True Crime Mini Reviews

Trying to squeeze in a couple more reviews before the wrap up goes live!

Thanks to Grand Central Pub and Dey Street Books for the free early copies in exchange for my honest reviews

WE KEEP THE DEAD CLOSE: A MURDER AT HARVARD AND A HALF CENTURY OF SILENCE – Becky Cooper (Released November 10th, 2020)

THE KILLER’S SHADOW – John Douglas (Released November 17th, 2020)

Reviews below!

WE KEEP THE DEAD CLOSE: A MURDER AT HARVARD AND A HALF CENTURY OF SILENCE – Becky Cooper (Released November 10th, 2020)

Book Description:

You have to remember, he reminded me, that Harvard is older than the U.S. government. You have to remember because Harvard doesn’t let you forget.

1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an ambitious 23-year-old graduate student in Harvard’s Anthropology Department and daughter of Radcliffe Vice President J. Boyd Britton, would be found bludgeoned to death in her Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment.

Forty years later, Becky Cooper, a curious undergrad, will hear the first whispers of the story. In the first telling the body was nameless. The story was this: a Harvard student had had an affair with her professor, and the professor had murdered her in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology because she’d threatened to talk about the affair. Though the rumor proves false, the story that unfolds, one that Cooper will follow for ten years, is even more complex: a tale of gender inequality in academia, a “cowboy culture” among empowered male elites, the silencing effect of institutions, and our compulsion to rewrite the stories of female victims.

We Keep the Dead Close is a memoir of mirrors, misogyny, and murder. It is at once a rumination on the violence and oppression that rules our revered institutions, a ghost story reflecting one young woman’s past onto another’s present, and a love story for a girl who was lost to history.

Mini Review – 4/5 stars

This was a true crime book about a case that I knew nothing about – Jane Britton was brutally bludgeoned to death in her apartment in 1969. Decades later, our author, hears rumors about the murder of a student and all stories made up about it. So begins her decade long research into this killing and uncovering the truth underneath all of the lies and secrets surrounding it. I think I would have liked this a little better if the author didn’t keep inserting herself into the story and comparing her experience with Jane Britton’s. Maybe if that was more concise or added into the back of the book. Otherwise I found this really informative for someone that went in completely blind to Jane Britton.

THE KILLER’S SHADOW – John Douglas (Released November 17th, 2020)

Book Description:

The legendary FBI criminal profiler and international bestselling author of Mindhunter and The Killer Across the Table returns with this timely, relevant book that goes to the heart of extremism and domestic terrorism, examining in-depth his chilling pursuit of, and eventual prison confrontation with Joseph Paul Franklin, a White Nationalist serial killer and one of the most disturbing psychopaths he has ever encountered.

Worshippers stream out of an Midwestern synagogue after sabbath services, unaware that only a hundred yards away, an expert marksman and  avowed racist, antisemite and member of the Ku Klux Klan, patiently awaits, his hunting rifle at the ready. 

 The October 8, 1977 shooting was a forerunner to the tragedies and divisiveness that plague us today. John Douglas, the FBI’s pioneering, first full-time criminal profiler, hunted the shooter—a white supremacist named Joseph Paul Franklin, whose Nazi-inspired beliefs propelled a three-year reign of terror across the United States, targeting African Americans, Jews, and interracial couples. In addition, Franklin bombed the home of Jewish leader Morris Amitay, shot and paralyzed Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, and seriously wounded civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. The fugitive supported his murderous spree robbing banks in five states, from Georgia to Ohio.

 Douglas and his writing partner Mark Olshaker return to this disturbing case that reached the highest levels of the Bureau, which was fearful Franklin would become a presidential assassin—and haunted him for years to come as the threat of copycat domestic terrorist killers increasingly became a reality. Detailing the dogged pursuit of Franklin that employed profiling, psychology and meticulous detective work, Douglas and Olshaker relate how the case was a make-or-break test for the still-experimental behavioral science unit and revealed a new type of, determined, mission-driven serial killer whose only motivation was hate.

A riveting, cautionary tale rooted in history that continues to echo today, The Killer’s Shadow is a terrifying and essential exploration of the criminal personality  in the vile grip of extremism and what happens when rage-filled speech evolves into deadly action and hatred of the “other” is allowed full reign.

 The Killer’s Shadow includes an 8-page color photo insert

Mini Review – 5/5 stars

After reading and watching MINDHUNTER I’ve been wanting to pick up more from John Douglas. Despite this being true crime and nonfiction, it doesn’t read that way. I will forever love the profiling and getting into the minds of theses killers in order to track them down. I had never heard of Joseph Paul Franklin or his horrific crimes, so this was fascinating and all new information. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading the new books and information that comes out on the prolific and more publicized serial killers, but it’s always great learning about new ones (not that I want more to learn about, if that makes sense).

I highly recommend this and MINDHUNTER if the profiling intrigues you like it does for me. THE KILLER’S SHADOW also included photo inserts that really made this come to life and makes it hit you that this is a real killer and not something of fiction.

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