Review: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, by John Carreyrou

bad blood john carreyrouRating: ★★★★★

Genres: Non-Fiction, True Crime

Goodreads

I saw Rachel’s glowing review of this book on Goodreads and my interest was immediately picked. I wasn’t originally going to read this book because the words “Silicon Valley Startup” kind of threw me off and I wasn’t too keen on reading a “business book”. Boy, was I wrong.

Bad Blood tells the true story of John Carreyrou’s investigation on Silicon Valley’s Theranos, an obscure company led by the brilliant Elizabeth Holmes into overnight success worth 9 billion dollars. Theranos’ product, however, a device that uses a person’s blood to quickly and efficiently perform 200 blood tests with just the prick of a finger – was a fraud, and could be putting people in danger.  Continue reading

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Review: Savage Appetites, by Rachel Monroe

savage appetites rachel monroe

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Non-Fiction, True Crime

Goodreads / Amazon

Savage Appetites tells the true story of four women in the four archetypes of every true crime story: the detective, the victim, the attorney, the killer. It explores the morbid fascination of people (especially women) with the true crime genre and the obsession of violence towards women.

When I saw the words “true crime” and “stories of women” and realized Rachel Monroe was going to tell stories of women in true crime where they aren’t only the white, thin and pretty dead girl, I was immediately drawn to it. This was a quick read – I read it in two sittings and only because I had to put it down the first time. Continue reading

Review: The Fact of a Body, by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

The Fact of a Body Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Nonfiction, Biography, True Crime

Goodreads / Amazon

The Fact of a Body is the true story of the murder of little Jeremy by Ricky Langley, a strange young man who’s a convicted pedophile. It merges with the story of the author, who was an intern in the law firm working on Langley’s defense after the first trial, which sentenced him to death. Alex is strongly against the death penalty her whole life, but finds herself struggling with her own history. For the first time, she wants a man dead.

This was a difficult book to get through at times, in the sense that the theme of child abuse (especially molestation) is so very recurrent and graphic. This made me wince and felt quite heavy to read about. I considered putting it down several times, but in the end I was entranced by the story and wanted to see where it was going. If you hate open endings, maybe skip this one – it’s not that it leaves you in a frustrating note, but it leaves margin for interpretation and I didn’t really know what to make of Ricky Langley in the end. Not a good person, that is for SURE. But how much of what he did or said was true, we might never know. Continue reading

Review: The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, by Kirk W. Johnson

the feather thief kirk w johnsonRating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Non-Fiction, True Crime, History

GoodreadsAmazon

Okay, this was absolutely a cover-buy. Although I didn’t read this as a physical book, but rather as an audiobook, it’s still so pretty to look at. Also, it said “The Natural History Heist of the Century”, so I was drawn to it. A real-life case of heist? Rare birds? Sign me in.

While the book is meant to be about the heist itself, and the first chapter is really interesting, describing the heist itself, it takes until 40% of the book to go back to the heist itself. In between, the history of those birds is told, which goes from being interesting because of the parallels between Alfred Russel Wallace and his contemporary Charles Darwin, to really boring indeed, because I cannot care less about the misfortunes and successes of Europeans stealing birds from Brazil and other parts of South America. Continue reading

Review: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, by Michelle McNamara

ill be gone in the dark michelle mcnamara

Rating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Nonfiction, Biography, True Crime

Goodreads / Amazon

I heard amazing things about this book, written by the author of the blog http://truecrimediary.com/, which deals with never-solved cold cases. Michelle died in 2016, and this book was published after being put together from what she’d written plus her notes. The author has a matter-of-factly but tactful voice. She makes the point to make the victims the center of the story, and doesn’t deal with the crimes with morbid curiosity. She aims not to glamorize the murderer, and I think she did that very well. Continue reading