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If I Can't Have You:: Susan Powell, Her Mysterious Disappearance, and the Murder of Her Children | [Gregg Olsen, Rebecca Morris]

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

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.
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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

4.0 (183 )
5 star
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Story
3.9 (172 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kippoe Canton, Ohio 05-20-14
    Kippoe Canton, Ohio 05-20-14 Member Since 2010

    Kipp Poe Speicher

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    7 of 7 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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hillary MORRIS, CT, United States 06-23-14
    Hillary MORRIS, CT, United States 06-23-14 Member Since 2011

    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.

    4 of 4 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
  •  
    Michael 06-10-14
    Michael 06-10-14
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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
  •  
    Darcy 08-01-14
    Darcy 08-01-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Failed Justice"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?


    The story depicts view of Susan Powell's disappearance, as well as the aftermath of murder/suicides that ripple from it. It gives readers unbiased facts to form their own opinion rather than full focus on a certain offender. It brings belief that typical 'Susans' havent any self empowerment or trust in system. Her disappearance, her boys murders, and the final outcome are possible reasons why many 'Susans' remain in emotionally damaging relationships while others can't fathom why they stay.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Lanning 06-15-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not quite sure about this one"
    What did you like best about If I Can't Have You:? What did you like least?

    This book is strangely un-exciting considering that the subject matter is so intriguing. There weren't many details, it seemed overly long. Ann Rule's book about this case was far more informative and engaging.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan PUNTA GORDA, FL, United States 06-01-14
    Susan PUNTA GORDA, FL, United States 06-01-14 Member Since 2011

    Profesionl, hard working woman who travels weekly, enjoys life. My best Friends are Michael and Scooter. Nonfiction books are the best!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Book could have been better"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Get to the point, it seems like it went on and on with no real point, I got bored in the middle


    Did If I Can't Have You: inspire you to do anything?

    Look for signs, don't take no for an answer when dealing with the police.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boyce Brentwood, TN, United States 06-05-14
    Boyce Brentwood, TN, United States 06-05-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Typical true crime"
    What disappointed you about If I Can't Have You:?

    The authors' writing skills, or lack thereof. The authors deluged the reader with incessant detail. It was like reading a police report, in which every detail must be recorded. Every word, every expression, every breath were recorded and passed off as authorship. It got very boring very quickly.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    It will not be true crime. Probably a mystery.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Laural Merlington and Kevin Pierce ?

    Actually the narrators were pretty good. However, I will note that narrators should be careful what they narrate.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration at the authors. The description of the book sounded very good and could have been good. The story is interesting. It is the inept telling of the story that makes it sound banal.


    Any additional comments?

    I am thankful for Audible's generous policy on returns.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 07-14-14
    jaye GREENWICH, CT, United States 07-14-14 Member Since 2012

    AUDIBLE MAKES READING POSSIBLE AND EASY FOR ME...I AM VISUALLY IMPAIRED. I WISH THEY HAD ALL THE BOOKS I WANT I WOULD SNAP THEM UP!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    6
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    "ENJOYED THIS STORY VERY MUCN"
    Would you consider the audio edition of If I Can't Have You: to be better than the print version?

    I DON'T KNOW. NEVER READ IT. CAN'T READ ANYMORE.


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

    I DON'T KNOW IF THERE WERE WHAT YOU CALL MEMORABLE MOMENTS IN THIS BOOK. I GUESS WHEN THE QUIRKS IN JOSH'S AND STEVES PERSONALITIES STARTED BEING REVEALED.


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

    THEY READ CRISPLY AND CLEARLY.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I FOUND IT HARD TO BELIEVE THAT STEVE COULD BE SUCH A WIERDO. JOSH WAS TOO--A VERY ODD FAMILY.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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