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Summary

"You want to know what happened? Ask Anne." -Serial killer William Devin Howell  

A monster was on a killing spree. In just nine months, seven people went missing; all of their bodies eventually discovered in a wooded lot behind a suburban strip mall. But the investigation that led law enforcement to their suspect, William Devin Howell, is only part of the story behind His Garden: Conversations with a Serial Killer.  

A practicing attorney, author Anne K. Howard first contacted Howell while he was serving a 15-year sentence for the murder of one of his seven victims. He was about to be charged for the remaining six murders. A unique and disturbing friendship between the two began, comprised of written correspondence, face-to-face prison visits, and recorded phone calls. Howell, who had been unwilling to speak to any members of the media, came to trust Howard.  

In the years that follow, the suspect shared his troubled history with Howard but refused to discuss the charges against him, promising only to tell her everything when the case was over.  

That time has come.   

His Garden probes the complicated and conflicted mind of William Devin Howell - Connecticut's most prolific serial killer. Both sacred and profane in its narrative style, the story in this audiobook explores the eternal question of human evil and its impact on others, including the woman he chose to hear his horrific confession.

©2018 WildBlue Press (P)2018 WildBlue Press

What listeners say about His Garden: Conversations with a Serial Killer

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Profile Image for gauzy
  • gauzy
  • 24-09-18

Underwhelming at best, irritating at worst

The background of this book really interested in me. I don't like knowing *just* about true crime, but the motivations behind the killings and the psychological and sociological implications thereof. Unfortunately, this book fell short of my expectations. Despite being well-intentioned and well-researched, the writer -- a lawyer who decides to undertake journalism for this book -- is simply not very good. Her metaphors, transitions, interjections of science, and personal opinions are all very clunky. There is nothing like a flow to the story. She tries to probe at the largest of human ideas: the nature of man and evil, but is wholly unprepared for the task. The serial killer in question is himself a dullard, which makes the book fairly unbearable.

Last but not least, in the case that you are listening to this book, the narrator reads it in an odd staccato that, after a while, is a little like Chinese water torture. The "Southern drawl" she used for the serial killer's voice made ME want to strangle someone. I wanted to like this book, but it wasn't up to par for the genre or the discussion.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer Sussin
  • 02-11-18

Full of personal conflict and character

I don’t typically read true crime but watch a lot of documentaries on the topic.

What made this story different than those I have read/listened to before is the space the author took up in writing the story, and the conflict which got introduced as a result. You can tell the author is a reasonable person trying to relate as best she can to a truly unstable human being, and as a result of her reflections on the experience, you feel closer to the story. It’s a unique listening experience. I didn’t love the narrator singing at the front of the book and wasn’t hopeful following that, but it was really good.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ben
  • 23-08-19

Stupid no details of the murders

No details of the murders worst serial Killer book I listened too she needs to rewrite and get more details

1 person found this helpful

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  • Berta
  • 31-10-18

All over and repetitive

The other review on here is true to form. This story or shall I say, book report was way overboard with repetitive information. It doesn’t have a normal flow like a story normally does. I was really hoping for new information, things I didn’t already know that I listed to on Podcasts. I’m just disappointed at this point.

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  • mobius_spider
  • 15-03-21

Sounds Like a Personal Problem, the Book

If you're interested in the condiment trading system in PC confinement, or if the killer's cell-made rice krispie treats turned out, this is the book for you. If there's a story here, it doesn't start in the first 25 chapters. That's when I tapped out.

Murillo does a fantastic job narrating. Her southern voice was well done, and I liked that she sang the hymns in the first chapters. Sure, it was a bit hammy, but it fit the style of the writing.

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  • Hepcat89
  • 18-01-21

Good book

I had never heard of this story before listening to the book.

The author did a thorough and well done book. She unlike most books of this genre was not overly graphic.

It is interesting to see the thinking that a lot of people have regarding the life choices others have made and judging them.

The narrator was really good however, she had some lines that were repeated and obviously at one point a technical difficulty as it sounded as if she were in a can.

I would recommend this book.

I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, Audible, narrator, and/or publisher.

I voluntarily left this review.

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  • T. H.
  • 27-12-20

Great book.

I lived and worked around all the areas when these murders took place. So much so that I can imagine passing him on the turnpike or Rt 9 at some point. I know every single place mentioned in this book. It was chilling to read, even without knowing in detail the places. The layout of information and the chronology of the story is superb. How this isn’t a movie yet is surprising. Although Howard is far from what we conceive as a serial killer. You see him as a monster on the prowl, more a deeply disturbed functioning person you might strike up a conversation with at a bar, which for makes all the more disturbing.

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  • Nerda Trusty
  • 01-09-19

Great Book!

I was intrigued and captured. Great work. I listened to this book in one day. And cried at the letter.