In a thrilling narrative showcasing his gifts as storyteller and researcher, Erik Larson recounts the spellbinding tale of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Also available abridged.
"A Rich Read!"
Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s a story that most people know, told here in an unforgettable way – an audio masterpiece that rivals the best thrillers, thanks to Capote genre-defining words and Brick’s subtle but powerful characterizations. On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.
"Still the Best"
No One Would Listen is the exclusive story of the Harry Markopolos-lead investigation into Bernie Madoff and his $65 billion Ponzi scheme. While a lot has been written about Madoff's scam, few actually know how Markopolos and his team - affectionately called "the Fox Hounds" by Markopolos himself - uncovered what Madoff was doing years before this financial disaster reached its pinnacle. Unfortunately, no one listened, until the damage of the world's largest financial fraud ever was irreversible.
At the core of this book is an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon fundamentalist brothers, Ron and Dan Lafferty, who insist they received a revelation from God commanding them to kill their blameless victims. Weaving the story of the Lafferty brothers and their fanatical brethren with a clear-eyed look at Mormonism's violent past, Krakauer examines the underbelly of the most successful homegrown faith in the United States, and finds a distinctly American brand of religious extremism.
"Interesting @ arm's length"
Genteel society ladies who compare notes on their husbands' suicides. A hilariously foul-mouthed black drag queen. A voodoo priestess who works her roots in the graveyard at midnight. A prominent antiques dealer who hangs a Nazi flag from his window to disrupt the shooting of a movie. And a redneck gigolo whose conquests describe him as a "walking streak of sex".
"A little slow, but entertaining"
Frank DiMatteo was born into a family of mob hit men. His father and godfather were shooters and bodyguards for infamous Mafia legends, the Gallo brothers. His uncle was a capo in the Genovese crime family and bodyguard to Frank Costello. Needless to say, DiMatteo saw and heard things that a boy shouldn't see or hear. He knew everybody in the neighborhood. And they knew him...and his family. And does he have some wild stories to tell....
To his neighbors, Anthony Sowell was a friendly and helpful former Marine. But they didn't know about his dark side - or the gruesome secret inside his house. Sowell's secret life was revealed to the nation on October 29, 2009, when a Cleveland Police SWAT team entered his house to arrest him for an alleged rape. They didn't find Sowell, but they encountered a nightmarish scene: two decomposed bodies in his third-floor living room. Eight more bodies were hidden throughout the house and buried in the back yard.
"Chilling story of a life gone wrong"
Face-to-face with some of America's most terrifying killers, FBI veteran and ex-Army CID colonel Robert Ressler learned from them how to identify the unknown monsters who walk among us - and put them behind bars. Now the man who coined the phrase "serial killer" and advised Thomas Harris on The Silence of the Lambs shows how he has tracked down some of the nation's most brutal murderers. Join Ressler as he takes you on the hunt for America's most dangerous psychopaths. It is a terrifying journey you will not forget.
When Vonlee "Nicole" Titlow and her aunt, Billie Jean Rogers, came home from a night of gambling in a casino near Detroit, they told police they found Billie's husband unconscious on the floor of the Rogers' mansion. Just another of his alcoholic benders, they assumed. But this time, Donald Rogers didn't wake up.
John Grisham's first work of nonfiction, an exploration of small town justice gone terribly awry, is his most extraordinary legal thriller yet.
"Good Book - Not Typical Grisham"
In Paddy Whacked, best-selling author and organized crime expert T. J. English brings to life nearly two centuries of Irish American gangsterism, which spawned such unforgettable characters as Mike "King Mike" McDonald, Chicago's subterranean godfather; Big Bill Dwyer, New York's most notorious rumrunner during Prohibition; Mickey Featherstone, troubled Vietnam vet turned Westies gang leader; and James "Whitey" Bulger, the ruthless and seemingly untouchable Southie legend.
After his December 2003 arrest, registered nurse Charlie Cullen was quickly dubbed "The Angel of Death" by the media. But Cullen was no mercy killer, nor was he a simple monster. He was a favorite son, husband, beloved father, best friend, and celebrated caregiver. Implicated in the deaths of as many as 300 patients, he was also perhaps the most prolific serial killer in American history.
"More Chilling than Murder?"
