Difference between revisions of "Newest True Crime Reviews"

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[[Category:New Reviews|True Crime]]
 
[[Category:New Reviews|True Crime]]
 
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|author= John Grisham
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|title= The Innocent Man
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|rating= 4.5
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|genre= True Crime
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|summary=Many readers may be drawn by the fact that the internationally bestselling John Grisham is the author here. I however, must admit that although I have enjoyed some of the films based on his books, I have never actually read any of them. This hasn't been due to deliberate avoidance, I just haven't gotten around to it. I was keen then to read this True Crime title and see what Grisham would bring to the table, so to speak.
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|amazonuk=<amazonuk>1784759414</amazonuk>
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|author= Emmanuel Carrere and Linda Coverdale (translator)
 
|author= Emmanuel Carrere and Linda Coverdale (translator)

Latest revision as of 09:42, 13 August 2017


The Innocent Man by John Grisham

4.5star.jpg True Crime

Many readers may be drawn by the fact that the internationally bestselling John Grisham is the author here. I however, must admit that although I have enjoyed some of the films based on his books, I have never actually read any of them. This hasn't been due to deliberate avoidance, I just haven't gotten around to it. I was keen then to read this True Crime title and see what Grisham would bring to the table, so to speak. Full review...

The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrere and Linda Coverdale (translator)

4star.jpg True Crime

On 9th January 1993 Jean-Claude Romand orchestrated a horrifying chain of events which exposed a shocking double life, a history of lies and a breath-taking capacity for deceit. The Adversary dissects the choices and actions of Romand which led to the brutal murders of his wife, children and parents and the attempted murder of his mistress, the impact of his deception on those around him and his sensational trial. Carrère is as integral a part of this story as Romand, his coverage of the trial and correspondence with him whilst in prison form a significant part of the story as do his feelings and response to Romand's justification for his actions. Full review...

The Red Parts: Autobiography of a Trial by Maggie Nelson

4star.jpg Autobiography

Maggie Nelson is the author of four volumes of poetry and five wide-ranging works of nonfiction that delve into the nature of violence and sexuality. From what I'd heard about her writing, I knew to expect an important and unconventional thinker with a distinctive, lyrical style. Now Vintage is making some of her backlist, including this book (originally published in 2007) and the uncategorisable Bluets, available for the first time in the UK. Full review...

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

5star.jpg True Crime

Killers of the Flower Moon tells the story of the Osage tribe, forced to settle in the rocky, uninhabitable wilds of Oklahoma in what would become Osage County. In an unexpected turn of fortune, prospectors struck oil, instantly catapulting the Osage into unimaginable wealth and fortune making them some of the richest people in the world. Then members of the tribe start to die, slowly at first of apparently natural causes then in increasingly violent ways. Investigation into the matter stalls and is beset by incompetence and a general lack of interest in the fate of the Osage until the FBI becomes involved and draws together a team of battle scarred, unorthodox agents led by former Texas Ranger Tom White. As pressure on White increases, from both the FBI and the increasingly angry Osage, the race to find the truth becomes increasingly difficult, with more twists and double crosses than any murder mystery. Full review...

The Black Hand by Stephan Talty

4star.jpg True Crime

History is a fascinating subject to study as there is so much of it, so why do we keep going back to the same places? I feel like I have walked the steps of Julius Caesar and married at least two of Henry VIII's wives, so often I have read about them. There are countless other tales out there to learn about that may be more obscure, but are just as exciting. I don't know much about New York around 1900, but after reading The Black Hand by Stephan Talty I now know it was a violent place to live, but an interesting one to learn about. Full review...

The Doctor's Wife is Dead by Andrew Tierney

4.5star.jpg True Crime

In 1849 a woman named Ellen Langley died at her home in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary Ireland. She was the wife of a prosperous doctor and came from a well-respected family; so why was she buried in a pauper's coffin? Why had she been confined to the grim attic rooms of the house she shared with her husband and then exiled to rented lodgings in the most impoverished part of their famine-ravaged town? Why had her death caused such uproar and ultimately, why had her husband been charged with murder? Full review...

