Travis Alexander was a handsome, hard-working, practicing Mormon who lived in Mesa, Arizona. His good looks and easygoing manner made him popular with everyone, especially the ladies. So when he was found with a bullet wound in the face and his throat slashed, the brutal murder sent shock waves throughout his community. Who could have done something so sinister?
But soon a suspect was singled out-Jodi Arias. A beautiful, aspiring photographer, Jodi had been in a long-distance relationship with Travis the year before. But Travis wasn't interested in a serious commitment; he was seeing several women during that time. When he broke up with her, that didn't stop Jodi from leaving California, moving to just a few miles away from Travis's home, and inserting herself into his daily life.
Investigators found one piece of startling evidence in Travis's home that implicated Jodi. But in a bizarre turn of events, Jodi would claim self-defense. Was she a victim - or a devious femme fatale?
©2013 Shanna Hogan (P)2013 Tantor
The book included much information not heard on HLN, a little more info on the neurosis of Travis and Jodi's craziness.
Most memorable was the beginning. explanations of how this craziness began.
Don't tease crazies
Well as this is true crime I can't say I liked anything best, however I did like this account better than HLN's Author Jane Mitchell.
Fifteen girlish okay
Nope, just think if Travis would have followed his own lead being as though he was a " mormon elder" and sex before marriage is a no go he would be alive today. Jody Arias was treated like trash and thrown away and being as though she was crazy this was the outcome.
I wish there was a detailed account of Arias's life for a better understanding of why she was so insane and more information on this case is general. This book is not nearly as bad as 50% of the reviews led me to believe, I followed the case and I think this book was pretty spot on, its the best book on this case out for now.
The story is written as it played out in the media. Nothing was "news" for me however I noticed the book reports that Jodi attended Travis' funeral; when in fact she did not. She had only attended his memorial service. Second, I noticed Shannon Hogan referencing "the shower floor" when relating details of Travis' murder when in fact, "the bathroom floor" was accurate.
The story was great. Well written and fast paced.
The trial was fascinating, as was the defendants gradual change of story when she realized nobody believed her original story.
I prefer more theatrics when listening to this kind of story. Emily sounded pretty robotic and it took me some time to get over the fact this was going to be a rigid reading with little emotion in the reader's voice.
A short TV news update on the status of the punishment phase in the Jodi Arias trial, as well as a few extra audiobook credits, led me to Picture Perfect. Having followed the trial and all its sex, lies, and audiotapes, and knowing the ending to this sad story has yet to be written, I was interested in seeing Shanna Hogan's take on it all. Ms. Hogan appeared often as a guest commentator on Jane Velez-Mitchell's show during HLNs wall to wall coverage of the trial.
(JVM also published a book on the trial. Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias is a not-quite objective detailing of the life of the young murderess. I say that because the book reads like the unabridged version of JVMs on-air rants about Arias. Having said that, I am quick to add that I agree with most of what she wrote about Arias and I enjoyed the book.)
Picture Perfect is well written. The mood of the book is not as dark and heavy as the terrible crime it tells of. I found that to be a good balance for me, as the reader/listener; it kept the story from becoming too horribly oppressive.
The facts are in keeping with those brought out in the trial. I especially appreciated when the author put "meat to the bones," so to speak. This book obviously is more than a trial transcript. Not only does the author give us details about the two major players in the story, she also brings life to the secondary characters, the friends, co-workers, and family of Travis Alexander.
The author elegantly side-stepped the all-too-obvious temptation to include details of the many, varied, and sometimes unusual sexual activities engaged in by Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander. Thank you, Shanna Hogan, for sparing us, your readers, from the explicit text messages and, particularly, the phone-sex tape.
I found just one problem with Picture Perfect -- the non-ending. Yes, the jury found Jodi Arias guilty of first degree murder. Yes, the death penalty is on the table. And Arias has been sentenced to...? Nothing...yet. Court is scheduled for sometime in September, unless that changes, again!
I can, on one hand understand why Ms. Hogan rushed to publish. I'm sure she wanted to avoid becoming just one more book about a love affair gone so wrong. On the other hand, had she waited for the last bang of the gavel and given us the rest of the story, her obvious talent would have elevated Picture Perfect above the rest that is sure to come.
All in all, a good and easy listen. Well done.
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