This true story was the basis for the Broadway play, The Runner Stumbles, and the movie of the same name. In 1907, a Felician nun disappeared from her rural convent. When her bones were found buried in the dirt-floored basement of the remote, Gothic church she served, it caused a national sensation. Who killed her? The handsome priest? The jealous housekeeper? And, what other secret was uncovered along with her bones?
"Rich, Lyrical Prose..."
In Thunderstruck, Erik Larson tells the interwoven stories of two men: Hawley Crippen, a very unlikely murderer, and Guglielmo Marconi, the obsessive creator of a seemingly supernatural means of communication. Their lives intersect during one of the greatest criminal chases of all time.
"Marconi, murder, mix well"
In 1914 collisions between motor cars and horse-drawn carriages are an everyday occurrence on the streets of Paterson, New Jersey. But when an out-of-control driver smashes into a buggy driven by Constance, Norma, and Fleurette Kopp, their lives change forever. Constance, the oldest, demands payment for the damages but quickly realizes that she is dealing with a madman.
"Slice Of Life From Another Time"
In the horrifying annals of American crime, the infamous names of brutal killers such as Bundy, Dahmer, Gacy, and Berkowitz are writ large in the imaginations of a public both horrified and hypnotized by their monstrous, murderous acts. But for every celebrity psychopath who's gotten ink for spilling blood, there's a bevy of all-but-forgotten homicidal fiends studding the bloody margins of US history.
On March 2, 1998, 10-year-old Natascha Kampusch was kidnapped and found herself locked in a house that would be her home for the next eight years. She was starved, beaten, treated as a slave, and forced to work for her deranged captor. But she never forgot who she was, and she never gave up hope of returning to the world. This is her story.
"Interesting story..could be better"
After Jack the Ripper and before Son of Sam there was only one name their equal in terror: the deadly, elusive, and mysterious Zodiac. Beginning in 1968 the hooded mass murderer terrified the city of San Francisco and the Bay Area with a string of brutal killings. A sexual sadist, his pleasure was torture and murder.
Part history, part true-crime, and entirely entertaining, listen to the story of how the behemoth Oxford English Dictionary was made. You'll hang on every word as you discover that the dictionary's greatest contributor was also an insane murderer working from the confines of an asylum.
"Perfect example of a quality audible book."
In the most extraordinary journey Ann Rule has ever undertaken, America's master of true crime has spent more than two decades researching the story of the Green River Killer, who murdered more than 49 young women. Green River, Running Red is a harrowing account of a modern monster, a killer who walked among us undetected. It is also the story of his quarry -- of who these young women were and who they might have become.
"Suspenseful and chilling"
Former social worker S. R. Reynolds has never forgotten the mishandled case of 15-year-old Michelle Anderson, a vibrant beauty who went missing from Reynolds' Knoxville, Tennessee, neighborhood years earlier. Aided by her old professor, famed forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass, Reynolds picks up the trail of this cold case. As she presses neglected pieces of the puzzle into place, Reynolds unearths a string of heinous kidnappings and rapes across the South, crimes that span decades.
Nothing had worked. Not threats or negotiations, not shutting down the betting parlors or opium dens, not throwing Chinese offenders into prison. Not even executing them. The New York DA was running out of ideas, and more people were dying every day as the weapons of choice evolved from hatchets to automatic weapons and even bombs. Welcome to New York City's Chinatown in 1925.
Lyndon Orr published his story of Aaron Burr in 1912 within his Famous Affinities of History. Here he briefly and simply compares Burr's life with Alexander Hamilton's and attempts to dispel some of the negative opinions that surrounded him as the "villain" who shot and killed one of the Founding Fathers of the USA in a duel. Orr also describes Burr's strong relationships and the mysteries surrounding the women in his life, particularly his daughter.
For over 150 years the image of western bad men has thrilled readers and filled movie screens. Who hasn't heard of Jesse James, the Dalton Brothers, Black Bart, or Belle Starr? They are as much a part of American folklore as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. There's something about the west that has brought out the best, and the worst, in mankind. The funny thing is, a cult following has developed around many of these bandits, making them out to be something they weren't.
"Jack the Ripper" is the popular name given to a serial killer who killed a number of prostitutes in the East End of London in 1888. The name originates from a letter written by someone who claimed to be the killer published at the time of the murders. The killings took place within a mile area and involved the districts of Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Aldgate, and the City of London proper. He was also called the Whitechapel Murderer and "Leather Apron."
