Best-selling author Gregg Olsen and co-author Rebecca Morris investigate one of the 21st Century's most puzzling disappearances and how it resulted in the murder of two children by their father.
Every once in a great while a genuine murder mystery unfolds before the eyes of the American public. The tragic story of Susan Powell and her murdered boys, Charlie and Braden, is the only case that rivals the Jon Benet Ramsey saga in the annals of true crime. When the pretty, blonde Utah mother went missing in December of 2009 the media was swept up in the story - with lenses and microphones trained on Susan's husband, Josh. He said he had no idea what happened to his young wife, and that he and the boys had been camping in the middle of a snowstorm.
Over the next three years bombshell by bombshell, the story would reveal more shocking secrets. Josh's father, Steve, who was sexually obsessed with Susan, would ultimately be convicted of unspeakable perversion. Josh's brother, Michael, would commit suicide. And in the most stunning event of them all, Josh Powell would murder his two little boys and kill himself with brutality beyond belief.
©2014 gregg olsen and rebecca morris (P)2014 gregg olsen
This is one of my Top 5 audiobooks.
This is a very difficult story to listen to. It is very raw and you can almost feel the pain of Susan Cox Powell's family (particularly her father) and friends went through. To have a daughter disappear then be at the mercy of a seriously creepy and deranged son in law who clearly hates you and finally to have two of your grandsons brutally murdered - absolutely heartbreaking. The story however is beautifully told, very captivating throughout, with no unnecessary information but at the same time with plenty of detail.
Kevin Pierce is the main narrator and does an amazing job as always, Laural is Susan's voice - I liked this touch as it made Susan seem a bit even closer to the listener.
"I gasped several times; I didn't see THAT coming!!"
Fascinating. Gripping. Shocking.
This is by far the best true crime book I have ever read. I don't know of any book that compares. You won't be disappointed.
At first I though Kevin Pierce's reading was not going to be to my liking, but I adjusted to his rhythm quickly and enjoyed his voice. Laural had very little reading, but what she did was good.
ABSOLUTELY! I would get to my destination and sit in my car and listen to three more chapters before MAKING myself stop! It's a long book, but I didn't want it to end. I plan to listen to it again.
Although this book is a true story and contained some sexual portions, it was told in a way that was not vulgar with basically no profanity. I sat shaking my head many, many times as I listened, wondering why this woman stayed with him and also shocked that such evil exists in our world? It was a well-written book and I'm now looking for others from this author.
"The Coward and the Angels"
Disturbing, Criminal,Unthinkable. A crime against humanity an unforgivable act.
I really enjoyed Kevin's very factual voice sort of like the old Dragnet show but not as dry.
I enjoyed the Laural reading the alternative pieces such as the emails and letters. Kevin brings a excellent voice for delivery facts.
Guilt and Betrayal.
A few years ago I read Ann Rules take on the case included in her Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors Crime Cases Volume 16. This book here is a needed improvement over that other fine book.
With new updates on the case and a seedier perspective on the case will be enjoyed by anyone new or old to the case.
So sad that this is a true story, as it has so much drama in it, one might think it couldn't possibly be. There are so many twists, I was on truly on the edge of my seat, listening. It's amazing to see just how deeply disturbed a human being can become....and it can be generational.
The change of voice at the beginning of each chapter was unexpected, and it helped to give "Susan" a voice. (Which sadly, after listening to this book, it's evident that she didn't have one.)
"Josh Powell is where he belongs..."
I was haunted during and after listening to this book about Susan Powell's (obvious) murder and the inexplicable inability for authorities to find her remains. The whole Powell family, excepting sister Jennifer, should be imprisoned simply for not divulging the truth about Susan's murder and/or for supporting their weak, manipulative, pathetic brother/son, Josh.
The narration was great. Initially, the woman's voice at the beginning of each chapter was off-putting and chilling - she sounded mechanical (computerized) as she read excerpts from Susan's emails, diary and letters. It eventually it made perfect sense and lent itself to this profoundly disturbing story.
This case deserved FBI attention or at least a more through, condensed investigation. The local officials seemed to drag their feet and relied on silly methods to try to trick Josh... the investigation wore on for years. They never put the REAL heat on this guy. Also, child/family services, while respecting that Josh was never formally charged with the murder of his children's mother, should have been monitoring Josh more closely. Supervised visitation with his children should have been held in a controlled environment - not Josh's home. Also, he played ridiculous games with Susan's parents. As if they hadn't suffered enough, he dangled their grandchildren and then ripped them away from them for no reason other than to be a complete jack*ss. I know this is a touchy for local/state authorities, because technically a person is innocent until proven guilty, but surely a case including a missing, presumed dead mother, whose husband is the prime suspect, deserves to be handled more delicately than most. These poor children are dead because a) their father was a maniac, b) social services were too timid (forced by policy, procedure) and c) police were too slow in putting together the pieces of the crime and focused too heavily on the lack of a body. Susan was a moral, upright, hard-working person and devoted mother - her disappearance should have been treated with alarms from day one.
I ended the book with feelings of complete and utter frustration. I cannot believe how this played out. I cannot believe how Josh (who seemed less than intelligent) pulled this off. I can't believe how much the Cox family has suffered. If Josh Powell didn't kill himself, I'd have to refrain from getting on a plane to Puyallup myself. Josh Powell and most of his kin are cowards and villains, mostly thanks to their disturbed/dysfunctional patriarch. What a complete waste and total shame. RIP Susan, Charlie & Braden.
"Gregg Olsen raised the bar on this one."
Stellar, Exceptional Masterpiece.
Gregg Olsen did a wonderful job writing a heartbreaking story.
Laural Merlington is the best of the best along with Kevin Pierce. Putting them together was genius.
There may be other books written about Susan Powell. None will compare or even come close. Very detailed, researched, written and presented with heart and emotion. For such a heartbreaking story - you identify with the passion of the family. No easy task for a writer. Gregg Olsen really came through and delivered!
"very intense Read."
loved the book it was very sad to get threw but well worth the time.
"There aren't adequate words..."
The horror and rage Felt towards law enforcement, the judicial system, a religious organization based on keeping a woman in her place committee to her husband and marriage that ultimately killed her, and family members that were ignored in their ultimate cries for help to save to innocents are a reflection on all who just fail to see things for what they are.
"Awful Story worth the listen"
This book was amazing. It had me sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time. It is so sad that toward the end of the book I was actually crying. It is so well written and the narrator helps give the individuals of the story meaning.
"Incredible story, not well told."
It is a truly astonishing story, but the author just doesn't capture you. It focuses on the least interesting points of the story and seems to overlook the human component.
Yes, it was so well written and performed. Such a horrifying event by evil people. Hard to comprehend that this really happened and that the crime was never fully solved. It's so apparent who murdered Susan, yet he was never charged. The male story teller is absolutely excellent and he pulls you into the story completely (I didn't think the female voice matched the character of Susan at all).
I listened to this in two sittings on a road trip. The time flew by and the book constantly held our interest. There were no slow or boring parts. We just kept shaking our heads in disbelief as the details unfold.
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