Silly things like work and trying to keep the lights on have prevented my posting for a couple of days, and for that I apologize. But I return, with the haul for the week… and a little bit of an irritation with “true crime” books.
So, first, we brought this one home:
I think it’s pretty funny that they make sure to tell you the author has a PHD. Like somehow that will lend additional credence to something that is marketed as fiction. (Note how it says “A Novel” down on the bottom, there.) It seems, so far, to be pretty much a knock off of The DaVinci Code, though the writing is a little better and he didn’t start off with a batch of outlandish and half-ass researched bull about secret orders of church assassins, so that’s a bonus. (Can you tell me and Dan Brown don’t get along? Say sorry.) More details as I actually sit down to read the thing past the initial chapters. But seems like it’ll be amusing, if nothing else.
I am sadly lacking photos for the next two, as they got left on someone else’s desk and I haven’t had a chance to fetch them, but I added George Carlin’s When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? to my collection – anything that features Carlin sitting at the Last Supper with a knife and looking pathetic has to be worth a look, and he is one of my comedy heroes, a list that dwindles with each passing year – as well as the The Death of Innocence,wherein the Ramseys will supposedly enlighten me as to who actually killed their darling daughter. Assuming it wasn’t Columbian Drug Lords, as South Park claims.
The winner of the batch – and the one that’s going to inspire the following bitch session – is this:
Now, I’m currently on page 130 of around 200, and have yet for Ms. Bird to produce one reason, yet alone the 33 promised on the cover, why she thinks darling Scott is guilty… mostly it seems like a strangely incestuous love letter to her brother. But perhaps she’ll come up with something interesting in the last finger’s worth of prose. Not that it matters; this is old news, he sits in his cell, and nothing is going to change my mind as to his guilt, which I pompously decreed about three seconds after seeing him on television the first time – I’m sorry, but his smug expression and lack of anything human in his eyes said to me “Yep, that’s a killer,” and his behavior just before Laci’s disappearance and during the search just cemented it for me – but I like reading people’s opinions, just the same.
By the way, there’s a really fascinating website that’s still trying to exonerate Scott, that’s somewhat amusing; you can find it here… Worth a read, if you’re into that sort of thing. Doesn’t convince me, but hey, your mileage may vary.
Now, as to what irritates me, and has always irritated me about most “true crime” books: They’re full of it. They have all kinds of bizarre cross associations that reek of coming up after the fact, they try to inject drama and suspense into moments that have none – and shouldn’t have any – and try to force some sense of meaning and gravitas into situations that are just “stuff happened, because life.” In Blood Brother, for example, we are treated to hearing about how, immediately following the disappearance of Laci, that the author was suddenly plagued with anxiety attacks any time she was near water or bridges, as if she knew something terrible had happened to her sister-in-law at such a location. We have to hear about how she “just knew” something was off, that there must have been massive trouble brewing, despite that every description of Scott, Laci and other family member’s activities and moods seems normal given the scenarios presented (at least until we get to the real meat of the case, when it starts becoming apparent to anyone with eyes that something funky is going on with Scott). She mysteriously makes connections between some distant relative eyeing a ring of hers that she then claims was on Laci when she was found and then was later discovered in a high-class pawn shop, and how Scott must have done it(!!!!1!!11!ONE!!) because reasons. We’re not going to contemplate how giving said ring to a second cousin somehow gets it into Laci’s hands, or from her dead and rotting finger into a pawn shop miles away from where she lived, died or was found and conveniently (and with no paper trail and no police involvement) happens to cross paths with the author. Or how she knows all of these things that she never bothers to inform the police about but that make it into her juicy tell-all (for which I’m sure she received a generous lump of cash).
It’s not quite as batshit crazy or full of conspiracies and six degrees of separation as Daddy Was the Black Dahlia Killer, but it wants to be… like most of these sorts of books seem to. (I’m sure I’m in for even more of this when I get to Death of Innocence.) And it leaves me wondering what the point is. If something is supposed to be “true crime,” then shouldn’t it be the truth, unvarnished, and without a bunch of literary tropes and grim foreboding added in, to say nothing of schizophrenic and often contradictory statements and asides from the authors?
Maybe I need to go find a murderer to stalk. Then I can try my hand at this sort of thing. Any active serial killers want a biographer? (Kidding. Sort of.)
And now, I think it’s time for this. I’ll return later with whatever I drag from the stacks today. Until then, have fun, kids!