A Very English Scandal: Sex, Lies and a Murder Plot at the Heart of the Establishment by John Preston

5star.jpg True Crime

Jeremy Thorpe was the sort of person who was generally liked by others. He was flamboyant and gregarious but could give the impression that meeting someone had made his day. He never seemed to forget a name and he was witty, charismatic and very charming. He appeared to be a decent man, with views with which I would have agreed on race, capital punishment and membership of the Common Market, as the European Union was then known. For this was the nineteen sixties and Thorpe had entered Parliament at the age of thirty and by 1967 he would be party leader. On the surface he was a man who had everything going for him. Full review...

Mrs Holmes: Murder, Kidnap and the True Story of an Extraordinary Lady Detective by Brad Ricca

3.5star.jpg True Crime

Grace Humiston, an American lawyer and travelling detective in the early years of the twentieth century, was well ahead of her time. Long before women were readily accepted in the legal profession, she became the first female US District Attorney, taking on cases nobody else wanted, setting herself up as an advocate for the disadvantaged, charging minimal fees and working hard on what seemed to be utterly hopeless cases. With her flair for publicity she made good copy, and was always good for a story in the papers. Her nickname 'Mrs. Sherlock Holmes' was an apt one. Full review...

The Scholl Case by Anja Reich-Osang and Imogen Taylor (translator)

5star.jpg Biography

I think I'd like Ludwigsfelde. I wouldn't have liked it when it was an industrial village, with one or two huge mechanical plants and nothing else to its name. But now, even with the constant hum of the autobahn (one of Hitler's) keeping it company, it must have an appeal. It has been rebuilt, refashioned and remodelled since the end of East Germany, under the most prosperous and forward-looking mayor in the state, if not the country. He it was who put in a mostly-nude swimming spa. It has dispensers for doggy poo bags, so there's nothing as uncouth as taking your own. The mayor, bless him, even expanded the motorway to three lanes in each direction. It is within touch of Berlin, and in tune with so many business wants, yet is surrounded by woodland. Woodland where, between Christmas and New Year a few years back, the mayor's own wife and dog were found, both having been strangled… Full review...

Capital Punishment: London's Places of Execution by Robert Bard

4star.jpg History

The majority of books on true crime and murder focus first and foremost on specific incidents. This concise volume takes a different approach, in dealing with them according to where the executioner completed his task. Full review...

A Good Month For Murder by Del Quentin Wilber

2star.jpg True Crime

I like to read crime fiction in part because it allows me to keep the dark world of murder and mayhem at arms-length, whilst still enjoying the vicarious thrills. After all, this is fiction and therefore a made up death. However, sometimes it is important to have a reality check and read a bit of non-fiction. The problem is with True Crime as a genre is that it is sometimes written the same as fiction, although it is 'real’. Is there a place to sensationalise actual death for the entertainment of others? Full review...

The A-Z of Victorian Crime by Neil R A Bell, Trevor N Bond, Kate Clarke and M W Oldridge

4.5star.jpg True Crime

Victorian crime has never ceased to cast its spell. Is it because such terrible goings-on took place sufficiently long ago that they do not disgust us in the same way as equally dreadful events from, say, the last few days of which we read from today's papers or online coverage? Whatever the reason, there is an endless fascination with murders and other major transgressions of the law from the era of gas lamps and swirling fog – true Victorian melodrama, misbehaviour and horror from real life writ large. It is amply catered for in this title, the joint work of four authors. Full review...

Nemesis – The Hunt For Brazil's Most Wanted Criminal by Misha Glenny

4.5star.jpg True Crime

Many of us have had a 'Sliding Doors' moment. A single incident that grabs life by the shoulders and shoves it in a completely new and unexpected direction. Few can have travelled quite so far, quite so quickly as Antonio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, aka Nem. Full review...

This House of Grief by Helen Garner

4star.jpg True Crime

This is an account of a harrowing event in Australia's recent history: the drowning of three young boys when the car being driven by their father, Robert Farquharson, veered off the road and fell into a dam. The father escaped unhurt. The tragedy was appropriated by the national media and led to a drawn-out prosecution of the father for murder. Full review...

