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Publisher's Summary

For four years a killer, or killers, stalked Virginia’s Tidewater region, carefully selecting victims, sending waves of terror into the local community.

The Colonial Parkway Murders - the name given eight murders that took place in the Tidewater region in the late 1980s, two of which were on the historic Colonial Parkway, the nation’s narrowest National Park. Young people in the prime of their lives were the targets. But the pattern that stitched this special kind of evil together was more like a spider web of theory, intrigue, and mathematics. Then, mysteriously, the killing spree stopped. The nameless predator, or predators, who stalked the Colonial Parkway stepped back into the mists of time and disappeared.

Now, father-daughter true crime authors Blaine Pardoe and Victoria Hester blow the dust off of these cases. Interviewing members of the families, friends, and members of law enforcement, they provide the first and most complete in-depth look at this string of horrific murders and disappearances. The author-investigators peel back the rumors and myths surrounding these crimes and provide new information never before revealed about the investigations.

©2017 Blaine Pardoe and Victoria Hester (P)2018 WildBlue Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

A True Crime Book of the Finest Kind

Would you consider the audio edition of A Special Kind of Evil to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the written or e-book. The audio version is excellent but maybe adding a pdf to go along would be helpful in following the suspects and enhancing the timeline.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The fact that the crimes are still unsolved.

What does Lee Ann Howlett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Excellent narration! Clear voice, good pacing,.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

All of the victims seemed both random but shared becoming victims of murder.

Any additional comments?

I am a fan of the genre. This was right up near my favorites.

I was given a copy of this audio book in return for an honest review.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my opinions.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Well researched

I'm a bit dubious about the rationale these authors have for writing this book. Each of the victims is described in depth through interviews of family and friends. Known facts and various theories of the cases are presented in detail. Remaining questions are clearly outlined. But these are very, very cold cases and suggesting this book might prompt a resolution seems a stretch. And if it does, who will let us know?

Lee Ann Howlett's performance is quite satisfactory. I didn't catch any glaring errors in either delivery or production.

NOTE: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

What an odd book.

I quickly lost trust in Hester and Pardoe due to the continuous grammatical errors, conflicting statements and repetitive sentences. True crime should be written with respect and attention to detail. Not slapped together over the course of a year. Sadly, this book only adds to the genre's damaged reputation within the literary world.

Fine, whatever, it's a poorly written book. Who cares? But the thing is, it could have been great. There is so much raw material that could have been woven together in a thoughtful, reflective way and used to engage a wider range of readers. Unfortunately, the story and her characters weren't handled with care or developed in any important way.

In fact, the only person that stands out to me is Joe (hopefully a pseudonym, otherwise he better sue), due to his unfair treatment by the authors. He's suddenly listed as a suspect in the final chapters based primarily on gossip.

There's another man who seemed to have been in a wheel chair during the 4 year killing spree who is also listed as a suspect. I hope they didn't use his real name either. For one, he is dead and can't defend himself; plus, he wasn't physically capable of commiting the murders.

Getting to know any of the characters deeper than surface level was just not possible. There were so many long direct quotes that could have been rewritten and formulated into a cohesive narrative, but instead were strung together verbatim.

I'm not entirely suprised most of the interveiws were merely transcribed because it only took them "one year, plus" to do all the research and write the book! This disappointing fact is very clear throughout.

Honestly, chapters 19 and 20 were maddening. The absolute worst part of this book was a statement in chapter 20 that refers to the victims' last minutes: "Our imaginations give us far worse [images] than reality-at least that is the hope". Let me just say, with total confidence (as a reader with no expertise whatsoever), no one's imagination is capable of coming close to the terrifying last moments of any victim. Come on. That is just offensive.

Clearly, I'm disappointed, but, maybe this book will force the adherence to the FOIA requests and some questions will finally be answered.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Humanizes victims, cumbersome writing

I read/listen to a lot of true crime stories and novels. I was raised in the mid-Atlantic region and I've visited some of the areas described in this book, so it hits close to home!

