Review: The Family Next Door – The Heartbreaking Imprisonment of the Thirteen Turpin Siblings and Their Extraordinary Rescue by John Glatt

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★★½

St. Martin’s Press | 2019

Opening Imprisonment: Bologna and chains.

Main Crazy Parent: Probably the dude with the bowl cut.

Cult Theology: Be the Duggars…but crazier.


I heard about the Turpins when they first made international breaking news headlines back in 2018 (which honestly feels like 100 years ago, at this point,) but I obviously didn’t pay enough attention to the whole story because the level of insanity is just jaw-dropping once all the details are laid out, as John Glatt does for you in this true-crime novel.

I mean honestly, this is some fucked up shit.

I must have brushed it off as just another set of weird religious parents doing weird shit to their kids in the name of their self-tailored beliefs – that is one way to chalk it up – but when we get into the real details, this is a banana-sandwich story turned up to eleven. Spinal Tap, amen.

If you’re looking for a story on how Louise and David Turpin went from falling in love to popping out 13 kids who they would regularly beat and chain up to their beds, only freeing them to brush their teeth or use the bathroom, then this is a book for you.

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Review: Evil – The Science Behind Humanity’s Dark Side by Julia Shaw

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★★

Abrams Press | 2019

Opening Thesis: Evil is just a misunderstanding.

Main Evil: Apparently pedophiles aren’t that bad?

Thesis Conclusion: Shockingly shallow.


I really wanted to like and I’m having a hard time with the rating, because I didn’t like this, and frankly parts of it are so off-putting I want to toss it out a window.

But it’s not a bad book either in terms of writing quality.

My biggest problem really comes down to the fact that this book is not about the science behind humanity’s dark side, as the cover suggests.

I wanted to learn about the brain, human chemistry, nature vs nurture; I wanted case studies and scientific journals and theories and experiments. What I got was the author explaining why evil is subjective and nothing is really bad because all humans fuck up. The overall theme boils down to “rethinking evil.”

While that may be a provocative topic to tackle, I wouldn’t have necessarily started the book with the argument that we should reconsider labelling Hitler as evil.

There is actually very little science-back study and explanation in this book. She invokes the Milgram Experiment to discuss the banality of evil, and then uses the Stanford Prison Experiment to explore group-think, but never mentions that many issues with that study that led to it being discredited. Shaw doesn’t do a very good job at tying the referenced studies to the points she’s trying to make; they are loosely thrown together and barely make a correlation.

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True Crime Tuesday: The Nun Killer

It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these and it’s a bummer. I know. Really, I’m way behind in reading too. Everything is crashing down around me now that it’s the end of the year.

The truth is, October (to the end of the year) is a really busy time for me. I have my husband’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, three other family birthdays, then my own; Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Shit gets crazy. Plus we had an election in Canada that ended last night (phew!) Suffice to say, my stress levels are through the roof most days. I no time, I spent too much money, our pet’s heads are falling off!

When I’m stressed out from it all, you will find me decompressing by way of isolation. I don’t do too much social media, I burrow myself in my bedroom and watch TV. So there’s no a lot of motivation to write reviews or research murder.

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Today, it’s time to break the slump!

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Booknerd Wednesday: 7 Things To Read To Ease Your Mindhunter Withdrawal

If you’re anything like me, the release of the new season of Mindhunter might have sent you into an orgasmic tailspin and you’ve binged the entire season already, maybe even twice.

Let’s be honest, Bill Tench could fucking get it.

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David Fincher is a genius. This show is diabolical perfection. I’ve never been more in love with anything in my entire life, except for maybe Silence of the Lambs.

Now that it’s over, I’m hurting. I’m hurting bad.

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True Crime Tuesday: The Bear Brook Murders

A surprise affect of my true crime interest is that some days my appreciation and deep love for my husband is amplified as if the volume has been turned up to eleven.

That’s not to say that there are other days where I am numb to it. Quite the opposite. I’m always fully aware of the cosmic luck that brought my husband to me. Contrasted against the background of my shitty ex and the shady AF choices I’ve made in my life, (that I’m truly surprised didn’t totally fuck me,) he doesn’t really need to do much to be wonderful. But he does anyway.

Every one thought we were crazy when we met. Getting involved, being long distance, trying to navigate an immigration system, starting over from scratch once he moved to Canada and blending our family. But it was truly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I followed my heart completely on that one, because from a rational point of view, yeah we were taking big, unknown risks and it could have gone totally sideways.

But here were are. Seven years later.

And some days, when the volume is up to eleven, it feels like my heart is going to burst out of my chest and be carried away by a million butterflies because I know, truly and honestly, from the bottom of my bottom, that my husband would never kill me and stuff my body in a 55-gallon drum.

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Author Interview: Megan Goldin

Welcome back, nerds! This is my last post on the Blog Tour train for The Escape Room by Megan Goldin. All aboard, bitches!! Choo-fucking-choo!

If you haven’t already, click here to read my review. And click here to read an excerpt from the book provided by the publisher. The blog tour for this debut thriller is running until August 13th, so make sure you check out other blogger’s posts and reviews and opinions. But always remember, mine is the most important.

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I really liked this book. Maybe you don’t believe me. Maybe you’re assuming that I’m just kissing ass because I was invited on this blog tour. There are only two things I can say to that. One, are you new around here? And two: check out my blog tour for The Ancient Nine, because that book was a snoozer and I was super honest about it, making it awkward for everyone involved.

