I recieved this book free for an honest review and for agreeing to participate in a blog tour. Scroll down for links to the other participants reviews.
In July 2008 Carol Kennedy was found dead in her home. At first glance the scene looked like an accident. Upon closer inspection it was determined the scene was staged and Carol had been murdered. The main suspect was her ex-husband Steve DeMocker, but there was no clear cut evidence he did it, no ‘smoking gun’. In fact several witnesses testified he had never been abusive. But he was.
Ms. Rother shows by her careful relating of events how abuse is not always physical. What I like about this book, is that through all the drama, the twists and turns and the “SMDH” moments, Ms. Rother never loses what this case is about, a woman who was brutally murdered. The detectives were committed to finding evidence of her killer and the prosecutor was committed to convicting him. Also Ms. Rother shows no bias in her writing, she is very much a just the facts writer. How she spins them into a lay-person readable format is magic, I guess. She also doesn’t insert herself into the narrative. I mention these three things because these are the things that turn me off from certain books/authors.
From start to finish I was gripped by this book. At times I put it down and read something else, but when I came back to it, I was able to pick up and keep reading, I never had to skim back, it was that compelling. I recommend this book.
Caitlin was kind enough to sit down with me for an interview (by that I mean I sat down and e-mailed her the questions and she sat down and emailed me the answers):
BF: How much say do you have in what cases you write about, when they are published and the cover art. I ask this because is something a lot of my friend who read true crime wonder about. Also I have heard different things from different authors.
I have pitched books on a few cases that I didn’t end up writing because I couldn’t interest an editor or publisher in them. But unlike being a newspaper reporter (which I was for 19 years), when an editor can tell you what to write and how to write it, that is not the case with books — which is why I like being an author so much more than working for “the man.” All my books have been on topics that I wanted to write, and the majority of them were published as I originally wrote them. Some publishers have very hands-on editors, and others leave the writing (and direction of the research) almost completely up to me. Also, now that I am an established author I can publish some of those stories that mainstream traditional publishers reject by going with an indie publisher like WildBlue Press or even self-publishing. So even that roadblock has been removed for me (and many other authors), and I have several projects in the works to take advantage of that new frontier. Cover art is a whole different thing. I have virtually no say in the covers designed by traditional publishers, however that is not the case with indie or self-published books, where I have more say and more control. The timing of publication is also something over which I have little control. Traditional publishers generally take about a year to publish a book — and that’s after you turn in the manuscript. With indie publishing it’s about 3-6 months, and self-publishing, which I haven’t done yet, can be done far more quickly.
BF: Personal violence is very common. What was it about this case that made you want to write about it?
The Steve DeMocker case has so many bizarre and unique layers to it, the domestic violence aspect was really just the backdrop for a whole host of other issues and legal machinations. This is the story of a love gone wrong, complicated by sex/love addiction, greed, manipulation, blood money, murder and a roller coaster ride to justice in a small mountain town in Arizona. But there is so much more: a suicide under very strange circumstances, the “voice in the vent” of DeMocker’s jail cell supposedly telling him who really killed his wife, the mysterious male DNA under the victim’s fingernails that didn’t match DeMocker’s, the kooky ME who transported the victim’s body from Prescott to Phoenix in the back of his pickup truck in the heat of July, and the list goes on.
BF: You have written a couple novels, is writing fiction harder than non-fiction or just different? What are the differences. Update: I said a couple because I was looking at a website that stated Caitlin Rother had written 2 novels.
I have only written one novel that has been published and that is NAKED ADDICTION. (I have a sequel in the works, but it is not ready for prime time yet). It took me 17 years to get it published, and I just revised, updated and re-released it with WildBlue Press late last year. Fiction is harder in some ways to write and easier in others. It doesn’t require anywhere near as much research as my true crime books, so it is not as much work, plus I love writing fiction. It’s fun to make stuff up. But as an investigative reporter, it has always been easier for me to write a story that is compelling when it is true. I don’t know why. It’s also been more difficult for me to find an audience for my fiction, because my loyal readers like true stories better. That said, I’ve had pretty good reviews from TC readers who say they were pleasantly surprised that they liked it so much. So I hope more TC readers will give it a try! The more readers I can get to try my novel, the more likely I will be to write another one.
BF: You have 10 books published. Do you have a favorite and if so which one? If you don’t, can you tell me some things you liked about a few of them?
That’s like asking me which is my favorite child. I like them all for different reasons, and each one has a different story behind it. THEN NO ONE CAN HAVE HER is a very complicated story to tell, so it was a difficult book to write. It felt like a bear I had to wrestle to the ground, both personally and professionally, so I’m proud of that accomplishment. LOST GIRLS has been my most controversial and also, for me, my most important book. I will always have a special place in my heart for POISONED LOVE, my first and my best-selling book by far. NAKED ADDICTION is my baby and my labor of love, because it took so long to publish, only to go out of print, then the publisher went into foreclosure on the eve of a re-release. It took a couple years to get the rights back, then I went back in to improve it and re-release it, so it was 24 years for it to become what it is today.
BF: Thanks for agreeing to this interview.
Oct. 26: Review by Colloquium,
Oct. 27: Review by Psychotic State Book Reviews,
Oct. 28: Review by Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews,
Oct. 29: Review by Maureen’s Musings,
Oct. 30: Review by The Woman Condemned,
Nov. 2: Review and interview by Just a Girl, Living, Reading, Watching and Writing,
Nov. 3: Review by As I Turn the Pages,
Nov. 4: Guest post by Rother on Colloquium,
Nov. 5: Review by Destiny’s Book Reviews,
Nov. 6: Review by Escape With Dollycas,
Nov. 9: Review by Jersey Girl Book Reviews,
Nov. 10: Review by Ellen Wallace,
Nov. 11: Post by Rother on WildBlue Press
Nov. 12: Review by Educated Reader