Richard Stratton was the unlikeliest of kingpins. A clean-cut Wellesley boy who entered outlaw culture on a trip to Mexico, he saw his search for a joint morph into a thrill-filled dope run smuggling two kilos across the border in his car door. He became a member of the Hippie Mafia, traveling the world to keep America high, living the underground life while embracing the hippie credo, rejecting hard drugs in favor of marijuana and hashish.
"Voice actor please apply"
This House of Grief is a heartbreaking audiobook by one of Australia's most admired authors. Anyone can see the place where the children died. You take the Princes Highway past Geelong, and keep going west in the direction of Colac. Late in August 2006, soon after I had watched a magistrate commit Robert Farquharson to stand trial before a jury on three charges of murder, I headed out that way on a Sunday morning, across the great volcanic plain.
Twelve homicides, three police-involved shootings, and the furious hunt for an especially brutal killer - February 2013 was a good month for murder in suburban Washington, DC. After gaining unparalleled access to the homicide unit in Prince George's County, which borders the nation's capital, Del Quentin Wilber begins shadowing the talented, often quirky detectives who get the call when a body falls. After a quiet couple of months, all hell breaks loose.
"Fantastic story from behind the scenes!"
This incredible story shows how John Douglas tracked and participated in the hunt for one of the most notorious serial killers in U.S. history. For 31 years a man who called himself BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) terrorized the city of Wichita, Kansas, sexually assaulting and strangling a series of women, taunting the police with frequent communications, and bragging about his crimes to local newspapers and TV stations.
"The narration is atrocious!"
Hollywood. Saturday night. A broken taillight leads to a routine traffic stop. It shouldn’t have changed the lives of the four men involved, but it did. The Onion Field is the frighteningly true story of a fatal collision of destinies that would lead two young cops and two young robbers to a deserted field on the outskirts of Los Angeles, towards a bizarre execution and its terrible aftermath.
In 1994, director Peter Jackson released the film Heavenly Creatures, based on a famous 1950s matricide committed in New Zealand by two teenage girls embroiled in an obsessive relationship. This film launched Jackson's international career. It also forever changed the life of Anne Perry, an award-winning, best-selling crime writer, who at the time of the film's release was publicly outed as Juliet Hulme, one of the murderers. A new light was now cast, not only on Anne's life, but also her novels, which feature gruesome and violent deaths.
"The Search for Anne Perry"
Fifteen-year-old Lynda Mann's savagely raped and strangled body is found along a shady footpath near the English village of Narborough. Though a massive 150-man dragnet is launched, the case remains unsolved. Three years later the killer strikes again, raping and strangling teenager Dawn Ashforth only a stone's throw from where Lynda was so brutally murdered.
"Interesting story, a few quibbles with the audio."
On December 26, 1997, near the affluent community of Bainbridge Island off the coast of Seattle, a house went up in flames. In it was the shy, beloved minister's wife, Dawn Hacheney. When the fire was extinguished, investigators found only her charred remains. Her husband, Nick, was visibly devastated by the loss. What investigators failed to note, however, was that Dawn's lungs didn't contain smoke. Was she dead before the fire began?
"Hard to believe it's a true story- but it is"
The first edition of Greentown helped reopen one of America's most shameful unsolved murder cases, the savage slaying of 15-year-old Martha Moxley in an exclusive enclave of Greenwich, Connecticut, the night before Halloween 1975. Soon after Martha's body was discovered, attention focused on members of the Skakel family, who lived across the street from the Moxleys. Ethel Skakel and Robert Kennedy had married in Greenwich, and the two families were close.
"Really enjoyed it."
On 22 February 2006, GBP53 million was stolen from a cash warehouse belonging to the Securitas company in Tonbridge, Kent. In terms of value, the robbery puts previous British capers, such as the Great Train Robbery, in the shade. This was a crime notable for its audacity, carried out by an unlikely crew of players that included a used car salesman, two Albanian casual workers and a roofer. Five men were convicted at the Old Bailey in January 2008, which attracted nationwide media coverage.
Evil has a way of finding itself. How else could you explain the bond between Alvin and Judith Ann Neelley, who consecrated their marriage in blood? Before the killings started, they restricted themselves to simple mischief: prank calls, vandalism, firing guns at strangers’ houses. Gradually their ambition grew, until one day at the Riverbend Mall in Rome, Georgia, they spotted Lisa Ann Millican. Three days after Lisa Ann disappeared, the 13-year-old girl was found shot and pumped full of liquid drain cleaner.
