Title: The Devil’s Apprentice
Author: Kenneth B. Andersen
Series: The Great Devil War I
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Date of Publication: October 8, 2018
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Philip is a thirteen year old boy who has always been well behaved. He’s a boy scout, he does his chores on time, and he’s always eager to help anyone who might need his assistance. But when he dies unexpectedly, a mix up causes him to find himself in hell. Not only is he expected to stay there, but he is required to enter training to become the successor of the Devil himself. Philip must learn to survive, but who can he trust? And, most importantly, will he still be the same person when–if–he gets out of this?
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Title: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
Author: Michelle McNamara
Genre: Non-Fiction, True Crime
Date of Publication: February 27, 2018
Michelle McNamara was a true crime writer who coined the name “The Golden State Killer”. She was instrumental in connecting his crimes across California. This book, which is a perfect blend of true crime and memoir, was published posthumously. The editors pieced together finished chapters with Michelle’s notes and articles about the Golden State Killer that she’d written over the years.
This book isn’t about the Golden State Killer. Well, I suppose it is, but not directly. To me, this book is about the woman who was compelled to catch him. I think this is important to distinguish, because many true crime books focus on the killers, on the horrible deeds they did, and barely touch the surface of the people who fought for justice. I strongly believe that this shift in focus from the killer to the investigator is one of the reasons why this book became a bestseller. Michelle McNamara was a truly special woman, and her ambition, drive, and hard work was instrumental in catching the Golden State Killer.
This important perspective is represented in the way that Michelle tells the story. She talks about herself as well as others who investigated the crimes. She talks about how her “obsession” (her word, not mine–it’s in the title!) affected her personal life. Her husband, Patton Oswalt, was a well-known actor, and she provided anecdotes, such as one where she was accompanying him to red carpet event, but all she could think about was the latest break she’d made in the case.
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Title: Dear Wife
Author: Kimberly Belle
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Date of Publication: June 25, 2019
Publisher: Park Row
Dear Wife tells the story of a woman who escapes her abusive husband, changes her look, changes her name, and goes on the run. Now Beth Murphy, she is desperate to be free from the man who made her live in fear for so many years. Back home, Jeffrey returns from a business trip to find that his wife, Sabine, is missing. Dear Wife follows their two stories, as well as the story of the police detective who will do anything to find the missing woman.
Dear Wife is an engaging read from cover to cover. While I predicted the plot twist early on, it didn’t matter. The tension Belle weaves into every page kept me riveted throughout the story.
That said, realizing the twist early on did allow me to spot a few plot holes. The story is told from three points of view, each first person. To not reveal the lies of one character is difficult, since we’re inside their head and we know exactly what they’re thinking. The selective thoughts of one character in particular make for a few plotholes, but I forgive this, since the book is otherwise quite well written.
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