This is a book about a family's frightful journey after their thirteen year old son went missing in 2003 in Queensland, Australia. It is very much told from the family's perspective (it was written by Daniel's mother and father). However the narrative is interspersed with enough details of the police investigation to make it interesting as a true crime book. Although some may find the descriptions of the family's daily life a bit tedious (they had to wait some 10 years to get justice for Daniel!), for me it was on the whole an interesting and moving look at the process by which the family turned the tragedy of Daniel's disappearance into an effort to improve the safety of all children in Australia. It will undoubtedly appeal more to an Australian audience because of our familiarity with the Morcombes and the desire to find a solution to the mystery of Daniel's disappearance and murder (which has only very recently been solved). However I feel there is enough to interest a wider audience, especially when it comes to the details of how the police found the murderer and trapped him into confession (a method originally developed in Canada). It is also a very moving rollercoaster ride with the family as they deal with their tragedy.
This was an incredibly disturbing true crime story which at times was very difficult to listen to. In fact I had to take a break at times to deal with the terrible descriptions of abuse suffered by the narrator (the victim, Stanford Clark). But I kept going and am glad I did as the story was also a very compelling one and I really, really wanted to see justice served against the pepetrator of these horrific crimes. My only discontent with the book was that I thought it was a bit weak at the end. I would have liked it to focus more on the trial. I must put in a mention of the narrator of this audiobook, Anthony Flacco, who does an amazing job of portraying the twisted and depraved personage of Clark's Uncle. I would encourage listeners to look up photographs from this true crime case as they will definately add depth to the characters portayed in this book, as well as the settings and courtroom drama.
I've been eagerly awaiting another Josh Lanyon paranormal thriller since "The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks" (one of my all time favorites). Although short, this new story was a classic JL romance with some spooky overtones. As usual JL masterfully handles the romantic tensions between the main characters while also building interest in the premise of the story (the haunted mansion). The characters have back stories and are as charming (or roguish in the case of Sam Devlin) as usual. I liked this story a lot, the only complaint was that it was too short, which is understandable as it was part of a compilation. But I can see the possibility of a sequel, or even a series??? (Oh please tell me there is another book coming!)
I agree with other reviews that this book is not really all about Mary Mount, although her abduction and murder comprises the first half of the book. The second half is about the murder of his family by the teenager John Rice Jr (only his father was not killed). In terms of true crime accounts I think these are both resonably good, although a bit more detail might have been nice. The premise of putting them together in one book is that there is some "suspicion" that John Rice Jr may also have killed Mary (he lived nearby). However this is very tenuous and based only on proximity of the crimes and township rumors. No proper evidence at all is given.
I had to take a whole star off as I got to the end of the book as the author lists all possible murders in a vast area around where John Rice Jr now lives. Does she think he is guilty of all of these? Even if he may be, there is absolutely NO evidence of his involvement, and it seems that he was never even considered by any of the investigations. It was very un-professional to suggest he is linked to these killings just for the sake of sensalization.
Other serial killers known to have been active at the time and in the area are also discussed, and I liked that these were included. I think one of these killer is a much more viable suspect (for the Mary Mount murder), and should have been dealt with in considerable detail (although there is some discussion of him). The begining of this book is ok, but might have been better presented as novella-size stories ala Ann Rule. As it goes on, however it becomes rambling and spurious and looses the otherwise decent rating it could have had.
I was so excited to see the next book in the "Adrien English" series up on Audible. I'm so in love with this series, although at times I want to give Adrien a good shake and tell him what's what! I was not to be disappointed!
"Death of a Pirate King" sees the continuing saga of bookseller, writer and (sometimes) sleuth Adrien English who is now about to have one of his fiction books made into a movie. Things (as usual) don't go exactly to plan, and not for the first time is Adrien considered a suspect in a homicide investigation. Worst (or best) of all, Jake Riordan is back, trying to keep Adrien out of Jail and work out their complicated relationship in the process. I won't give anything away, but needless to say that this new book brings both warmth and anguish in equal measures. It is also a pretty fine murder mystery, and although it is clear who the villain is, it seems to add positively to the tension as Adrien also quickly works out who the murderer is- only he has to prove it! In the process (in typical Adrien style) he puts his own life, and Jake's, in danger to catch the bad guy.
