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Publisher's Summary

In this unrelenting real-life drama of three wealthy families connected by marriage and murder, Bledsoe recounts the shocking events, obsessive love, and bitter custody battles that led toward the bloody climax that took nine lives.

©1988 Jerry Bledsoe (P)2015 ListenUp Production, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • bethann
  • milwaukee, WI, United States
  • 04-23-15

incredible

The summary didn't give me much to go by-but I am glad I took a chance on it. wow. this is one of those stories that seems too far fetched - but yet it's real. It was a worthy pick for my coveted credits.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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This is crazy... This is crazy... This is crazy...

Fritz Klenner was batsh*t crazy. His 1st cousin Susie Newsom was right behind him. Together they were a paranoid force that single-handedly snuffed out 3 generations of their OWN family.

The Newsom, Lynch and Sharp families are dissected down to their cores in this book and I feel I know their familial flowcharts better than they do, thanks to this book. Esteem, prominence and prosperity couldn't save any of them from this depravity. I don't want to spoil the contents of this MAGNIFICENTLY put together, complete, book, so... I won't.

If you ever had a slight interest in True Crime - this book is on your bucket list. Jerry Bedsoe clearly poured every ounce of his heart into investigating and retelling this roller coaster of a story. I used to live in the area where this "situation" occurred and was extremely appreciative of the author's details, down to street names - I could see where they were, when they were, and that added a extra level of hit-over-the-head reality for me.

Be prepared for a lenghty, detail-filled journey. If you're into knowing it all, you're going to love this.

Extremely well done. Don't hesitate.

PS - Kevin Stillwell the PERFECT voice for this book.

PSS - Tom Lynch - you have my deepest sympathies.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Please…bring more of Jerry's books to Audible.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes! This is the best true crime book I have ever read.

What other book might you compare Bitter Blood to and why?

Fatal Vision, the book about Jeffery McDonald. The interesting paths people go down to the depths of evil and madness.

Which scene was your favorite?

The final car chase across Guilford County and its awful ending.

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

The scary house in Kentucky where so much unhappiness existed. The palm leaves were really creepy.

Any additional comments?

My Mother and aunt were patients of Dr. Klenner. They loved him. Kevin Stillwell was the perfect reader of this book. Love the way he says "the poe-lice".

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Couldn't stop listening!!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Bitter Blood to be better than the print version?

Yes

What other book might you compare Bitter Blood to and why?

Small Sacrifices

What does Kevin Stillwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His voice is perfect for this story and he narrates with ease!

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

Upset- Crappy police work by the SBI and the police in North Carolina. Although John & Jim were probably poisoned before they left the house, the police should have intervened before Fritz let them in the blazer. At least Kentucky had the guts to take it to the grand jury!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Best part

This is NOT a spoiler

The beginning of this book seems to jump around to various families that have no apparent connection. Just as I was about to give up, figuring I must have missed something that would make it all make sense, and then he ties it in so wonderfully, and was so excited to understand the connection and follow one step ahead of what the story was confirming! It just got better from there. 😄😄

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Daryl
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 02-08-16

A Rare Misstep for Bledsoe

I have read and enjoyed Bledsoe's other true crime books. This one, like those, is written with a journalist's eye for detail... which is precisely its weakness. Too many family members and histories that are not relevant to the story, then meeting a pivotal character 3/4 of the way through the book. By the time I got to the end, I didn't even care, and that's so tragic... those who were impacted by these crimes deserve better.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Wordy

Bitter blood was a good book. At times wordy though. It tended to go into every single person in the story to the nth degree. It was a tragic story about a semi famous family in the south. Well performed by the narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Long and Boring

This book is an example of TMI. The narrator's monotone voice pushes it to unbearable.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Thorough and considerably enjoyable

Where does Bitter Blood rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I have only listened to 5 audiobooks in my life, all about true crime and all best selling titles. Bitter Blood was probably the best.

What other book might you compare Bitter Blood to and why?

I would compare it to Helter Skelter, a story of a twisted delusional but very charming and persuasive individual who was able to persuade seemingly innocent and reasonable people to do terrible things.

What does Kevin Stillwell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Stillwell's narration was very fitting the story. It added the illusion of the story being told by an elderly, experienced law enforcement officer who worked the case telling it to his grandchildren.

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

No, it had too many twists, turns, and cliffhangers. I wanted to stop listening after a few hours to draw out the enjoyment.

Any additional comments?

Bitter Blood is a very interesting and thoroughly researched story about a bizarre crime. This story was so interesting if left me wishing a great crime director like David Fincher had taken a stab at adapting it to the screen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent true crime read

This is a thorough and in depth story of a complicated family dynamic. I appreciate the level of research and background the author did and provided in the book. I never fail to be impressed with that type of worth ethic, especially with true crime books. If you appreciate the type of true crime that really digs in, this audiobook is for you. Also, the narrator does a fantastic job as well. very easy to listen to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • miss flavell
  • 05-27-15

Detailed

Riveting and full of twists and turns. U was very upset when it was all over!!!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Geoff
  • 03-21-16

Dark, Horrifying!

A Gripping and, Also, Moving Piece of Writing, with Extreme Attention to Detail giving You an Intimate Insight into a Human Condition that in Some Way Effects Us All. "You Can Choose Your Friends but You Can't Choose Your Family!" There by The Grace of God Go Us All!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • The Village Green
  • 07-22-16

Bloodlines

A tale of murder and intrigue that fans of true crime will enjoy, as well as those who like mystery. It was well written too. The narration was excellent, making the flow of this lengthy work seem just about right. The attention to detail by the author was also a strong point. My big criticism is the length to which the family background is explored, taking up too much room and, in many places, proving superfluous. My second criticism is that the author fails to ask why law enforcement agencies: 1) botched their jobs so badly and 2) whether anyone was held responsible for that. I suspect the book came out soon after the events described, and that many of the issues raised had yet to be resolved at the time of writing. Overall: worthwhile, but meandering in parts

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Batwench
  • 04-25-17

Great research and background

What made the experience of listening to Bitter Blood the most enjoyable?

Many true crime book focus on just the crime and the investigation/case afterwards. This book however, looks into the background of the people involved, not just them, but the families that they came from. This amount of research adds not only to the speculation of why the crimes were committed but also looks at the feeling of the people who are left behind and how it affected their lives since then.

The narration of the words is excellent and Keven Stillwell has a lovely voice to listen to. He is very suited to this genre. So much so that I am looking to listen to no only more books from this author but read by Mr Stillwell as well.

What about Kevin Stillwell’s performance did you like?

Voice and the feeling that he cared about the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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