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Publisher's Summary

On July 13, 2011, Laura Jean Ackerson of Kinston, North Carolina, went to pick up her two toddler sons. It would be the last time she was seen alive. Laura's ex, Grant Hayes - the father of her two sons - and his wife, Amanda, the mother of his newborn daughter, both pointed the finger at each other as the one guilty of murdering Laura, cutting up her body, and then transporting and disposing of the remains on the shores of Oyster Creek, Texas. This is the hauntingly true story of a devoted mother, a disturbed couple, and how these horrific events came to pass.

©2016 Diane Fanning (P)2016 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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

COMPELLING ACCOUNT - WRONG NARRATOR!

This is a pretty good true crime story. One which has not been "done to death" on TV forensics shows to the point where YOU could commit the perfect crime AND solve it in 48 hours! The author did a lot of research, which is daunting in some places, but that's what a true crime buff lives for. However, the amount of details and minutiae become mind-numbing when delivered by this narrator. Her voice is just all wrong for such a dark and disturbing crime. It's like listening to an actress from "Nickelodeon" dropping "f-bombs" and talking about very sexually explicit acts. After about 3 hours, I decided to just look up the murder on Wikipedia because I couldn't take that narrator any longer. Overall, it's a good account and the perfect audiobook if you're stuck in a car for a long drive.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Good Listen

A a fan of true crime books in my opinion this book was bronze. It held my attention and was very detailed, describing the characters and helping me to visualize them as I read the story. I think I gave this book three stars because of narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I feel like it coulda been good, but...

Seems like a looooong build-up to get to the murder that I now already know from the start of the book. The narrator was really hard to listen to; I’m not going to be able to finish it. I love true-crime stories but unfortunately listening to her was distracting in that I was just annoyed. I’ll google the story to get the nuts and bolts.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Torn between listening and returning!

The narrator drove me crazy with her "sing song" cadence. The story was definitely up to Diane Fanning's usual quality of reporting, but I almost stopped listening several times because the narration was so distracting. Karyn O'Bryant was able to read passages of dialog with a passable southern accent, using a normal cadence, but could not seem to do this when not reading dialog.

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

Fascinating Character Study

Fascinating information, about fascinating people. Thorough, & exhausting description, of a murder trial. And, the events, leading up, to it.

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

Tragedy times three

The narration, by Karyn O'Bryant is engaging, and fluid. It is as if she was talking about people she knew personally. That is of course due in part to Diane Fannings' empathetic prose. Bitter Remains isn't just about a horrific crime, rather about the descent into psychopathy, of a trio of very damaged people; but about the ripple effects that will leave limitless scaring of three very young children. Very inconceivable, but very good read.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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local

I'm a Kinston resident and while I didn't know any of the people involved, I feel for Laura's family and friends and for all of the children that are now without parents. I'm glad that justice was granted foe Laura's death and that her murderers are behind bars.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator too boring.

I could not finish listening too this. The narrator made it a difficult listen. As much as I don't like to give bad reviews. About halfway through the story I just could not stand another second. Story is good, but I won't listen to this person again.

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

Fantastic Book

Loved this book. Very easy to follow. Didn't lose interest once. The narrator did a phenomenal job. Very talented author.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling & Riveting

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

Most enjoyable for me would be the attention to detail of the facts of this case. I watched the trial from beginning to end and Diane Fanning included the most important facts accurately.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Bitter Remains?

One of the most memorable moments of this book for me would have to be the trials of both Grant and Amanda Hayes.

What does Karyn O'Bryant bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Karyn O'Bryant had inflection in her tone and wasn't monotone. She managed to capture my attention and hold it from beginning to end.

If you could give Bitter Remains a new subtitle, what would it be?

I wouldn't change the subtitle. It reflects the murder of Laura Ackerson accurately.