Inside Alcatraz: My Life on the Rock by Jim Quillen

5star.jpg Autobiography

It sounds like something from a Hollywood movie. A group of young prisoners make a daring escape from prison and go on the run, cleverly evading capture thanks to quick wits and creative thinking. After managing to cover some distance, the men began to feel smart, confident and quite comfortable, thinking that they had managed to outwit the police. A rude awakening with gun to the head one morning proved otherwise. The circumstances of their escape meant that their capture would lead to a long incarceration in one of the most notorious prisons in the world: Alcatraz. Inside Alcatraz is the story of one of those men, Jim Quillen, and his long road to redemption. Full review...

Criminal Capital: How the Finance Industry Facilitates Crime by Stephen Platt

4star.jpg Business and Finance

It used to be estate agents we reviled the most, but they've now achieved relative respectability. MPs briefly took the top spot, but for many years now the list has been topped by bankers following the 2008 financial crisis, when huge taxpayer-funded financial bailouts were required to keep the world's financial system afloat. Most people will think that we've heard the worst of what has been going on, but Stephen Platt believes that excessive risk taking and mis-selling might well be just a minor part of what is still happening in the industry and that government attempts to counter the problems are misguided and unlikely to be effective. Full review...

Quiet Dell by Jayne Anne Phillips

4star.jpg Crime (Historical)

Chicago – 1931. Asta Eicher is a widow, with three children and a crippling sense of loneliness. When Harry Powers asks her to marry him, she is delighted – and the new family soon leave in order to travel to West Virginia. They are never seen again. Back in Chicago, Emily Thornhill is one of the few women journalists in Chicago, and is sent to investigate the disappearance, trying to establish what happened to the family. As she becomes ever deeper involved with the investigation, Emily begins to discover things she never expected – both about the case, and herself. Full review...

A Different Class of Murder: The Story of Lord Lucan by Laura Thompson

5star.jpg True Crime

It's difficult to believe that it's forty years since the murder of nanny Sandra Rivett and the subsequent disappearance of Lord Lucan, not least because there have been numerous theories about what happened on November the 7th 1974 - and what became of Lucan. It might also be thought that - short of the Earl turning up with an explanation - there's not a great deal new which can be added to the pile of published material on the subject, so I began reading A Different Class of Murder with the thought that there would be no great surprises. Full review...

The Poisoner: The Life and Crimes of Victorian England's Most Notorious Doctor by Stephen Bates

4.5star.jpg True Crime

Just to fend off any accusations of a spoiler, the fate of Dr William Palmer is probably just as well-known to those with an interest in the subject as that of President Kennedy or Princess Diana. Stephen Bates’ account of ‘the Prince of Poisoners’ starts off, therefore, with an account of the proceedings on 14 June 1856 when over 30,000 people gathered outside Stafford Prison to see him keep an appointment with the hangman after being found guilty of murder. Full review...

The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death in the Sixteenth Century by Joel F Harrington

3.5star.jpg True Crime

Frantz Schmidt, the official executioner and torturer in Nuremberg, the Albert Pierrepoint of his day, entered his terrible profession by accident. In 1553, shortly before he was born, the Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach had three gunsmiths arrested after they were found guilty of plotting to kill him. Invoking a local custom, he called on a random bystander to execute them, and his choice fell on Heinrich Schmidt to carry out the sentence. If he disobeyed, he and the two men standing next to him would also be summarily hanged. Having thus been made to carry out one execution, Schmidt and his family were ostracised by all respectable citizens in their home town of Nuremberg and banned from all public buildings. He therefore had no choice but to take it up as a lifelong career. Full review...

The Mad Sculptor by Harold Schechter

4star.jpg True Crime

The modern proliferation of TV channels has not filled our screens with copious amounts of quality television that we can't find time to watch, but instead has given us countless channels we cannot be bothered to see. Some of these channels are packed to the gills with True Crime Documentaries that go into lurid detail about murders, kidnappings and other unsavoury business. ‘The Mad Sculptor’ by Harold Schechter is a True Crime novel, but is it a well-researched slice of nonfiction, or another avenue to glorify crime for those fans of TV Crime? Full review...

