Mini Review ~ WHAT HAPPENED TO PAULA

What Happened to Paula: On the Death of an American Girl

by Katherine Dykstra


Synopsis:
A riveting investigation into a cold case asks how much control women have over their bodies and the direction of their lives.

July 1970. Eighteen-year-old Paula Oberbroeckling left her house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Four months later, her remains were discovered just beyond the mouth of a culvert overlooking the Cedar River. Her homicide has never been solved.

Fifty years cold, Paula’s case had been mostly forgotten when journalist Katherine Dykstra began looking for answers. A woman was dead. Why had no one been held responsible? How could the powers that be, how could a community, have given up? Tracing Paula’s final days, Dykstra uncovers a girl whose exultant personality was at odds with the Midwest norms of the late 1960s. A girl who was caught between independence and youthful naivete, between a love that defied racially segregated Cedar Rapids and her complicated but enduring love for her mother, and between a possible pregnancy and the freedoms that had been promised by the women’s liberation movement but that still had little practical bearing on actual lives. The more Dykstra learned about the circumstances of Paula’s life, the more parallels she saw in the lives of the women who knew Paula and the women in Paula’s family, in the lives of the women in Dykstra’s own family, and even in her own life.


Captivating and expertly crafted from interviews with Paula’s family and friends, police reports, and on-the-scene investigation, What Happened to Paula is part true crime story, part memoir, a timely and powerful look at gender, autonomy, and the cost of being a woman.


My thoughts: Rather than a straight up true crime story, the author tends to make a sociology study of the time and situation. Well researched and written, yet I had trouble staying engaged at times. After finishing, I felt foggy about the story, rather than enriched. But that could just be me, most likely. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Katherine Dykstra, and the publisher.


What Happened to Paula

Publisher: WW Norton & Co – 288 pages
Publication: Jun 15th, 2021
My rating: 4/5 STARS


About the author– Katherine Dykstra is a writer, editor, and teacher. Her essays have been published in the Washington Post, Poets & Writers, and Real Simple, among other periodicals. She lives with her husband and two children in New Jersey.


Book Review (ARC) ~ RAZOR WIRE WILDERNESS

Razor Wire Wilderness

by Stephanie Dickinson

Synopsis:
Longtime author Stephanie Dickinson straddles the lines of true crime and memoir in “Razor Wire Wilderness,” (May 18, Kallisto Gaia Press) as she examines the lives of those affected by violence in this immaculately assembled account that takes readers directly inside incarceration and face to face with inmates.

Krystal Riordan watched as her boyfriend beat a teenage Jennifer Moore to death in a vermin-infested New Jersey hotel room. Could she have stopped it? Or could she be his next victim? Now, Krystal is serving a maximum 30-year sentence, while the man who beat Jennifer to death received only a 50-year sentence. So what does it take to survive in a maximum security lockdown for 30 years? Is it possible to thrive? 

The answers only lead to more questions in Dickinson’s raw and emotional look into the criminal justice system and how it’s failed not just one but countless victims of violence. And what unfolds is a beautiful depiction of moral ambiguity, loss and redemption within the confines of the prison walls and beyond.


My thoughts: This book is gritty, yet beautifully written. Much of it is about Krystal Riordan’s time in prison for being part of the murder of a teenage Jennifer Moore. Krystal’s boyfriend beat the girl to death in their nasty hotel room in front of her. It shares a lot of prison interaction and gives a glimpse of what it’s like for Krystal. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Stephanie Dickinson, and the publisher.


Razor Wire Wilderness

Publisher: Kallisto Gaia Press
Publication: May 18th, 2021
My rating: 4/5 STARS


About the author– Stephanie Dickinson has lived in Iowa, Texas, Louisiana and now New York City, a state unto itself. Her work appears in Hotel Amerika, Mudfish, Weber Studies, Fjords, Cherry Tree, Water-Stone Review, Gargoyle, Rhino, Stone Canoe, Westerly, and New Stories from the South, among others. Her novels are Half Girl and Love Highway, based on the 2006 Jennifer Moore murder. Heat: An Interview with Jean Seberg, was released by New Michigan Press, and her hybrid collection, The Emily Fables, is just out from ELJ Publications. Her work has received multiple distinguished story citations in the Pushcart Anthology, Best American Short Stories, and Best American Mysteries. She is the editor of Rain Mountain Press.


