‘Even at this time of year, the damp and warmth gave rise to mossy bricks and pavement-crack weeds, life forcing its way out of every crevice like sweat from pores’
And that’s when the horror really began. Crafted like a smart cop show, the book takes us on a tense journey through fear, family and friends and what happens when the three are forced together in the worst way. Moorheard gave me just enough of the thread to make me think I knew where it was leading, then she added knots with the skills and delicacy of a seasoned pro.
I devoured this book in 3 sittings of about 2 hours. It was recommended to me on good ole’ Goodreads after I’d marked that I’d finished Recursion by Blake Crouch. I didn’t find the books to be particularly similar but I guess Goodreads’ sneaky algorithms know that fans of one have read the other.
The book begins with a short letter from Father to son, before we even get to the first chapter. There is reflection, regret and sorrow in these words but also a glimmer of hope which is is all SO intriguing. It’s an unusual way to begin and I liked it.
This year on top of everything else we’ve lost a figurehead in the true-crime community, Shana Hogen. Her life which ended in a tragic accident this September is worthy of celebration for all the contributions she brought to so many lives. On top of the joy she brought to her family Hogen also shared her amazing talents with the world.
How can I begin to review this book because, why would you?
This question format is repeated throughout this strange, stream-of-consciousness style novel many, many times. I have to say that reading this book during lockdown was a mistake. I’ll tell you why.
I’d seen the 2004 movie adaptation of Mysterious Skin years ago before I knew that the book came first. I saw the movie on DVD, I don’t remember how I got my hands on it. I was around 18-19 at the time and starting to pay more attention to my queerness, and began to seek out media with queer characters. I was reminded of the book recently as I was talking about actors who had been in movies that we’d forgotten all about with my partner and I remembered Joseph Gordon-Levitt and we both remembered that he was in the movie adaptation of Mysterious Skin.
Lakewood by Megan Giddings is described as a cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks on the inside dust jacket, do I need to say more? I was sold immediately.
This month we are venturing out into the world of fiction for our monthly review, however, this book felt horrifyingly real. Listed as a mystery horror book, Giddings does an incredible job of making you feel present in the best and the creepiest way possible.
If You Tell has been all over my book groups, I feel like every three posts, someone is talking about this book, the hype is REAL. While I love going in knowing nothing about popular thrillers, it tends to be the opposite case for true crime, but between a quick skim of the summary to see if I knew this case and the sheer number of folks talking about it, I had to read it.
I am a consumer of all things crime-related (I’m assuming you are as well if you’re reading this), and I especially love FBI related things. Shows like Mindhunter, Criminal Minds, or Waco, and podcasts like FBI Retired Case File Review, and Real Crime Profile, you name it, I’m enjoying it. When the opportunity to read and review a book by Jerri Williams, retired FBI agent, crime novelist, and podcaster arose, I could not resist!
In Jessica McDiarmid’s Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, voices are heard and stories are told by the families of many of the missing women and girls who have so often been treated as disposable by society, the media, and law enforcement.
In 2018 I read The Stranger Beside Me for the first time, and prior to reading it I knew little about Ted Bundy. However, finishing it sent me into a rabbit hole of searching for more information about the survivors, victims, and other people in his personal life. I enjoyed The Stranger Beside Me because it was written from a perspective of a coworker and friend, this element is what sets this book apart from other true crime books in my opinion. Finding out that Ted’s long term girlfriend, Liz Kendall, had written a book called The Phantom Prince about her own experience was exactly the news I had wanted, another perspective of someone close.