Somehow I missed this entire newsline, documentaries, etc. Never heard about this case until I stumbled upon the audio book. I was engrossed from page 1! I enjoy true crime books in general but have always had a general rule not to read stories that involve children because they are too hard for me to stomach. I will keep that rule going forward because this book will haunt me for the rest of my life. 3 murder victims and 3 wrongly convicted victims of a warped society and a huge sinkhole in our judicial system.
(The narrator is awesome. I thought she did such a great job!)
The authors outline of this case kept me completely enthralled. I watched the documentaries online and learned as much about this travesty as I could.
There are not shameful enough words to describe the injustices that all of these kids experienced. The murder victims were not sought justice for and the Judge and Prosecutor of this case are disgraceful at best. The three innocent kids sent to prisonand brutalized and treated like animals for the next 18 years while the killer walked free and probably got off on that too.
The epilogue of this book has a great summary of how insanely unfair this is and really shocking that this happened in AMERICA. Americans allowed three all American boys to be treated unfairly and unjustly in a heartbreaking way. The epilogue says something along the lines of boys who were not old enough to buy a lottery ticket were questioned for hours on end by armed police officers without the presence of an attorney or parent. That actually happened. And they were convicted based on the information obtained during that interrogation. It doesn't remind us that the boy who gave a false confession had an IQ of about 72. Unimaginable. Makes my skin crawl thinking about it.
Prayers were answered the day those 3 were set free. However, the murder victims still have no justice as nobody is searching for the true killer/s.
The person who did this walks free every day, among all of us.
My heartfelt sympathies to Chris Byers' brother Ryan and the families and loved ones of all three murder victims, to Damien, Jason and Jessie and their families and loved ones. Bless Jessie's father's heart.
The performance. I wish I could give more than 5 stars. Where the story got a little lengthy and lost me the narrator kept me completely gripped. Very talented.
McGrath is the key player and easiest to become emotionally attached to. But, Nora and Hopper were right there. Ashley was my favorite as far as favorites go. I think she probably steals the show for a lot of people.
When Nora realizes it's good bye for good, but nobody else does.
Considering I'm not going to even fish the book, I'd have to say this is a fail. I loved Nanny Diaries, I even read it twice. This time around, I didn't connect at all with any of the characters and felt indifferent, and sometimes confused, in the direction(s) the book took. I rarely find fault with the way an author chooses to write her own book. This one was a disappointment though. It left me feeling like I wish I would have quit (reading) while I was ahead. Oh well, on to the next book.
A tragic tale of political egos and machismo versus a young American girl with innocent ideals and blind trust in what should be right.
Some of the prelimary evidence that was discussed and shown and how people were judging her cuddling and kissing with her boyfriend outside of the murder site seemed silly. I felt sorry for her that she was so far removed from those that loved her. I was happy to read the book and hear that her family rallied around her as best as they could.
I am now a confirmed 100% believer in her innocence. And, I am so impressed by her. She definitely took every minute of her experience and learned from it. That is evident in her telling this story.
She is lovely to listen to and does such a great job with the delivery and writing of this book. Surely she had some assistance, but I was very impressed by how well this book is written.
So many times my heart just broke for her and how the system failed her and how so many people betrayed and judged her.
She shares how people judged her for making a false confession and how they insisted they would never do such a thing, how people judged her for certain behaviors following the murder and insisted they would never act in such a way. But, none of us know how we will react in any situation until we are put there. Keys to her behavior as well were her innocence and young age. If people were to judge me based on my actions at 21, I wouldn't likely have a single friend- I'm sorry to say.
She trusted in people of authority, friends and the system so much. She just believed everything would work out. Her attorneys/friends/family did the best they could in my opinion, except in one instance. I was fried when I heard that she was wearing jeans and tshirts to the trial because she wanted to portray herself as she was - no false impressions. But, someone should have explained to her how that would come across and the respect she should show the court, the family and the system by dressing more appropriately.
I'm just happy she's back at home and hope she stays here. I hope the family of the victim will someday see how there is really no way based on DNA evidence that she could have done this.
3 words: gripping, surprising, painful
Favorite character: I spent a lot of the book with anger toward Allison. I think Charm and Gus were my favorite set of characters.
The first few chapters in this book had my eyes glazing over at times. I thought it was quite boring, but knew it was probably setting the stage. Which it was. Then it went from boring to gut wrenching, almost disturbing at a certain point and then I was hooked.
I thought the narrators did a great job. Although Josh's voice can be painfully annoying at times and that's why I gave 4 stars and not 5. But I think all baby talk is annoying so it could be more to do with that than the narrator.
Maybe a SPOILER*** About halfway through the book you get an important clue to the surprise ending. But by the time the story unravels it's not all that surprising.
Scene I could have done without: SPOILER- *** Robbery scene - I felt it was unnecessary and sort of random.
I also felt the character Devin was unnecessary and there was too much time spent on her in the beginning of the book, lending to the boredom. But, on the contrary, I thought the Rhianne character was great and made an entrance to the story with perfect timing, solidifying my admiration of Charm.
I would not go in search of another book by Lisa Gardner. I did like the narrator. The book was just okay for me. Started out a little rocky with the 'pain has a taste' or whatever that opening line was. From there it did pick up and I listened all the way through- so that says something at least.
I definitely wouldn't have had the odd scene with the daughter's medical issue (without giving a spoiler) in their hide out place. It didn't play out well at all, didn't add up and I was surprised to see the book was written by a female after reading that scene.
Nothing, thought she did a great job.
I wouldn't pay for it. But, I'd probably watch it on Lifetime.
It's a good summer read or airplane listen. Nothing spectacular but not bad either. The people that reviewed it as the best mystery they've read must not get out much.
The story kept me engrossed from page 1. Awesome connection to the characters through the author.
Yes, I was on the edge of my seat throughout the book. I'm a commute listener and I found myself listening in the evenings and on weekends. I couldn't stop.
Another reviewer stated that the ending was flat, and I have to agree, the ending was a bit flat. But, I think it would have been impossible to have an ending that trumped the rest of the book. Every moment in this book counted.
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