Book Review (ARC) ~ Death on Ocean Boulevard

Death on Ocean Boulevard: Inside the Coronado Mansion Case

by Caitlin Rother

Synopsis:
Award-winning investigative journalist and bestselling author Caitlin Rother explores the mysterious death of 32-year-old Rebecca Zahau, who was found hanging from a second-story balcony of her multimillionaire boyfriend’s San Diego mansion in 2011. She was naked and gagged, with her ankles tied and hands bound behind her. On the door to her bedroom, investigators found a hand-written message: “SHE SAVED HIM CAN YOU SAVE HER.” The death was deemed a suicide, but Rother reveals there’s more to the story…

“I got a girl, hung herself in the guest house.”

The call came on the morning of July 13, 2011, from the historic Spreckels Mansion, a lavish beachfront property in Coronado, California, owned by pharmaceutical tycoon and multimillionaire Jonah Shacknai. When authorities arrived, they found the naked body of Jonah’s girlfriend, Rebecca Zahau, gagged, her ankles tied and her wrists bound behind her. Jonah’s brother, Adam, claimed to have found Rebecca hanging by a rope from the second-floor balcony. On a bedroom door in black paint were the cryptic words: SHE SAVED HIM CAN YOU SAVE HER.

Was this scrawled message a suicide note or a killer’s taunt? Rebecca’s death came two days after Jonah’s six-year-old son, Max, took a devastating fall while in Rebecca’s care. Authorities deemed Rebecca’s death a suicide resulting from her guilt. But who would stage either a suicide or a murder in such a bizarre, elaborate way?

Award-winning investigative journalist Caitlin Rother weaves stunning new details into a personal yet objective examination of the sensational case. She explores its many layers–including the civil suit in which a jury found Adam Shacknai responsible for Rebecca’s death, and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department bombshell decision to reconfirm its original findings. As compelling as it is troubling, this controversial real-life mystery is a classic American tragedy that evokes the same haunting fascination as the JonBenet Ramsey and O.J. Simpson cases.


My thoughts: This story was was really big news and captured the attention of many. People were fascinated by the case, wondering what happened and was it ever going to really be known. In 2011, when Rebecca Zahau was found dead, hanging from the balcony of the Spreckels mansion, it just seemed such a bizarre thing to happen. Then you read about Max Shacknai’s injury just 2 days earlier, and you’re really intrigued! Rother followed the story from the time Zahau died, writing and researching the story for 9 years all with an eye to doing this book. She was keeping tabs on the story all along, writing as it went, waiting for the right time. I have seen many shows done on TV about this case, but this book is the latest word and likely the deepest dive into the story. I’ve liked previous works I’ve read by Rother like Poisoned Love, Lost Girls, and Then No One Can Have Her. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Caitlin Rother, and the publisher.


Death on Ocean Boulevard

Publisher: Citadel – 368 pages
Published: Apr 27th, 2021
My rating: 5/5 STARS


About the author– Caitlin Rother is a New York Times bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-nominated non-fiction, true crime American-Canadian author and journalist. She worked as an investigative reporter at daily newspapers for nineteen years before deciding to write books full-time. Her work has been published in Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. Her more than 100 TV/radio appearances include Nancy Grace, On the Record, the Jay Thomas Show, Snapped, and numerous shows on Investigation Discovery, E!, A&E, XM Radio, America at Night, C-SPAN and various affiliates. Rother also works as a book doctor, writing/research coach and consultant, and teaches narrative non-fiction writing and digital journalism at UCSD Extension and San Diego Writers, Ink. Please visit her Website at CaitlinRother.com


Book Review (ARC) ~ BUGSY SIEGEL

Bugsy Siegel: The Dark Side of the American Dream

by Michael Shnayerson


Synopsis:
In a brief life that led to a violent end, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel (1906-1947) rose from desperate poverty to ill-gotten riches, from an early-twentieth-century family of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side to a kingdom of his own making in Las Vegas. In this captivating portrait, author Michael Shnayerson sets out not to absolve Bugsy Siegel but rather to understand him in all his complexity. Through the 1920s, 1930s, and most of the 1940s, Bugsy Siegel and his longtime partner in crime Meyer Lansky engaged in innumerable acts of violence. As World War II came to an end, Siegel saw the potential for a huge, elegant casino resort in the sands of Las Vegas. Jewish gangsters built nearly all of the Vegas casinos that followed. Then, one by one, they disappeared. Siegel’s story laces through a larger, generational story of eastern European Jewish immigrants in the early- to mid-twentieth century.


