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Publisher's Summary

James Holmes killed or wounded seventy people in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Only one man was allowed to record extensive interviews with the shooter. This is what he found.

On July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado, a man in dark body armor and a gas mask entered a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises with a tactical shotgun, a high-capacity assault rifle, and a sidearm. He threw a canister of tear gas into the crowd and began firing. Soon twelve were dead and fifty-eight were wounded; young children and pregnant women were among them. The man was found calmly waiting at his car. He was detained without resistance.

Unlike the Columbine, Newtown, San Bernadino, and Parkland shootings, James Holmes is unique among mass shooters in his willingness to be taken into custody alive. In the court case that followed, only Dr. William H. Reid, a distinguished forensic psychiatrist, would be allowed to record interviews with the defendant. Reid would read Holmes’ diary, investigate his phone calls and text messages, interview his family and acquaintances, speak to his victims, and review tens of thousands of pages of evidence and court testimony in an attempt to understand how a happy, seemingly normal child could become a killer.

A Dark Night in Aurora uses the twenty-three hours of unredacted interview transcripts never seen by the public and Reid’s research to bring the listener inside the mind of a mass murderer. The result is chilling, gripping study of abnormal psychology and how a lovely boy named Jimmy became a killer.

©2018 William H. Reid (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating

Really well written and well performed. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a mass murderer.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Author as Narrator

You would think author as narrator would be horrible like it usually is, plus he is an MD but I found the book and the narrator excellent. Very balanced for someone involved in the trail too. Highly recommend. Especially the afterword

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A workmanlike effort, nothing especially groundbreaking to be found here.

Being super familiar with this case, I was interested in “reading” this book, if only to see if there was any insight into the case that was not part of the official, public record. The Dr. who interviewed the defendant for the trial did a great job so I figured his book would be amazing. Perhaps I expected and/or hoped for too much. It felt to me like the author just cracked open his interview notebooks one weekend and stitched together a book from it. No great insight here that was not already part of the record. After hearing it, there didn’t really seem to be any reason for it to even exist. I suppose the subject matter is enough in and of itself to garner some notoriety, but if you really want some real insight into the case, all you have to do is check out the voluminous amounts of trial video online, you will learn more and you won’t waste your audible credit. Perhaps I just had expectations that could not be met...not sure, but at a minimum, I’d hoped for something more than a simple “cliff notes style book report” on such a huge, tragic case. The subject matter deserved better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Exceptional!

Don’t think twice about getting this book. You won’t regret it and you’ll listen to it more than once.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I am an avid audio book listener who never purchases a selection without reading through a cross section of other listener’s reviews first. This AB had overwhelmingly positive reviews which was what helped to both inform my decision and inspire me to put it at the top of my list to hear. I have to say that I feel cheated as well as incredibly underwhelmed. The story, while interesting, felt unidimensional and without depth; while the flat, monotone performance of the reader sucked every molecule of emotion from this unfathomable tragedy. I didn’t think it possible to remove all feeling from so vicious a crime. However, the author chose to narrate the book himself, maybe mistakenly believing that no one could do the story the same justice as he could. I respectfully advise Mr. Reid to not quit his day job. He possesses a deep, rather flat and somewhat nasally voice; reading the text without inflection, in a manner that has the mind numbing effect of lulling the listener into a coma. It’s really a shame. Further disappointing is the absence of any added insight or understanding of what motivated the perpetrator to commit so heinous a crime. My mind is spinning with unanswered questions and missed opportunities for reflection and deeper understanding. The incongruous flow of details with emphasis on exploring aspects of Mr. Holmes history to the most insignificant levels of minutia, while skating superficially over other areas that were seemingly far more influential to who this man was and what he became, brought added frustration. Having just finished listening, I am left with the same gnawing feeling synonymous with being left entirely unsatisfied after having just eaten a gourmet meal.
Unfortunate.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding

Narrative by the author is riveting and the content is remarkable. Will stick with you.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pleasantly Surprised

Pleasantly surprised with the quality of the author's reading performance. The author provides keen insights into every aspect of this horrific event.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Insightful, changes what we know about mass shooters.

James Holmes should not have become a mass shooter. AllHe has a life that was "normal" and had little signs that something was wrong with him. The last person one would ever think would become a mass shooter. While there were bumps on the road, he only began to show what he would become right after graduating college. This will have you consider the true impact of mental illness in the commission of unspeakable acts such as the 2012 Aurora shootings and many before/since.

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such a fair accounting

I have never heard such a tragic story told with so much respect for the victims, criminal and most importantly, the justice system. although the author has a professional opinion regarding the sanity of the patient, he was fair to everyone he spoke about. Well written and read.

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A breathe of fresh air

What really made the book enjoyable is the fact that it stays consistently on the mental health aspect of mass shootings. Most books on the topic generally grasp at low hanging factors instead of exploring the deeper reasons of why.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • miss Laura Z Burden
  • 09-11-18

would I listen to again prob not!!

i can't help but think this book is very flattering towards holmes and his crimes!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful