It’s All About The Girls

It’s All About The Girls

The Girls, by Emma Cline

If you haunt bookstores you sure have seen this book, Emma Cline‘s debut novel The Girls showing beautifully on the most visible shelves. It could be the “magnetic” cover -with that combination of red and blue that warps your mind (you genius cover designer!)- or probably just the fact that everyone is talking about it. Named the Summer’s hottest novel by WMagazine and PublisherWeekly, No. 3 on The New York Times bestseller list,  The Girls is on everyone’s lips.

Not to mention that Cline’s editorial debut fetched a $2 million advance and immediately got the attention of  Scott Rudin -film producer known for The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Zoolander (2001) and The Truman Show (1998), to name a few-  who bought film rights just before the sale.

cover80098-mediumNorthern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon.

Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted.

As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

The story -based loosely on the Manson murders– is told from one acolyte’s point of view, but is definitely not what you would expect from a book “inspired” by what was probably the most famous counterculture cult that eventually ended with the infamous Labianca-Tate killing spree in August of 1969. Maybe it’s just me, but I was expecting a bit more than some subtle psychological insight and a profound perceptiveness of a 14-years-old’s mind. Nonetheless, beside some stylistic annoying choices -as it the “present chapters”- that kinda ruined the mojo, I have to admit that Emma Cline owns the literary finesse of building suspense and keeping the reader’s eyes glued to the pages.

Reviews of The Girls have been enthusiastically positive except for a few high-profile demurrals -most notably (and my personal favourite) by Dwight Garner in the New York Timesbut I am caught in the middle; I can’t say this book was afwul, nor I can say it was my best summer read, but somehow I devoured it in 2 hours straight.


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)

True Crime Enthusiasts

True Crime Enthusiasts

Dead Ends. The Pursuit, Conviction, and Execution of Serial Killer Aileen Wuornos, by Joseph Michael Reynolds

A lot has been said about Aileen Wuornos, the cold blood woman who killed seven men in Florida between 1989 and 1990. Abused as a teen, deep damaged, and mentally disturbed, Aileen never allowed herself to be weak, until her last day in prison.

Written by Joseph Michael Reynolds -the Reuters reporter who initially broke the story, in 1990, Dead Ends is the firsthand account of Wuornos’s capture, trial, and sentencing to death by lethal injection, that goes deep down where nobody ever before.

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When police in Florida’s Volusia County were called to investigate the murder of Richard Mallory, whose gunshot-ridden body had been found in the woods just north of Daytona Beach in December 1989, their search led them to a string of dead ends before the trail went cold six months later. During the spring and summer of 1990, the bodies of six more middle-aged white men were discovered—all in secluded areas near their abandoned vehicles, all but one shot dead with a .22 caliber pistol—and all without any suspects, motives, or leads.

The police speculated that the murders were connected, but they never anticipated what they’d soon discover: The killings were the work of a single culprit, Aileen Wuornos, one of the first women to ever fit the profile of a serial killer. With the cooperation of her former lover and accomplice, Tyria Moore, the police were able to solicit a confession from Wuornos about her months-long killing spree along Florida’s interstate highways. The nation was quickly swept up in the drama of her trial and the media dubbed her the “Damsel of Death” as horrifying details of her past as a prostitute and drifter emerged.

Someone once said “[..] how much suffering one person can inflict upon another before creating a monster”. Sometimes “monsters” are just people who need help. Aileen “Lee” Wournos needed help.


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)

Couples Who Kill: Folie à Deux

Couples Who Kill: Folie à Deux

Brad and Hindley: Genesis of the Moors Murders, by Fred Harrison

You can call them psychopaths. You can call them crazy. Still -after all these years- you can’t make sense of their behaviour. What brought a young couple to commit multiple gruesome murders  will probably remain beyond rational comprehension.cover88009-medium.png

Between 1963 and 1965, Ian Brady and his lover and partner, Myra Hindley, were responsible for the abduction, rape, torture, and murder of five young victims. The “Moors Murders” -named for the desolate landscape where three of the corpses were discovered- are one of the most horrific and shocking killing spree in British history.

Fred Harrison faced the devil -Ian Brady-  on a  face-to-face prison interview, and this book is in part based on that experience. Digging deeply into Brady and Hindley’s personal histories, Harrison examines the factors that led to their mutual and dangerous attraction and what brought them to lured boys and girls into their trap, desecrate their innocence and bury their bodies on bleack windswept moors.

While Ian was the true psycho, Myra was the victim of a condition psychiatrists call Folie à Deux, she shared Ian’s insanity and  adapted her persona to perfectly blend with his. Together they were simply lethal.

True Crime books examine tragedies that are so horrendous they remain cheseled on the collective psyche of a nation long after the perpetrators are gone.  Murders, serial killers, sadists, pedophiles rise great interest and curiosity, but what do we really know about them? Why they commit murders? What motivates them to kill? Can they blame it on the brain just pleading insanity defense?

After years spent studying crimes and perpetrators what I know is that what makes us different from the cruelest serial killer is a fine, subtle line made of where we come from, our backgrounds, education…It’s as simple as that. We all have a faint evil vein running through our bodies. For someone its pulse is just too strong to be ignored.


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)

Secrets

Secrets

Sister Dear, by Laura McNeill

Convicted for a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched her life vanish behind bars

cover80627-medium.pngTen years passed and out on parole Allie is determined to clear her name and find the truth. But what she uncovers is far worse than she imagines. Allie is strong, smart and refuses defeat. Undertaking a battle for the truth, she put her parole status and her personal safety at risk.

A dark secret is now standing between two sisters. The very one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.

Sister Dear is a beautiful novel, masterfully written, that perfectly describes how painful is for  ex-cons to clear their names, rebuild their lives, and reconnect with the families.

#toogoodtobejustabook just saying!


Get your copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (Ebook)