My thoughts: I got this as an audio book to give my eyes a rest, as I’m really having trouble with them. I very much enjoyed listening to this look at the life of Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, as I really hadn’t known a lot about him beyond the casino and his gruesome end. It’s a good dive into his life as a Jewish gangster who had to really work his way up from nothing, and became fairly powerful in his own right. He was always just a bit full of himself, and I think it came back to bite him later on. He felt he was invincible and it turned out that he was not. The description of his final evening after he gets home becomes quite graphic and beyond. Overall, it was a good experience, I enjoyed the narrator’s voice and the book was good. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Michael Shnayerson, and the publisher.


Publisher: Tantor Audio, Unabridged edition
Publication: Feb 9th, 2021
My rating: 4/5 STARS
Format: Audio CD
Narrated by Steven Jay Cohen
Time: 7 hours 12 minutes


Bugsy Siegel

About the author
Michael Shnayerson became a contributing editor at Vanity Fair in 1986 and is the author of eight books on a range of nonfiction subjects, including Boom: Mad Money, Mega Dealers, and the Rise of Contemporary Art. He lives in New York City.

Steven Jay Cohen has been telling stories his whole life, and has worked professionally as a storyteller since 1991. A classically trained actor, he has worked both on stage and behind the microphone for most of his career. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Steven now resides in scenic western Massachusetts.


Book Review (ARC) ~ HISTORY OF A DROWNING BOY

History of a Drowning Boy

by Dennis Nilsen
The Autobiography


Synopsis:

In 2020, the three-part show featuring David Tennant, ‘Des’, was ITV’s biggest drama launch in 14 years with 10 million viewers. In February 2021, Dennis Nilsen’s abridged autobiography will be published for the first time.

Seven years after his conviction in November 1983, Dennis Nilsen wrote more than 3.5 million words during his decades in prison. The Home Office banned the release of History of a Drowning Boy while Dennis was alive. He died in May 2018, leaving his memoirs to his next of kin.  

Dennis Nilsen is one of Britain’s most notorious serial killers, jailed for life after being convicted of six counts of murder and two of attempted murder. Nilsen’s (abridged but unedited 125,000 words) autobiography presents his life story in his own words alongside a foreword from criminologist Dr. Mark Pettigrew and an introduction from his friend and next of kin, Mark Austin. Advance review copies of History of a Drowning Boy are available.

History of a Drowning Boy includes:

• Expansion and detail on Dennis Nilsen’s early life, childhood abuse, and time in the military.

• Discovering (and trying to hide) his sexuality.

• Motives behind-and memories of-the murders.

• His relationship with alcohol.

• Insight into his 35 years inside the maximum-security prison system.

• The unravelling of a series of horrific events experienced by Nilsen during his childhood and through his life in the military and into adulthood.

• The details leading up to, and surrounding, his death.

Criminologist, Dr. Mark Pettigrew, writes, ‘As the reader will learn from these memoirs, a confluence of factors met to form Dennis Nilsen: the social and legal disapproval of his homosexuality during his early life; the long shadow cast by his grandfather and the sexual abuse he reports to have suffered as a child; the strained relationship he had with his mother; social isolation; the lack of supportive and long-lasting relationships; and alcohol abuse, they all played their part. Yet, these memoirs do not offer a neat answer as to why a boy from a fishing town in North East Scotland, a man who served in the police and in the military, became a serial killer. In all the academic and clinical research on the topic, there is no definitive answer as to why or how a person becomes a serial killer. Indeed, it is highly unlikely that any theory can or will account for all or even the majority of serial killers. Realistically, we can only identify risk factors. What this book offers though is an insight into how those killings are comprehended and understood by the killer in retrospect. In my own conversations with Dennis Nilsen, over several years, he did not try to excuse what he did, nor trivialise the devastating effect his actions had upon the families and loved ones of his victims. Instead, he sought to understand his actions in light of his particular circumstances. I cannot honestly say that he ever found a definitive answer as to why he became one of Britain’s most infamous serial killers, but if the answer is ever to be found it will be found within these pages.’


My Thoughts: I have read a couple of other books on Nilsen previously, one just recently, but to read one by Nilsen himself is another thing altogether. In the many years he was locked up, he had plenty of time to contemplate and to write his memoirs, and he revised them too. I was amazed at the number of pages he wrote during that time, just incredible. I’m not sure who he thought would have the time to read it all. With that aside, it is a fascinating story and he seems to have quite a detailed memory, as you can tell by how he describes his various stories throughout.

