That’s a Wrap – My Last Review of 2018: Evil Has A Name

Evil Has A Name

Evil Has a Name

The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation

Paul Holes, Jim Clemente, Peter McDonnell

Audible

ASIN: B07H7RYQ5P

 

Description:

The Golden State Killer. The East Area Rapist. The Original Night Stalker. The Visalia Ransacker.

 

The monster who preyed on Californians from 1976 to 1986 was known by many aliases. And while numerous police sketches tried to capture his often-masked visage, the Golden State Killer spent more than 40 years not only faceless, but nameless.

 

For his victims, for their families and for the investigators tasked with finding him, the senselessness and brutality of the Golden State Killer’s acts were matched only by the powerlessness they felt at failing to uncover his identity. To be sure, the chances of obtaining closure—or any form of justice—after so many years were slim to none, at best.

 

Then, on April 24, 2018, authorities arrested 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo at his home in Citrus Heights, Calif., based on DNA evidence linked to the crimes. After a decades-long hunt, a suspect was behind bars. Could it be that evil finally had a name?

 

Delivering all-new details about the investigation and a stunning final act to the events of Michelle McNamara’s haunting bestseller, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, this is the true story of how the suspected Golden State Killer was captured, as told, first-hand, by those closest to the case:

 

Paul Holes—the forensic criminologist and retired Costa County detective who spent 20 years trying to crack the Golden State Killer case, and finally did.

 

Jim Clemente (Host)—a retired FBI profiler and former New York City prosecutor who has investigated some of the highest profile criminal cases in U.S. history, including the Unabomber.

 

**Please note: This work contains descriptions of violent crime and sexual assault and may not be suitable for all listeners. **

 

My View:

Listening to this audio book was like watching a well-made documentary. The cast is outstanding – investigators, police, criminologists, a genealogist, a journalist, a profiler and the poignant voices of some of the victims and family of the victims. The narration was perfectly delivered.

 

This is a narrative that will remind you that crime, violent crimes in particular, have a heavy impact not only on the victims but on the friends, family, the first responders, the investigators and the community the victim lives in. So many carry the pain, the hurt, the fear. So many repercussions.

 

Despite numerous warnings regarding the explicit nature of some of the content I was not offended or horrified by the said content; it was not gratuitously presented, it was not sensationalised, it was honest. It was, at times, difficult to listen to the pain the survivors and their families carry with them, but their voices were integral to the completeness of the story. The only person we did not hear from, and of that I am relived, is the voice of the perpetrator. There is no justification for his actions. I do not need to understand his motivations. I am glad he has finally be called to account for his actions.

 

This is a remarkable true story. I applauded at the ending.

 

 

 

 

Review: Kingdom of the Blind – Louise Penny

Kingdom of the Blind

Kingdom of the Blind

A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery

Louise Penny

Hachette Australia

Little, Brown Book Group

Sphere

ISBN: 9780751566598

 

Description:

The new Chief Inspector Gamache novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

When a peculiar letter arrives inviting Armand Gamache to an abandoned farmhouse, the former head of the Sûreté du Québec discovers that a complete stranger has named him one of the executors of her will. Still on suspension, and frankly curious, Gamache accepts and soon learns that the other two executors are Myrna Landers, the bookseller from Three Pines, and a young builder.

None of them had ever met the elderly woman.

The will is so odd and includes bequests that are so wildly unlikely that Gamache and the others suspect the woman must have been delusional. But what if, Gamache begins to ask himself, she was perfectly sane?

When a body is found, the terms of the bizarre will suddenly seem less peculiar and far more menacing.

But it isn’t the only menace Gamache is facing.

The investigation into what happened six months ago—the events that led to his suspension—has dragged on, into the dead of winter. And while most of the opioids he allowed to slip though his hands, in order to bring down the cartels, have been retrieved, there is one devastating exception.

Enough narcotic to kill thousands has disappeared into inner city Montreal. With the deadly drug about to hit the streets, Gamache races for answers.

As he uses increasingly audacious, even desperate, measures to retrieve the drug, Armand Gamache begins to see his own blind spots. And the terrible things hiding there.

 

My View:

Once again I am transported to Canada; I am hearing the French accents clearly as I read, I see the snow, the storm, the isolation, and the quirky, unique characters. I try my best to solve the many mysteries that are presented to the reader. Before the conclusion I have actually discovered one of the secrets here…I congratulate myself and keep reading.

 

This is a wonderful exploration of complex relationships, moral dilemmas and the misery of drug addiction.  This is satisfaction guaranteed reading!

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Lenny’s Book of Everything – Karen Foxlee

Lenny's Book of Everything

Lenny’s Book of Everything

Karen Foxlee

Allen and Unwin Australia

ISBN: 9781760528706

RRP $19.99

 

Description:

Our mother had a dark heart feeling. Lenny’s younger brother has a rare form of gigantism and while Lenny’s fiercely protective, it isn’t always easy being the sister of ‘the giant’. A book about finding good in the bad that will break your heart while raising your spirits in the way that only a classic novel can.

 

Lenny, small and sharp, has a younger brother Davey who won’t stop growing – and at seven is as tall as a man. Raised by their mother, they have food and a roof over their heads, but not much else.

 

The bright spot every week is the arrival of the latest issue of the Burrell’s Build-It-at-Home Encyclopedia. Through the encyclopedia, Lenny and Davey experience the wonders of the world – beetles, birds, quasars, quartz – and dream about a life of freedom and adventure. But as Davey’s health deteriorates, Lenny realises that some wonders can’t be named.