Each night, thousands of immigrants stream north across the Mexican border towards San Diego, hoping to make a new life in the United States. Along the way, many find death instead. Bandit gangs roam the moonlit desert, robbing, raping, and killing these desperate, impoverished migrants. For decades Dick Snider has watched this happen. Now, in 1976, he’s decided to end the bloodshed. A San Diego cop with an intimate awareness of the trials of border crossing, Snider has uncommon sympathy for the immigrants.
The moment of truth... Mary Drew knelt down on the rug. She leaned forward, her mouth within an inch of Martha’s. "l love you," she said. "I’ve loved you from the very moment we met. But I won’t kiss you. I’m so close my lips are almost on yours, but I won’t kiss you." Martha looked deeply into the other girl’s eyes for a very long time. "l love you, too," she said. Then hungrily they fed on each other's lips. Martha grasped Mary Drew’s hand. "Love me, will you? Not just kisses. Not any more."
Baby X is a shocking and unforgettable story of how some of the UK's most disadvantaged children escaped their tormentors - and explains why some cases, similar to that of Baby P's, ended in tragedy. When super-tough cop Sergeant Harry Keeble announced he was joining Hackney's ailing Child Protection Team in 2000, his colleagues were astounded. Known as the 'Cardigan Squad', its officers were seen as glorified social workers dealing with domestics. The reality was very different.
"Opened My Eyes"
In Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, Brooklyn - neighborhoods notorious for drugs and violent crime - some of the worst criminals wore police uniforms and carried badges. Henry Winter was a good cop when he first entered the infamous 77th station house, which was already infamous as a home to the dregs of the NYPD. Before long he and fellow officer Anthony Magno found themselves deeply entrenched in the Alamo's culture of extortion, lies, corruption, and crime.
On a freezing Christmas morning, a distraught young man named Jeremy Davies led police to a corpse he had placed in a snowbank some hours before. They found a man's body, naked, bloody and beaten. Davies insisted that he had not killed the man but that he and his fiancée had simply buried a stranger's body. The police investigation confirmed the fact that the victim, Harry Berge, had died in the apartment of Barbara Hoffman.
"Found narrator to be"
It was not a clever killing. On May 5, 1973, three men escaped from a Maryland prison and disappeared. Joined by a 15-year-old brother, they surfaced in Georgia, where they were spotted joyriding in a stolen car. Within a week, the four young men were arrested on suspicion of committing one of the most horrific murders in American history. Jerry Alday and his family were eating Sunday dinner when death burst through the door of their cozy little trailer. Their six bodies are only the beginning of this gruesome story.
"Well written, but...."
Paul Alexander, the best-selling author of the Kindle Single Murdered, introduces us to Tommy Harris, the 14-year veteran of the Houston Police force, his fight with a man outside a bar, a death, and the ensuing homicide trial. The district attorney had boasted, "Anyone can convict a guilty person, but it takes someone really good to convict an innocent one." Did Harris apply a naked choke-hold, or did the district attorney and his forensics team set up Harris?
Crack House takes the listener into the dark heart of our cities' most violent and terrifying places, showing how the war on drugs can only be won by constant and forceful vigilance. The bastard offspring of cocaine, crack first entered the UK in the early 1990s. By the end of the decade, Britain's inner cities were in the midst of a crack epidemic, with users being responsible for a massive proportion of crime. Communities, especially in London, were crying out for help, but there were only two specialist units in the whole of the capital.
"Entertaining and enlightening"
At a dive bar in San Francisco’s edgy Tenderloin district, drug-hustling Emily Rosario is drinking whiskey and looking for an escape from her desperate lifestyle. When she is approached by a Russian businessman, she thinks she might have found her exit. A week later - drugged, disoriented, and wanted for robbery - Emily finds herself on the run for her life. When cop Leo Elias - broke, alcoholic and desperate - hears about an unsolved bank robbery, the stolen money proves too strong a temptation.
This is the cocaine trade. This is how it's done: with hard work and a good system. With coca made into cubes, dissolved in liquid, hidden in marble blocks or inside electric cable. With willing mules swallowing drugs in ovules (they'll be arrested - this is part of the system). With shipments measured in tons. With money in cash, always. And these are the risks: police dogs, scanners, customs, infiltrators - and if you do it right, it will make you rich. And if you don't, you'll spend your life in jail.
"i love the narration by Paul Thornley"