He reminds me of Jeffrey Dahmer, with how he really wanted to keep his victims with him longer, because he was so lonely. But he would eventually end up having to kill them when they wanted to leave, then he had the problem of disposing of their bodies. Dahmer had similar problems, but after he had made his visitors unconscious by drugging them and eventually tried different means to keep them that way indefinitely. That never worked out, and he ended up with another dead body to deal with. Nilsen’s autobiography is certainly a good read for most true crime fans as it gives an inside look at how they think and look back over their crimes. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Dennis Nilsen, and the publisher.


History of a Drowning Boy


Publisher: RedDoor Books – 336 pages
Publication: Feb 25th, 2021
My rating: 4/5 STARS


BOOK REVIEW (ARC) ~ Juror Number 2

Juror Number 2: The Story of a Murder, the Agony of a Neighborhood

By Efrem Sigel


Synopsis:

This riveting memoir recounts the author’s experience on a jury in a murder trial and his subsequent investigation of the conditions in East Harlem that led young people to be involved in drug-selling and criminal activity. Besides the trial itself, the book is the story of the failures in NYCHA housing projects, the schools and the criminal justice system, and the efforts of a handful of educators, nonprofit leaders and criminal justice reformers to find pathways to success for these young people.

In the author’s words, “As a juror in a criminal trial, your vote is one of 12 determining whether the accused goes free or is punished. When the charge is murder, you never forget that a decision to convict can take away his liberty for the rest of his life. I had thought that our jury’s vote at the conclusion of the trial would be the end of the story. But I was mistaken. For me the jury verdict was only the beginning.”


My thoughts: This book was easy to get into, as I like books about court trials most of the time anyway, and I enjoyed the author’s perspective on this case and the different people involved in it. You could tell that he was way more involved in it than most people, although going through that would affect anyone, really. I took a class on courts as an older teen that required us to go to a nearby courthouse where we sat in on part of a murder trial, and I found it fascinating. It’s stuck with me ever since.

The author, Efrem Sigel, cannot leave the trial behind him afterward. He embarks on a mission to learn about the places and systems involved in the case and starts frequenting them to see what he can learn about how they prepare children or don’t. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Efrem Sigel, and the publisher.



Publisher: IBPA Members’ Titles – 146 pages
Publication: Nov 16th, 2020
My rating: 3/5 STARS


About the Author– Sigel is the author of two published novels and more than 30 published short stories and memoirs. Of his most recent novel, The Disappearance, Booklist said: The story takes place over the course of about a year and it is gripping, emotional, and tender. Sigel is clearly a talented storyteller, and the novel has a deep emotional core that will resonate with any reader. Publishers Weekly called The Disappearance powerful and elegantly crafted. People Magazine gave it 3 and a half stars. Sigel is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School; was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ivory Coast, and started and ran two business information companies. He lives in New York, where he helps direct pro bono consulting projects to nonprofits in the field of education, through the Harvard Business School Club of NY. He is on the board of Futures and Options, a nonprofit devoted to career development and education for urban youth.


BOOK REVIEW ~ The Racetrack Gangs

The Racetrack Gangs: Four Decades of Doping, Intimidation and Violent Crime


 

Description:
Between the two World Wars, there was a dramatic upsurge of violence as rival criminal gangs vied for rich pickings from bookmakers at racetracks throughout England.

With ready access to cash, ‘bookies’ were a magnet for mobsters’ blackmailing demands. Refusal to pay resulted in severe punishment. Their justified fears spawned a ready ‘protection’ market .

Conflict between rival gangs were frequent and increasingly violent. Charles ‘Darby’ Sabini with his brothers ran ‘The Italian Mob’ who clashed with Billy Kimber and his Brummagen Hammers.

Uneasy partnerships were formed but seldom lasted. The Sabinis were friendly with the Cortesi family until a rift resulted in one of the Cortesis shooting Harryboy Sabini. Other gangs such as The Titanics and The Nile Mob were ready to fill voids. As well as broken alliances, internal friction and members changing sides resulted in bloodshed on the streets, in pubs and clubs and on the courses. Public order was so threatened that the Flying Squad was tasked with the eradication of the problem and, in 1936, the celebrated Battle of Lewes Racecourse brought matters to a bloody conclusion.

This well researched and gripping account describes the vicious dramas played out in the 1920s and 1930s.