I love Josh Lanyon's work (have I said that enough?) and am anxiously awaiting with fingers crossed and baited-breath for the fifth book in the series. Can I possibly hope Adrien will finally have a happy ending?? Great listen, as always expertly narrated by Chris Patton (aka the voice of Adrien English).
This was the first "fantasy"-style book I've listened to from Josh Lanyon, and I have to say straight up, it's not one of my favourites. Although I remain a die-hard Lanyon fan, I have to say this genre just didn't seem to work well.
I feel I should start off with what I LIKED about the story, which was definitely the characters, although I have to say Septimus Marx did very closely resemble a certain Potions Master from a very popular series! But I'm not adverse to a little fanfic now and then. Colin Bliss was also likeable, and the world-building was intriguing, I just felt it really didn't go anywhere.
Now with the negative: to begin with the story was badly paced. Although Lanyon is usually the master story teller who builds up the relationships between characters (with great pay-offs at the end!), in this book, the relationship felt very rushed. The story then dragged in the middle, but the ending was extremely hurried, and left me wanting. I felt that the narrative was suddenly cut off, which would make sense if there were to be a sequel book, but as far as I can tell there isnt. It was almost (and it pains me to say it) as if he got tired of the story, and just ended it abruptly.
Never the less I still remain a HUGE fan, and this book seems to be a small blip in an otherwise stellar collection. I just think his detective works are much better. Sorry, Josh!
This was an excellent listen! It details the tragic case of a young man continually bullied by his religious mother for not being "manly" enough. Later she was to question his sexuality (he was attracted to men, but never really identified as gay till after the murder). She relentlessly berated and ridiculed him for being too soft and effeminate. She and her fundamentalist cult-like church condemned him even before they even knew what to condemn him for (he was just a boy with a high voice). Eventually he snapped and killed his mother. Although this was a terribly brutal crime, it was not without provocation. He was held accountable for the murder, and rightly so, but one cannot help feeling sorry for the tragic life the perpetrator had to lead.
I was a little put off by the length of this audiobook because I have been burned by short true crimes "audiobooks" before. However I would assuage anyone's doubts by saying that this is just as good as any full-length true crime, both in the quality of writing and in the production values. One hopes that the author can get more audiobooks produced in the future whether they be short or novel sized. I would highly recommend this for true crime fans, or anyone interested in religion and sexuality.
This book sounded good in the description, but it was dead boring. It was mostly about the rather dull trial proceedings. Now I know why it was only 1 hr 41 mins. I wouldn't recommend it.
Excellent writing, and wonderful detective story! It keeps you guessing who is the real killer till (almost) the last moment. The main charater (Adrien) is very likable and the supporting cast is revealed as more than one dimensional. I was slightly thrown when the story ended before any action between Adrian and his love interest (I won't spoil it!), only to discover that there is a second book.I can't wait to get it now! Laynon shows that he is up there with the other great crime authors. The fact that he also adds in steamy m/m romance is a big, big bonus. I will definately be searching out other books by him. Patton also gives a great performance.
A very horrific couple of murders committed by this serial killer couple, written in a classic true crime style. I definitely enjoyed this book, however I was left wondering why the author chose to focus almost exclusively on the female of the pair, Judith Neelly. I think its possible that she played a very important role in the murders as the author has presented, but I was left wondering about her husband's part. I take it that the evidence of his guilt was not straight forward, but I would have rather heard the author's discussion of his life and crimes, and what part he may have played, rather than focusing exclusively on her guilt. Even so, the author presents a convincing story about Judith Neelly's culpability
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