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

2.5star.jpg Autobiography

As if we didn't have enough excuses to appreciate the 'Masters of the Universe' of the financial sector. After the tax dodging, the bonus scamming, price fixing and the valiant attempt to bring down the entire world economy comes Jordan Belfort aka the Wolf of Wall Street. To be fair to Belfort, he plied his trade long before the most recent financial meltdown. Still, he's managed to piggy back the latest crash via a best selling book which has been re-released to coincide with a film adaptation starring Leonardo Dicaprio. Full review...

Parkland by Vincent Bugliosi

4.5star.jpg History

Parkland is not just a book about history but a book with a history. Vincent Bugliosi published Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 2007 with much of the book being based on his preparation for a mock trial of Lee Harvey Oswald which was shown on British television. This book was an exhaustive look at what happened in Dallas and at subsequent events such as the trial of Jack Ruby and the conspiracy theories which have abounded in the intervening fifty years. Four Days in November: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy was published in June 2008 and is - as the title suggests - restricted to what happened on 22 November 1963 and the following three days. Parkland is the film tie-in version of that book. Full review...

Not In Your Lifetime: The Assassination of JFK by Anthony Summers

4.5star.jpg True Crime

Originally published as The Kennedy Conspiracy, Anthony Summers has massively revised the text, updated it with the latest evidence and it's been republished as Not in Your Lifetime: The Assassination of JFK which refers to the statement made by Chief Justice Earl Warren who was asked if the truth about what happened would come out. He said that it would, but added the rider that it might not be in your lifetime. Fifty years on most of the people directly involved are now dead, but the truth has not officially emerged. In fact, it's difficult to avoid the thought that the US government would prefer that it did not see the light of day. Further documents are due to be released in 2017, but, in the meantime Anthony Summer has examined what is available, investigated on his own behalf and given us this comprehensive book. Full review...

A Very British Murder: the Story of a National Obsession by Lucy Worsley

4.5star.jpg True Crime

The British are an illogical race. Short of genocide, murder is the worst, most shocking crime an individual can commit, yet it has become a kind of commodity which over the last years has been endlessly packaged as a mass market entertainment industry. We buy newspapers and magazines with blow-by-blow accounts of dreadful true life cases, we read thrillers, watch TV drama series and documentaries, and we can take part in murder mystery evenings and weekends at pubs and hotels. Full review...

Damn His Blood: Being a True and Detailed History of the Most Barbarous and Inhumane Murder at Oddingley and the Quick and Awful Retribution by Peter Moore

4.5star.jpg True Crime

In 1806 the Reverend George Parker was Rector of Oddingley, a quiet little Worcestershire village. Married with a small daughter, he was also a part-time farmer and kept a herd of four dairy cows which were taken by a servant to graze in a meadow in the north of his parish every morning. This gave him the chance to enjoy a gentle stroll along the peaceful lanes when he went to fetch them home in the afternoon for milking. Full review...

Straight Flush by Ben Mezrich

4.5star.jpg True Crime

Ben Mezrich's latest book tells the story of six college kids - frat brothers from the University of Montana - who built up AbsolutePoker.com, one of the world's largest poker sites - only for it to come crashing down as the legality of online poker became more and more of an issue, with the Department of Justice getting involved. We find out in the first chapter, as one of the six prepares to return to the USA from Central America to face prosecution, that things have gone horribly wrong. Just how horribly wrong, we have to wait to find out... Full review...

Jack the Ripper: CSI: Whitechapel by John Bennett and Paul Begg

4star.jpg True Crime

He was an avenging doctor, he was a foreign madman, he was royalty, he was a she – he was even Sherlock bleeding Holmes. Whoever the actual Jack the Ripper was I doubt will ever be known. What is for sure is that new books that cover the subject with any conviction have to fall into one of two camps – those positing a new suspect, or those presenting the known facts about the crimes and their victims in a new fashion. This book is definitely in the latter category. Full review...

Capital Crimes: Seven centuries of London life and murder by Max Decharne

4.5star.jpg True Crime

True crime has been one of the great growth areas of publishing in the last few years. As more than one author in the field as observed, everyone loves a good murder in a manner of speaking, and anybody who is looking for books on murders in London will find no lack of choice. Full review...