Monday, April 29, 2013

Portrait of a monster: Joren van der Sloot, a murder in Peru, and the Natalee Holloway Mystery

Portrait of a monster: Joren van der Sloot, a murder in Peru, and the Natalee Holloway Mystery
By Lisa Pulitzer and Cole Thompson

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

This is a fascinating, well-written, thoroughly researched, totally captivating account. I followed the Natalee Hollaway story, I have been to Aruba (on a cruise) since the incident, and I find this book absolutely gripping because of its detail, specificity, explanations—and because it is so well put together.

Both writers have a great deal of writing experience, and their background and credibility are amply revealed throughout the book. The development of these incredible situations (Peru and Aruba) are incrementally, straightforwardly, and expertly presented and interwoven—just as you would expect from well-trained journalists.

The book, as is explained in the "A Note On Sources," at the beginning of the book, is based on scores of interviews and several thousand pages of police reports." Most of this information has not been previously available to the public at large—or the media. The authors also made use of newspaper articles, television reports, and books written about the case. Their research is overwhelming, and it is revealed on every page of the book. The research is so convincing that it is hard not to automatically accept the authors’ claims and conclusions. They know what they are talking about.

If you have any interest in the Natalee Holloway disappearance in Aruba, this will be a "must read" book for you. You will discover facts you have never heard about or read about previously.

If you just enjoy a great detective story—or like to read fabulous crime novels—this book will rivet your attention right from the outset.

If you are a parent and want to know what can happen when your teenage sons and daughters go on spring break, this book can serve as a "shot across the bow" that has the potential of waking you up—and, at the very least, provide thorough cautions, instructions, and clear warnings.

All-in-all, this book is a great read, and I recommend it without hesitation or reservation. It is one of the best crime dramas I have ever read!

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