scenario where such a thing could occur and then continue for what would have been forever, had not a new element been added to the mix. And this new element is not something which the majority of such victims sitting in prisons today have access to.
The narration of this entire book was totally EXCELLENT. It might be the best narration I have heard thus far. The reader very realistically mimicked many characters in the story. He was so good I was not even sure they were all his creations. VERY well done!
I understand there was at least one documentary done on this story. I believe it was done somewhere in the middle, before any resolution had occurred. This documentary served to arouse interest in the case and was no doubt the impetus for the eventual resolution.
I would urge just about any nonfiction lover to treat yourself to this quality book. You can't go wrong.
Yes, if they are nonfiction.
Defiinitely. He was excellent, especially in bringing to life various characters.
This book, to me, read somewhat in a similar vein as the story of the Titanic, of which I have not read books, but did see the movie and have read what popular press articles I came across, but with the exception that it was not told from the perspective of a passenger, but a crew member whose father was a career person in the management of cruise ships. The son had a passionate love of cruise ships and everything about them.
Other than that, it was just another story of a horrifying lack of anything resembling safety features, crew training, cruise ship building standards... all subjects that came to light even bigger time, with the sinking of the Titanic. It did display interestingly the politics of cruise ship management, the turf battles and such. It also touched on the issue of labor unions or lack thereof, and the frequently brutal persecution of union advocates.
In this account, there was a fire on the ship that started just hours after the captain keeled over and died in suspicious circumstances. From that point, all hell broke loose and the staff did not worry about anything other than saving their own lives.
A few things were disappointing to me in the listening to this story. The first is that to me, it seemed to take much too long to get started! I was subjected to entirely too much history of cruise ship building in general, and the Morro Castle in particular, and also the biographies of the various characters. I could have done without a lot of that background, especially because it seemed quite dryly written. It was just to be endured, until the action started.
The other main disappointment was that, while a lot of suspicions were raised regarding the death of the captain, and the setting of the fire, nothing was resolved. I felt the author should have offered something firm about these events, even if the offerings were only his studied opinions. I didn't feel he offered as much detail and research into these two things as might have been available. He did not even offer much in the way of the speculations or opinions of the time, that might have been available.Surely there would have been endless newspaper articles. There just seemed to be a big hole towards the end of the book, with these matters left hanging and not any satisfying possibilities offered to ease the reader's mind. It was frustrating to keep looking for this during the last third, or fourth, of the book and then fearing that there would be no resolution, which turned out to be the case.
All of that said, this WAS a pleasant listen, it did hold my interest all the way through, once I got started on the action phase. The narrator was excellent and this book gave him plenty of opportunities to showcase his talents. But if it is very meaty, complete, historical type research results you are looking for, you will not find it here. You will find a pleasant pastime for driving or doing light chores around the house and probably will not be disappointed.
I could listen to this story more than once, first for fast paced and interesting story and then the wonderful narrative reading. The story does get bit a graphic on the details of the murder but what would you expect, it's about a murder. The story never slows up and you are placed into that time period with fluidity of the story's timeline. I loved learning about the history of the papers and really enjoyed the writer including the epilogue. I will go out and buy the book to see if I missed anything. I love a book that makes you want to do more research on the time period because it opens your eyes to a different time.