My thoughts:  This being another Dick Kirby book, I “wished” for it, and in a reasonable time was informed that I’d been chosen to get it. This is a book about British true crime gangs in the early part of the last century. It focuses on the ones in particular that were preying on the racetracks, and the bookmakers who went there with money much of the time. The gangs would fight each other when they weren’t jumping other people for money. Their allegiance to a certain gang would be pretty fluid too, depending how the wind was blowing that week.

It goes over different violent cases involving gang members and attacks on bookies, other gangs, and just random folks in different areas through the years. It gives what information is known on who was involved and what happened. Then if available, it also tells the charges filed and court cases with the outcomes when known and sentences. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Dick Kirby, and publisher Pen & Sword.


 

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Publisher: Pen & Sword – 224 pages
Publication: Oct 30th, 2020
My rating: 3/5 STARS


About the author– Dick Kirby was born in the East End of London and joined the Metropolitan Police in 1967. Half of his twenty-six years’ service was spent with Scotland Yard’s Serious Crime Squad and the Flying Squad.

Kirby contributes to newspapers and magazines on a regular basis, as well as appearing on television and radio. The Guv’nors, The Sweeney, Scotland Yard’s Ghost Squad, Brave Line Death on the Beat, Scourge of Soho, Crime and Corruption at The Yard and London Gangs at War are all published under the Wharncliffe True Crime imprint and he has further other published works to his credit. On retirement he lives near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Kirby can be visited at his website: http://www.dickkirby.com.


BOOK REVIEW ~ A Convenient Death

A Convenient Death: The Mysterious Demise of Jeffrey Epstein

Description: A must-read for fans of the Netflix docuseries Filthy Rich: The full investigation of the shocking death of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein and those powerful enough to have orchestrated it.

In A Convenient Death, investigative reporters Alana Goodman and Daniel Halper search for the truth of what really happened to Jeffrey Epstein. With access to Epstein’s victims and lawyers, to doctors, Wall Street insiders and law enforcement officers, they reveal the dirty secrets and sinister ties that may have driven someone in Epstein’s circle to take matters into their own hands.

On the morning of August 10, 2019, Epstein, friend and financier to the rich and powerful, was found unresponsive in his prison cell in lower Manhattan, where he awaited his second trial for sexual predation and other crimes. He was rushed to a local hospital and one hour later pronounced dead by suicide. Across the world, a sinister web of powerful billionaires, celebrities, and politicians, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, had reason to sigh with relief at news of Epstein’s death. Having flown on his private planes and visited his many homes—the sites of so many illicit activities—they had much to lose if their transgressions were ever exposed. And now, Epstein was silenced for good.

But cracks in the official story soon emerged. And the questions kept coming:
·    Why did the surveillance cameras in front of Epstein’s cell stop working that night?
·    Why was Epstein’s cellmate transferred out and never replaced?
·    Why was a high-profile prisoner so suddenly taken off suicide watch and left unguarded for eight hours?

Was Epstein murdered to protect the powerful people who feared what he might reveal? The American public deserves to know the truth. With this book, they can finally understand the facts and decide for themselves.


My Thoughts: I didn’t see the Netflix docuseries, but I sure enjoyed this book. I only vaguely knew the major points of the Epstein story and this book was perfect for filling in the details of the story. It’s so well researched it filled me in perfectly on all the backstory I’ve wondered about. It tells about Epstein’s earlier years, how he got his start, what he does for a living, all of that. It also covers the juicy stuff that’s gotten him in trouble previously when he had to go to court and did a plea deal, and also the more current problems he was again facing that had him in the lockup that he never left.

I don’t know what you will think after reading it, but I don’t believe he committed suicide. I think his important friends weren’t willing to risk him talking. Or playing some blackmail games if the camera stories are true. It’s all moot now, of course…but so much speculating went on for a time. This is certainly a book of the times, and a good one to get your mind off the current Covid-19 stuff for a while. Advanced electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, authors Alana Goodman & Daniel Halper, and the publisher.


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Publisher:   Sentinel – 252 pages
Publication:   June 2nd, 2020P
My rating:   5/5 Stars


 

The Authors-  Alana Goodman is a senior investigative reporter at the Washington Free Beacon. Previously, she was a reporter at the Washington Examiner and the Daily Mail, where she broke the story of politician Anthony Weiner’s online relationship with a 15-year-old girl. Goodman was named one of Politico’s “16 Breakout Media Stars.” She has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, and C-SPAN.

Daniel Halper is the bestselling author of Clinton, Inc. Previously, he was Washington bureau chief for the New York Post and online editor for the Weekly Standard. Halper has appeared on the Fox News Channel, Fox Business, MSNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, and numerous radio shows.


