This was a very easy category for me to decide as two books immediately came to mind – both have left a lasting impression – their stories poignant and engaging. In no particular order, my favourite non fiction reads/listens of 2018 are:
Evil Has a Name
The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation
Paul Holes, Jim Clemente, Peter McDonnell
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. **
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.
Casandra Clare has written the internationally best selling fantasy series; The Dark Artifices Trilogy. The series comprises of Lady Midnight, Lord of Shadows and the final in the series Queen of Air and Darkness, which was released this week.
Don’t you just love the cover art? I do. But there is something I love even more than the covers; two of the audio books are being narrated by one of my favourite actors, James Marsters ( Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) Check out James reading an excerpt on the video below.
Are you a fan or true crime or audio books? If so this new release audio book is for you. Narrated by the Paul Holes ,the forensic criminologist and retired Costa County Detective who spent 20 years trying to crack the Golden State Killer case, and who finally did. And Jim Clemente who is a retired FBI profiler and former New York City prosecutor who has investigated some of the highest profile criminal cases in US history, including the Unabomber.
I love books narrated by the authors or those involved in the narrative, there is so much more the narrator can bring to the reading including authenticity and personal insights/point of view.
EVIL HAS A NAME
THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE GOLDEN STATE KILLER INVESTIGATION, ONLY FROM AUDIBLE
Audible Original | 16 November 2018 | Audible.com.au | Free with a 30-day trial, or one credit with your $16.45/month Audible membership
“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, their families and 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.
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.
Evil Has a Name: The Untold Story of the Golden State Killer Investigation is free for new members with a 30-day trial from Audible.com.au.
Please note: This audiobook contains descriptions of violent crime and sexual assault and may not be suitable for all listeners.” Audible
Check out the book trailer from Audible here
Here it is December 2016 already. I cant believe it – this year has flown by, life has been busy; a grandson was born and he is now 8 months old. Recipes have been tried and tested and many books have been read and reviewed – around the one hundred seventy mark thus far.
I am enjoying sharing the joy of reading with my grandson (with appropriate titles) – it is never too early to encourage a love of reading.
Recently I invited a couple of ardent readers to share some of their favoruite reads on my site – to broaden the type of book reviews available here. I hope you find some new favourite books and authors. Thank you Bec and Brenda.
The reading year has not yet wound up – there is a blog tour ahead; the launch of Rachel Amphlett’s new police procedural series, Scared to Death. There is a Q & A with debut Perth writer Anthea Hodgson, a Christmas menu to compile and share and a series of “best of 2016 reads” for you to comment on and…more reviews.
Seasons greetings to you.
Love Your Sister
Connie &Samuel Johnson
Unabridged audio book 10 hrs 45 mins
How far would you go for someone you love…on a unicycle?
Brothers and sisters often dare each other to do things – it’s what siblings do. However, when Connie Johnson dared her brother, Samuel, to embark on a one-wheeled odyssey around Australia, she knew it was a big ask. But Connie knew exactly what she was doing and was sure he wouldn’t say no. Not this time.
Born a year apart, Connie and Samuel Johnson have always been close. Sam was by Connie’s side when she found out she had cancer at age 12 and again when she was diagnosed at age 22. Then, at 33, Connie was diagnosed with breast cancer, but this time she was told she would not recover. As a young mum faced with her own death, Connie wanted to find some meaning in the chaos. And so she dared Sam to help her.
Officially there were three aims: promote breast cancer awareness, raise more than $1 million for research – and break the world record for the longest distance travelled on a unicycle. However, Connie had a secret fourth aim: to fix Sam. She had no idea if any of it would work out. Neither did he.
Part memoir, part travel diary, part conversation, Love Your Sister is Connie and Sam’s inspiring, moving and unforgettable journey, told in their own distinctive voices. It’s a story of love, family, cancer – and the generosity of ordinary Australians.