Pros -

The authors give each victim an individual chapter, which is important for establishing them as individuals. The format is Victim 1, Victim 2, murder, and investigation.

The authors did an excellent job doing research and interviews. Their sources include media reports from the 1980s until today, interviews with friends/families of the victims, and law enforcement.

The victims are presented as very real people - loved by their families, gifted in their unique ways, and struggling in some ways.

Cons -

This comment is related to the writing style, not the unthinkable events that happened to the victims. Because each murder is given its own chapter, parts of the background are repeated. We hear about the nefarious night time activities on the Colonial Parkway (i.e., drug deals) at least six times.

Cliches. The authors keep saying, "The 70s and 80s were simpler times" because there weren't seat belts or car seats for children (?) and there were no cell phones. I was there in the 80s. It wasn't a rosy-hued simpler time. Children died in car accidents because they were untethered. Growing up is hard, regardless of the era. The positive traits and shortcomings of the victims are the same as young people today. There are boogeymen looking for people to hurt, rob, rape, and murder.

The authors quote directly from interviews including the "filler" words or phrases that people use in natural conversation (i.e., "you know?", "stuff like that"). Removing those "filler" words or phrases would not detract from the interview. It would help the paragraphs to flow smoothly.

The issue I have with the narrator is related to the inclusion of "filler" words. The narrator read over those phrases without imitating natural tone or inflection. (Phrases like, "You know?" aren't read with a rising inflection). It makes the narration sound flat.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A bit different

This book is not a detective story or a true crimes docu where you'll get the answers at the end.
It is however a true memorial to the memory of 8 young people who were murdered cruelly and without cause.
It tells of their lives and the investigations into their deaths.
I found this book difficult to listen to in places and on a few occasions didn't want to finish it. BUT I am pleased I did finish the book. The authors did a fine and balanced job in writing the book and by the end I felt I knew these young people.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Good Read

This book seems like it is split into two parts. The first part talks about the victims and what was probably in newspapers. At times it can be confusing because its not always clear who is talking or know that it's something a family member to the victim is daying. The second part talks more about the investigation and theories.

This book was pretty interesting for a true crime book. It did seem a little repetitive at times. even though it seems like two parts, the authors find a way to tie it all in together. I really enjoyed this book. The narrator does a good job on this one. It's definitely worth reading.

I was given this book for free at my request in return for my unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Very..Very detailed. It brings up more questions.

I liked how this book gave the victim's a detailed discriptions about their lives and personalities.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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rewelacyjna książka!

Bardzo ciekawa książka o niezbyt znanej w Polsce sprawie. Dobrze napisana. Trzymająca w napięciu ale również niepozwalająca zapomnieć o najważniejszym w całej historii, czyli o ofiarach i ich rodzinach.
Warto odsłuchać.

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

An interesting story

A special kind of evil is in one word interesting. There is a lot to digest in this book and it isn't always easy to do so. For those expecting a resolution to the case you will be sorely disappointed because this case is far from solved. What this book does is take all the existing information and puts it into one place while also going very deep into the lives of the victims to it's detriment at times which might make it hard for some reader's to get through. I will say that the authors state at the beginning of the book the focus was going to be on the victims and most of this book is about them by far more than most true crime books do. Having purchased the audio version of the book and while the narrator wasn't bad she wasn't great either, and the audio quality was pretty good. All in all if your looking for a true crime book more focused on the victims then the crime this is the book for you, a very interesting group of cases, bad police work and bad coverage by media at the time make the case even more interesting then most.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Carol
  • Belle river, ON, Canada
  • 07-18-18

the worst True Crime book I have ever read

there is so much story about the people that were killed nothing about the actual crime the investigation there's just nothing .
I guess I didn't read the summary of This Book well enough. I do not recommend it and I do rate this as the worst true crime book I've read.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful