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If I Can't Have You: Audiobook
If I Can't Have You:
Written by: 
Gregg Olsen, Rebecca Morris
Narrated by: 
Laural Merlington, Kevin Pierce
 >   > 
If I Can't Have You: Audiobook

If I Can't Have You:: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance, and the Murder of Her Children

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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Gregg Olsen and co-author Rebecca Morris investigate one of the 21st Century's most puzzling disappearances and how it resulted in the murder of two children by their father.

Every once in a great while a genuine murder mystery unfolds before the eyes of the American public. The tragic story of Susan Powell and her murdered boys, Charlie and Braden, is the only case that rivals the Jon Benet Ramsey saga in the annals of true crime. When the pretty, blonde Utah mother went missing in December of 2009 the media was swept up in the story - with lenses and microphones trained on Susan's husband, Josh. He said he had no idea what happened to his young wife, and that he and the boys had been camping in the middle of a snowstorm.

Over the next three years bombshell by bombshell, the story would reveal more shocking secrets. Josh's father, Steve, who was sexually obsessed with Susan, would ultimately be convicted of unspeakable perversion. Josh's brother, Michael, would commit suicide. And in the most stunning event of them all, Josh Powell would murder his two little boys and kill himself with brutality beyond belief.

©2014 gregg olsen and rebecca morris (P)2014 gregg olsen

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (473 )
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4.2 (437 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Pulplife Canton, Ohio 05-20-14
    Pulplife Canton, Ohio 05-20-14 Member Since 2013

    Kipp Poe Speicher

    HELPFUL VOTES
    41
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    "The Coward and the Angels"
    If you could sum up If I Can't Have You: in three words, what would they be?

    Disturbing, Criminal,Unthinkable. A crime against humanity an unforgivable act.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I really enjoyed Kevin's very factual voice sort of like the old Dragnet show but not as dry.


    What does Laural Merlington and Kevin Pierce bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I enjoyed the Laural reading the alternative pieces such as the emails and letters. Kevin brings a excellent voice for delivery facts.


    If you could give If I Can't Have You: a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Guilt and Betrayal.


    Any additional comments?

    A few years ago I read Ann Rules take on the case included in her Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors Crime Cases Volume 16. This book here is a needed improvement over that other fine book.

    With new updates on the case and a seedier perspective on the case will be enjoyed by anyone new or old to the case.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Georgia Little Rock, AR, United States 06-02-14
    Georgia Little Rock, AR, United States 06-02-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I gasped several times; I didn't see THAT coming!!"
    If you could sum up If I Can't Have You: in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating. Gripping. Shocking.


    What other book might you compare If I Can't Have You: to and why?

    This is by far the best true crime book I have ever read. I don't know of any book that compares. You won't be disappointed.


    What about Laural Merlington and Kevin Pierce ’s performance did you like?

    At first I though Kevin Pierce's reading was not going to be to my liking, but I adjusted to his rhythm quickly and enjoyed his voice. Laural had very little reading, but what she did was good.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    ABSOLUTELY! I would get to my destination and sit in my car and listen to three more chapters before MAKING myself stop! It's a long book, but I didn't want it to end. I plan to listen to it again.


    Any additional comments?

    Although this book is a true story and contained some sexual portions, it was told in a way that was not vulgar with basically no profanity. I sat shaking my head many, many times as I listened, wondering why this woman stayed with him and also shocked that such evil exists in our world? It was a well-written book and I'm now looking for others from this author.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    your mom 05-13-14
    your mom 05-13-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disturbingly Gripping"
    What did you like best about this story?

    So sad that this is a true story, as it has so much drama in it, one might think it couldn't possibly be. There are so many twists, I was on truly on the edge of my seat, listening. It's amazing to see just how deeply disturbed a human being can become....and it can be generational.


    What about Laural Merlington and Kevin Pierce ’s performance did you like?

    The change of voice at the beginning of each chapter was unexpected, and it helped to give "Susan" a voice. (Which sadly, after listening to this book, it's evident that she didn't have one.)


    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hilary Connecticut 06-23-14
    Hilary Connecticut 06-23-14 Member Since 2015

    avoiding road rage one book at a time...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Josh Powell is where he belongs..."

    I was haunted during and after listening to this book about Susan Powell's (obvious) murder and the inexplicable inability for authorities to find her remains. The whole Powell family, excepting sister Jennifer, should be imprisoned simply for not divulging the truth about Susan's murder and/or for supporting their weak, manipulative, pathetic brother/son, Josh.