About the authors: Samuel and Connie Johnson are the powerhouse brother-and-sister team who established the Love Your Sister charity. Samuel is an Australian actor with 20 years’ experience, best known for his work on The Secret Life of Us, Crackerjack, Underbelly II and Rush. In recent times he is more proud of his work as a breast cancer advocate and determined unicyclist.
Connie Johnson is a wife and mother of two beautiful young boys. She has worked in the disability sector for ten years and since her most recent diagnosis spends her time with her family and advocating for breast cancer issues…when she’s not busy seeing how much torture her brother will endure before he says no.
Warning: This audiobook contains some moderate coarse language.
©2014 Connie Johnson and Samuel Johnson (P)2015 Hachette Australia Pty Ltd
Poignant, inspirational, honest…this has it all.
Remarkable lives; remarkable courage, honesty, strength and love. This is a wonderful story of family, love and inspiration. Multiple tragedies inspire unselfish goals and such wonderful acts of individual heroism.
This family deserves….a long life together and to see their goal of financing the science that will help find a cure for breast cancer come to fruition. Unfortunately that long life together is most definitely not going to happen but that has not stopped this family from their journey to raise the funds to help this dream come true. Over two million dollars thus far and counting… Along the way Connie and Sam make memories that their families, friends and colleagues will never forget.
A poignant and very personal honest story that will leave you in awe of the strength of this family bond. I wish you all the very best as you continue to make the most out of every day.
Past the Shallows
Written by: Favel Parrett
Narrated by: David Wenham
Length: 4 hrs and 43 mins
Release Date: 08/02/2016
Publisher: Hachette Australia Audio
Past the Shallows is the award-winning, best-selling debut novel from Favel Parrett about the bonds of brotherhood and the fragility of youth, narrated by David Wenham.
Everyone loves Harry. Everyone except his father.
Three brothers – Joe, Miles and Harry – are growing up on the remote south coast of Tasmania. The brothers’ lives are shaped by their father’s moods – like the ocean he fishes, he is wild and unpredictable. He is a bitter man warped by a devastating secret.
Miles tries his best to watch out for Harry, the youngest, but he can’t be there all the time. Often alone, Harry finds joy in the small treasures he discovers in shark eggs and cuttlefish bones. In a kelpie pup, a big mug of Milo and a secret friendship with a mysterious neighbour. But sometimes small treasures, or a brother’s love, are not enough.
Winner – The ABIA Award (Newcomer of the Year) 2012. Winner – The Dobbie Literary Award 2012. Shortlisted for The Miles Franklin Literary Award 2012. Shortlisted for The ABIA Award (Book of the Year) 2012. Shortlisted for The ABIA Award (Literary Book of the Year) 2012. Shortlisted for The ABA’s Bookseller’s Choice Award 2012. Shortlisted for The Indies Award (Debut Fiction) 2012.
©2011 Favel Parrett (P)2016 Hachette Australia Pty Ltd
The combination of Favell Parrett’s words and David Wenham’s narration equals a beautiful experience for the soul and the ears! I have listened to a few audio books but this one beats them all – the narrative is poignantly read, is often heartbreaking, honest, and brutal and real. The ending – is not pretty – but pays homage to the bonds of siblings forged strong and unbreakable by the explosive temperament of a bitter and twisted father.
A mystery is slowly revealed. As a past tragedy unravels another is created. A brilliant audio book!
I have now added Favell Parrett to my must read authors list. David Wenham is a narrator of some note!
In the light of recent wins it is only fitting that I announce what I feel to be the best audio book of 2015. I know I haven’t listened to many this year – but this one stands out – the narrative is excellent and the narration brings the story to life. I highly recommend this for all parents, grandparents, teenagers to read or listen to. This will change your awareness of the power/influence of social media.
The best audio book of 2015 is Risk – Fleur Ferris
Now that wasn’t so hard was it? It is the reviewing 200 books that is the hard work.