2 Star Books · Book Reviews · mystery · non fiction · True Crime

The Kill Jar: Obsession, Descent, and a Hunt for Detroit’s Most Notorious Killer by J. Reuben Appelman

 

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The Kill Jar: Obsession, Descent, and a Hunt for Detroit’s Most Notorious Killer by J. Reuben Appelman

Published: August 14, 2018

Publisher: Gallery Books

Pages: 288

Genres: true crime, non fiction, mystery

Rating: 2 stars

Recommend to fans of: dark twisted minds, unsolved crimes

Foodie Vibes: greasy diner food

 

Synopsis:

Enthralling. Gripping. Cinematic. Raw. A cold case murder investigation paced like a podcast, as visually stunning as a film, and as brave and personal as our darkest memoirs. J. Reuben Appelman cracks open one of America’s most notorious murder sprees while simultaneously banging the gavel on his own history with violence. A deftly-crafted true crime story with grit, set amid the decaying sprawl of Detroit and its outliers.

With a foreword by Catherine Broad, sister of victim Timothy King.

Four children were abducted and murdered outside of Detroit during the winters of 1976 and 1977, their bodies eventually dumped in snow banks around the city. J. Reuben Appelman was six years old at the time the murders began and had evaded an abduction attempt during that same period, fueling a lifelong obsession with what became known as the Oakland County Child Killings.

Autopsies showed the victims to have been fed while in captivity, reportedly held with care. And yet, with equal care, their bodies had allegedly been groomed post-mortem, scrubbed-free of evidence that might link to a killer. There were few credible leads, and equally few credible suspects. That’s what the cops had passed down to the press, and that’s what the city of Detroit, and J. Reuben Appelman, had come to believe.

When the abductions mysteriously stopped, a task force operating on one of the largest manhunt budgets in history shut down without an arrest. Although no more murders occurred, Detroit and its environs remained haunted. The killer had, presumably, not been caught.

Eerily overlaid upon the author’s own decades-old history with violence, The Kill Jar tells the gripping story of J. Reuben Appelman’s ten-year investigation into buried leads, apparent police cover-ups of evidence, con-men, child pornography rings, and high-level corruption saturating Detroit’s most notorious serial killer case.

 

Review:

I won this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you to Goodreads, Gallery Books, and J. Reuben Appelman for the book to review. As always, an honest review from me.

I’m a big fan of true crime books, but this one missed the mark for me. The entire book emirates terror and disturbing thoughts. It gave me the heebie jeebies while reading and left me feeling very unsettled for hours after. The weird disturbing vibes are not my thing.

While the author’s search to find the true killer of these unsolved crimes is noble, the writing comes across as a little too obsessed. Maybe you have to be to search out serial killers and pedophiles? Still, it’s good that someone’s investigating these crimes and holding people accountable.

Also, the bits about his personal life didn’t really need to be included, in my opinion. There were raw, authentic, and insightful. It felt more like a therapy session than cohesive thoughts to tie the rest of the story together.

Overall, The Kill Jar was not the true crime book for me. Way too disturbing and focused on the horrific details of too many predators. It’s not a bad book, but definitely not a good fit for me.

 

How do you shake off unsettling feeling from a book?

2 Star Books · Book Reviews · romance

Book Review: Only Her: A Bad Boy Second Chance Romance by Rebecca Janet

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Only Her: A Bad Boy Second Chance Romance by Rebecca Janet

Published by Kindle Edition on May 12, 2018

Pages: not listed (582 pages when read in iBooks on an iPhone)

Genres: romance

Rating: 2 stars

Recommend to fans of: romances that supposedly check all the boxes, drama, guys with good hearts

Read with food: champagne and strawberries

 

Synopsis:

Only HER can give me that feeling…

Neal

I was the one to walk away. When opportunity came knocking on my door, I answered it. At the time, I thought it was the best thing for me to do.

I’d build up my empire, gather up my wealth, and come back to give her everything she ever wanted.

Only, it’s not that easy.

It’s never that easy.

She no longer trusts me and for good reason, too. As far as she’s concerned, I abandoned her.

But, I’m not about to give up.

This time, she’s mine and I’m not leaving without my Queen.

Kara 

Everything was just fine until he showed up.

I worked a typical nine-to-five job and I was fine with that. Okay, maybe pushing pills at a pharmacy was slowly driving me insane, but at least it paid the bills.

Besides, one day, I was going to be a successful author. I just needed to get over a serious case of writer’s block.

Which wasn’t helped by the fact that my ex-boyfriend, my first and only crush, just suddenly came waltzing into my life after a ten-year hiatus.

Oh, and get this, he thinks he can just pick up where he left off.

Not going to happen.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

This is a full-length standalone novel brimming with temptation and high heat. It features a hot-as-hell alpha male on a mission fight like hell to win his woman back . It has no cheating, no cliffhangers and this one is for you if you love big weddings and happily ever afters!

Review:

A big thank you to the author for giving me a free ARC copy of the book. As always, an honest review.

With that being said, I had high hopes for this book, I really did. 

I have been on a bit of a romance novel kick lately. I usually read 1-2 per year, so several romance novels in a month is a big thing for me.

Unfortunately this one was only okay. The premise sounded promising. Two people who hadn’t seen each other in years after a heartbreaking night. It’s unique which I appreciated. I also really liked their shared love for books. Always a plus for me!

But the rest of the story was only okay. It seems to check all the boxes that a good romance novel would need. I wish the writing and characters were more developed. It seemed like a lot of plot twists and things thrown in there in a very short time. This caused the story to move very quickly and feel a bit forced at times. 

Also, it definitely reads like a typical romance novel, not a contemporary fiction novel centered around romance. The latter is my personal preference. But maybe it’s not yours. 

Only Her has a good premise, but ultimately it fell short for me. I had high hopes for this romance novel, since I have been enjoying many of them lately. It’s a short book, so if you want to check it out it’s a quick whirlwind of a read.