 

BOOK REVIEW ~ TOMBSTONE

Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride from Hell

 


It seems I’ve read some of Clavin’s work previously, but I’m not sure when. I do enjoy his writing though, especially here on this subject which is one of my favorites. He does a really good job of covering it and it brings you right to the thick of things. You are there in the heat of 1881 Tombstone, with the noise and commotion of the day, with all of the people there to do business or trying to hustle a stake in a mine somehow. Or simply to blow the dust off and drink some whiskey and gamble a bit in one of the saloons.

There are tensions afoot between the different factions setting off the problems, the Cowboys who are crooked and run around doing and taking what they like, while they work for different area ranchers like the Clantons and McLaurys and others. Then there are the Earps, one of whom has been threatened to back off and let the Cowboys be, but they aren’t the type and since more Earps may getting into law enforcement, that’s not about to happen. There are other people around too, but you can’t always tell where they stand. Most folks just want to make good money and not get killed by various Indians roaming the territory. If you like Western US history you will likely enjoy this book, it’s a good long read. I learned quite a lot more about the different people involved, which was a big plus. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author Tom Clavin, and the publisher.


 

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Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press – 400 pages

Publication:  April 21st, 2020
My rating:  4/5 Stars


 

The Author- TOM CLAVIN is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and has worked as a newspaper and web site editor, magazine writer, TV and radio commentator, and a reporter for The New York Times. He has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, and National Newspaper Association. His books include The Heart of Everything That Is, Halsey’s Typhoon, and Reckless. He lives in Sag Harbor, NY.


 

My Five Star Reads of 2019


I was very fortunate this year to have found many books that were super reads. Just lucky, I guess. I also had very few DNF’s. It was a very good year overall, other than my struggles with my vision and extreme sleep apnea interfering so much with my reading during the day.  Otherwise, I could have easily read twice as much, and used to in days past.

So below are my 5 star books of this year, 20 in all, most of which can be found at Amazon and other major bookstores. I would say the last 2 were especially important.  Here is the link to all of the books I read this year showing in my reading challenge on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/8863-2019-reading-challenge   Among them you will find a ton of good 4 star reads in the true crime and biography categories also if you have similar tastes. You may want to check those out.  Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful New Year!

 


Drug Warrior: Inside the Hunt for El Chapo and the Rise of America’s Opioid Crisis

by Jack Riley

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1145


Dead in the Water: My Forty-Year Search for My Brother’s Killer  by Penny Farmer

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1238


A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love and Overcoming

By Kerri Rawson

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1190


Where Monsters Hide: Sex, Murder,  and Madness in the Midwest

By M. William Phelps

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1228


A Hero on Mount St. Helens: The Life and Legacy of David A. Johnston

by Melanie Holmes

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1319


The Girl in the Treehouse: A Memoir   by Jennifer Asbenson

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1371


 

Railroaded:  Framed For Murder, Fighting For Justice

by Samuel  L.  Sommer

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1305


 

Jet Girl:  My Life in War, Peace, and the Cockpit of the Navy’s Most Lethal Aircraft

by Caroline Johnson

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1653


Just Mercy:  A Story of Justice and Redemption  by Bryan Stevenson

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My review : https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1540


 

The Gangster’s Cousin: Growing Up in the Luciano Family

by Salvatore Lucania

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1490


 

The Black Widow: My Web of Secrets and the truth about my murder conviction

by Linda Calvey

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1496


 

The Blood on my Hands: An Autobiography   by Shannon O’Leary

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1514


Out of the Fire and Into the Pan (Sequel)   by Shannon O’Leary

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1519


 

They Must Be Monsters   by Matthew Leroy, Derric Haddad

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1537


 

Janis:  Her Life and Music    by Holly George-Warren

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1582


 

Kidnapped by a Client: An Attorney’s Fight For Justice at any Cost

by Sharon R. Muse, JD

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1600


 

The Suspect: An Olympic Bombing, the FBI, the Media, and Richard Jewell, the Man Caught in the Middle                                                   by Kent Alexander, Kevin Salwin

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1665


 

Epic Solitude: A Story of Survival and a Quest for Meaning in the Far North

by Katherine Keith

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1760


 

Know My Name   by Chanel Miller

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My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3081776580


 

If You Tell: A True Story of Murder, Family Secrets, and the Unbreakable Bond of Sisterhood                                                                                                  by Gregg Olsen

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My review: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog200.wordpress.com/1786