Thankfully, St. Martin’s Press didn’t hold it against me, so obviously they’re cool and you should definitely buy all of their books if you want to support dope publishing houses.

(That was definitely ass kissing.)

Continue reading “Author Interview: Megan Goldin”

Blog Tour: The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

Get in losers, we’re going Blog Touring!!

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour train for The Escape Room by Megan Goldin! I’ve got reviews! I’ve got an author Q&A. I’ve got an excerpt from the book that’s going to make you work out the hold button at the library!

This is a totally dope debut thriller that I gave four-stars – which is essentially a less bitchy reviewer’s 5-stars – so clearly you’re going to want to add this clever tale of revenge to your completely unrealistic TBR pile. And good news! It’s officially on sale today! Amazon! Indigo! Ebooks! Physical copies! There’s no stopping this blog tour train now! Choo-fucking-choo, bitches!

*clears throat*

Anyway, this book has everything you look for in a thriller. The characters are vibrant, the setting is well researched without being so explainy that you feel like you’re reading a text book on wall street finance, and the plot is so satisfying in its revenge it’ll make you want to lock some people up in an elevator and do some insider trading.

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Review: Lost Girls – An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker

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★★★

HarperCollins | 2013

Opening Mystery: Seriously, WTF happened to Shannan Gilbert?

Main Creep: Peter Hackett has some attention issues

Plot Truthy-ness: A humanizing portrait


I’m pretty fascinated by the Long Island Serial killer case. It’s been some time since we had an evil, undetectable serial killer case to watch in real-time. Though it’s faded from news and been replaced by, well, mostly Trump for fuck’s sake… this is certainly a story to keep a light on. There are dozens of women whose lives have been cut short with zero progress towards justice of any kind.

The more cynical side of me might say that because they were escorts and sex workers that their cases are deemed “less important” to solve compared to other things cops are coming across every day involving people with more “societal value.” That’s the more cynical side.

I’ve seen a couple documentaries on this decades-old unsolved mystery, watched a few interviews and have a general idea of who is suspicious AF (I’m looking at you Dr. Hackett, you shady motherfucker,) so, I wanted to read this novel by an award-winning investigative reporter because I thought I would be getting a really in-depth overview of the case as it stood in 2013, and some theories about what the actual fuck is going on.

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True Crime Tuesday: The Nine Million Dollar Murder

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It’s been a while!

Sorry for the break! But not really. I hope you stumbled across many other funny and wonderful book bloggers and true crime writers to fill the Krystin-shaped hole in your heart. I know there are so many writers to read, and it means a lot to me that you still stick around my blog even when I disappear every now and again.

I’ve been super fucking busy at home trying to finish my bedroom renovation. I know, I know. I’ve been promising forever to post my basement reno and I’ve already moved on to my bedroom. What can I say? I don’t possess a lot of virtues, and patience definitely isn’t one of the few.

I finished painting on Sunday and I’m so happy to say there are no more rooms in my house that require a full wall of paint… three years later. I fucked up my shoulder once again and my back is twisted, but all the heavy, big projects are officially done and now I can just focus on the smaller details like hanging a mirror or putting up curtains.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to just sit on my fucking ass and do nothing once again. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And it looks a lot like me in bed with a book and a snuggly puppy. And of course, writing more posts around here. I fucking swear it!

Truly, my Fitbit has never seen me achieve so many steps before. It thinks someone new is wearing it.

Anyway, I’m feeling a little bit less stressed, my brain fog is clearing and my creative juices are totally pumping… forgive me for saying “creative juices.” That phrase could not be any more disgusting. But I digress… a new true crime story is just breaking within the last couple of days, and it is completely fucked up and sensational and has me rolling my eyes in all kinds of directions because goddamn teenagers are just so fucking stupid, cruel sometimes.

We’re talking terrible teenagers. We’re talking murder. We’re talking child pornography. We’re talking fake millionaires. We’re talking being gullible as fuck.

This is the murder of Cynthia Hoffman.

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Review: The Fact of a Body – A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

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★★

Flatiron Books | 2017


I really wanted to like this. I didn’t want to write a negative review for a book that is, in part, detailing the author’s personal experience with molestation.

The heavy subject matter makes a negative review seem tacky, to a degree. And I didn’t want to be that asshole. But, that’s not where this review is coming from. At all.

I applaud the author’s use of writing to work through her trauma and to find an understanding of how trauma shaped her. If this book was a tool for personal peace (which I suspect it was,) then really, any negative review means nothing in the grand scheme of that healing.

But, I am a reader and book reviewer and so I’ll be honest about my reading experience, as I always am, beyond the personal aspects Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich bravely shares.

The Fact of a Body weaves two true life events. One: the re-trial of Ricky Langley, a confessed pedophile who was sentenced to death in 1992 for the murder of his 6-year-old neighbour, Jeremy Guillory. In 2003, he was awarded a new trial. The intention of his attorney, Clive Stafford Smith, was to reduce Langley’s death sentence down to life in prison. Clive the Lawyer runs a law firm which specializes in Death Row cases and he is staunchly anti-capital punishment, taking on many cases where the intention is only ever to reduce the sentence, not to prove innocence.

The author begins an internship at Smith’s law firm at the same time the re-trial is starting. During her orientation, Alexandria is shown Langley’s ’92 confession where he talks about his sexual attraction to children and what he did to Jeremy Guillory.

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