    The narration was great. Initially, the woman's voice at the beginning of each chapter was off-putting and chilling - she sounded mechanical (computerized) as she read excerpts from Susan's emails, diary and letters. It eventually it made perfect sense and lent itself to this profoundly disturbing story.

    This case deserved FBI attention or at least a more through, condensed investigation. The local officials seemed to drag their feet and relied on silly methods to try to trick Josh... the investigation wore on for years. They never put the REAL heat on this guy. Also, child/family services, while respecting that Josh was never formally charged with the murder of his children's mother, should have been monitoring Josh more closely. Supervised visitation with his children should have been held in a controlled environment - not Josh's home. Also, he played ridiculous games with Susan's parents. As if they hadn't suffered enough, he dangled their grandchildren and then ripped them away from them for no reason other than to be a complete jack*ss. I know this is a touchy for local/state authorities, because technically a person is innocent until proven guilty, but surely a case including a missing, presumed dead mother, whose husband is the prime suspect, deserves to be handled more delicately than most. These poor children are dead because a) their father was a maniac, b) social services were too timid (forced by policy, procedure) and c) police were too slow in putting together the pieces of the crime and focused too heavily on the lack of a body. Susan was a moral, upright, hard-working person and devoted mother - her disappearance should have been treated with alarms from day one.

    I ended the book with feelings of complete and utter frustration. I cannot believe how this played out. I cannot believe how Josh (who seemed less than intelligent) pulled this off. I can't believe how much the Cox family has suffered. If Josh Powell didn't kill himself, I'd have to refrain from getting on a plane to Puyallup myself. Josh Powell and most of his kin are cowards and villains, mostly thanks to their disturbed/dysfunctional patriarch. What a complete waste and total shame. RIP Susan, Charlie & Braden.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 06-10-14
    Michael 06-10-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gregg Olsen raised the bar on this one."
    If you could sum up If I Can't Have You: in three words, what would they be?

    Stellar, Exceptional Masterpiece.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Gregg Olsen did a wonderful job writing a heartbreaking story.


    Have you listened to any of Laural Merlington and Kevin Pierce ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Laural Merlington is the best of the best along with Kevin Pierce. Putting them together was genius.


    Any additional comments?

    There may be other books written about Susan Powell. None will compare or even come close. Very detailed, researched, written and presented with heart and emotion. For such a heartbreaking story - you identify with the passion of the family. No easy task for a writer. Gregg Olsen really came through and delivered!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judah's Darling California 06-30-16
    Judah's Darling California 06-30-16 Member Since 2015

    Loving life on the Snake River!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    "Tragedy"
    Would you listen to If I Can't Have You: again? Why?

    I'm not sure....such a heartbreaking story


    What was one of the most memorable moments of If I Can't Have You:?

    What happened to the little boys...


    What about Laural Merlington and Kevin Pierce ’s performance did you like?

    An excellent narrative mix


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A Husband's Greed


    Any additional comments?

    Such a tragic story, but compelling Kept waiting for a better outcome

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 06-18-16
    Paul 06-18-16

    Judy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Men from Hell"

    You can't make this stuff up. What a sorry tale of a sick, twisted father-in-law, and his sick, complicit sons.
    The years-long unfolding of events leaves us with minimal justice and no redemption for any of the participants in this sad story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly 05-28-16
    Beverly 05-28-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "A horrific story, sensitively told"

    I vaguely remembered this news story, but only the basics. The author takes you into the minds and hearts of all involved and exposes you to evil that takes your breath away, but also tremendous goodness. I listened nonstop, pausing only to sleep. The reading was superb, as nuanced and genuine as you could hope for in telling such a story. Highly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie L Rooks 05-26-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"

    Worth the money. Well told and good narration. using two narrators worked well. Highly recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kiersten 05-17-16
    Kiersten 05-17-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    5
    3
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    "Incredible Story"

    This story is absolutely heartbreaking. The narrators were excellent. I didn't want to stop listening. A very sad story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Jamie Cottam-howarth
    uk
    2/24/15
    Overall
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    Story
    "review "

    Very good I recommend this as a good read especially if you have a long drive

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bobbie
    4/21/16
    Overall
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    "Fantastic"

    This was one of the best true crime stories I have listened to. Story brilliant narration brilliant thank you

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • D Wade
    3/1/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Heartbreaking"

    Heartbreaking, Tearful, True Crime Story. A must read for all true crime readers. ... .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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