 

A big-hearted novel about loving and letting go by an award-winning author.

 

‘A gorgeous, heartbreaking, and heartwarming book.’ – R. J. PALACIO

 

‘Such a big heart and not a beat out of place.’ – MELINA MARCHETTA

 

‘Tough, tender and beautiful.’ – GLENDA MILLARD

 

‘Unforgettable.’ – ANNA FIENBERG

 

‘Karen Foxlee, you’re a genius.’ – WENDY ORR

 

Author bio: https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/fiction/popular-fiction/Lennys-Book-of-Everything-Karen-Foxlee-9781760528706

Karen Foxlee is an Australian author who writes for both kids and grown-ups. Her first novel The Anatomy of Wings won numerous awards including the Dobbie Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, Karen’s first novel for children, was published internationally to much acclaim while her second novel for younger readers, A Most Magical Girl, won the Readings Children’s Fiction Prize in 2017 and was CBCA shortlisted the same year.

 

Karen lives in South East Queensland with her daughter and several animals, including two wicked parrots, who frequently eat parts of her laptop when she isn’t looking. Her passions are her daughter, writing, day-dreaming, baking, running and swimming in the sea.

 

 

My View:

Karen Foxlee’s novel, The Anatomy of Wings, is possibly my all-time favourite Australian read so when I saw a new novel by Foxlee I had to read it. The advanced press and glorious reviews for Lenny’s Book of Everything are justified. What a bitter sweet read. What a wonderful exploration of what it means to be a family, the importance of community, hope, love and…life (no spoilers here).

 

This contemporary read can be read and loved by many but maybe not my copy, the pages on my copy are a little damp…*sigh* What a wonderful, poignant, heartbreaking yet satisfying read.

Review: Man at the Window – Robert Jeffreys

Man at the Window

Man at the Window

A Detective Cardilini Novel

Robert Jeffreys

Echo Publishing

ISBN: 9781760683306

RRP $29.99

 

Description:

An atmospheric crime novel with a burning moral dilemma at its heart.

 

When a boarding master at an exclusive boys’ school is shot dead, it is deemed accidental. A lazy and usually drunk detective is sent to write up the report. Cardilini unexpectedly does not cooperate, as he becomes riled by the privileged arrogance of those at the school. He used to have instincts. Perhaps he should follow them now…

 

With no real evidence he declares the shooting a murder and puts himself on a collision course with the powerful and elite of Perth. As he peels back layers, the school’s dark secrets being to emerge. But is his dogged pursuit of justice helpful or harmful to those most affected by the man’s death?

 

Man at the Window is the first in the Detective Cardilini series, set in 1960s Western Australia.

 

 

My View:

Superb! I have discovered a new author to add to my must read list.

 

Should I assume Robert Jeffreys lives in Perth Western Australia? Maybe he is an amazing researcher? Jeffreys writes 60’s Perth like he has lived there, like he is walking through my distant memories of when we first arrived in Perth (1966). I can see the houses, the street scapes, the city, not the privilege of private schools but even in the  public schools I attended teachers were top of the hierarchy and not to be questioned, as a child in those times you did everything you were told by an adult. And so it begins.

 

What a fabulous read! Jeffreys crates empathetic main characters based upon grief and isolation. The protagonist and his son are grieving the loss of a wife and mother, many of the boys in the private school are isolated (by distance) and some grieving the loss of their family during term time. Both groups are vulnerable, both groups elicit empathy. The reader genuinely cares about the main characters here.

 

This is a narrative of contemporary social commentary in a fast paced mystery studded with many ethical dilemmas.  “There’s the law and then there is justice. Who gets to decide?”  A fantastic read that will make it onto my top reads of 2018 list.

 

**I expect to see a film/tv series of this sometime soon.**

 

 

 

 

The Best Preschooler Book of 2018: Animalphabet – Julia Donaldson with Illustrations by Sharon King-Chai

Animalphabet

The Animalphabet

Julia Donaldson

Illustrations by Sharon King-Chai

Two Hoots

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781509801633

RRP $24.99

 

Description:

A wondrous and beautiful A-to-Z guessing game from the bestselling author of Room on the Broom

 

From ant to butterfly to caterpillar . . . to zebra and then back again, Animalphabet is an entertaining puzzle as well as a gorgeous alphabet book to treasure.

 

Who can slither better than a rabbit? A snake! Who can growl better than a snake? A tiger! There are clever hints and peekaboo holes within the artwork that will amaze and delight young children as they learn to use the alphabet. This is a preschool must-have.

 

 

My View:

This book is visually stunning! The illustrations are fun and colourful, the cutaways/cut outs/flip pages are fun and entertaining. This is a quality children’s book that will give many hours of reading pleasure to both the adult and the child reading this book.

 

This is the perfect gift – for any time of the year.

 

Brenda’s Top Ten Books of the Year 2018

This has been a bumper year for 5 star reads, trying to narrow the list to just ten is very difficult but Brenda has managed to whittle her list to these  ten exciting reads (in no particular order) :

Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

The Queen's Colonial

The Queen’s Colonial by Peter Watt

The Nature of the Lion

Nature of the Lion by T.M. Clark

Wundersmith

Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend

Disguising Demons

Disguising Demons by Brigid George

The Dream Daughter

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

The Great Alone

The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah

The Lost Pearl

The Lost Pearl by Emily Madden

The Lost Valley

The Lost Valley by Jennifer Scoullar

Whitsunday Dawn

Whitsunday Dawn by Annie Seaton