Book Review: We Were Killers Once

I read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote in my sophomore English class. I found the book to be a combination of horrifying actions and descriptive detail that occasionally still flit through my mind and the rest to be a very interesting story on true events at that time.

The book begins with Jerry Beaufort just getting out of prison after doing about 30 years for dealing drugs. He was supposed to be sentenced to life as it was his third strike but his sentence was commuted since he was a nonviolent offender. Or so they thought. Jerry is in fact guilty of so much more than dealing drugs and it takes the reader to the very ending of the book to discover his part in the historic crimes. Part of the book is written in the first perspective of a former FBI agent who married a former priest. She really has no involvement with Jerry at all and couldn’t imagine that her husband would. What I didn’t like was that her side of the story was written in first person. Obviously she’ll live to tell the story till the end. That’s kind of a pet peeve of mine in a mystery thriller.

Becky Masterman wrote We Were Killers Once as a historical fiction drawing facts from In Cold Blood and the police reports regarding the murders. Her book is like a spin-off of the one by Capote with more detailed events that were merely mentioned by Capote. She took much of what was already told and elaborated further into the possibility of there being more to the historical crime than was admitted and discovered. I love that even though her book is fiction it matches up to the actual events enough to be true.

I rate the book a 5 out of 5.

Book Review: The Golden Bride

This book was written by Kimberley Woodhouse as part of the Daughters of the Mayflower series. When I read the title I had a strong feeling that the setting for the story would take place in San Francisco around 1849 to the early 1850’s. The book illustrates the historical time of San Francisco being populated by men primarily in search of gold while others capitalized on the men’s desperation in their search for gold by hiking up prices of supplies to extreme amounts. Good and honest people were few and far between. Despite the rising amount of people living there, San Francisco was turning into a very uncivilized place.

The author uses the information she found in her research to write a book with characters of corruption, cruelty and deceitfulness. But as one of the daughters of the Mayflower, Olivia moves to the city and begins to shine a light of hope and faith in the midst of trouble. She lived in Santa Barbara until her parents died from sickness. In order to quickly settle their debt to move to where her brother lives in San Francisco, Olivia marries Hezekiah. He pays her debt and promises to take her to San Francisco. It’s most definitely not a marriage of love but a marriage of selfishness which really isn’t a marriage at all. Hezekiah is determined to quickly get rich by finding gold which annoys Olivia because he spends money on supplies instead of food. Then he dies before they make it to the big city. Joseph is a recently saved gold miner. Daniel, Olivia’s older brother took the time to help Joseph find Jesus. Joseph is now prosperous in material and spiritual means. He employs people fairly and continues to visit Daniel at the Livingston restaurant which Daniel owns and operates. It’s how Olivia and Joseph meet when Olivia finally makes it to San Francisco alone, as a widow.

After her experience with Hezekiah being careless with a one track mind on greediness she vows to never marry a man interested in gold. In fact, she thinks it would be better to not marry ever again. She carries a considerable amount of guilt for the events and her private thoughts of Hezekiah surrounding the events of his death.

This book was about so much forgiveness for others and yourself. Olivia and the other. Christians in San Francisco are a minority there but are determined to be there for the salvation of others. I like this book because it portrayed a time of great change and how it affected people during that time. I don’t want to give much away about Olivia and Joseph’s relationship, because this review isn’t about spoilers, but I do want to say how much Olivia’s way to getting closer to Joseph is about forgiving herself and putting more trust in God. Also, Olivia’s ancestors make appearances in the form of personal journals written long ago which I thought was really cool. I mean, just think about thoughts written so long ago being read and having an effect on one of your descendants.

I rate the book 4 out of 5.

Book Review: The Dark Bones

I received this book in an uncorrected format from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Loreth Anne White wrote a story about a middle-aged woman coming back to her rural hometown in Canada after the sudden death of her father. Everyone in her town thinks her father’s death is a suicide but from the beginning Rebecca had suspicions about her dad’s demise. He had called her with serious allegations of a mystery from 20 years ago. Rebecca has the strong feeling that her father’s renewed investigation led to his murder, not suicide.

The book isn’t simply a mystery; the author tied in romance. Long lost romance at that. Throughout the book Rebecca must find out if her boyfriend from her teenage years can be trusted with her love or if he can be trusted with anything at all.

The book was a good mystery and suspenseful enough but I couldn’t feel any romance between the two Rebecca and her old flame. I think the author tried to do too much in one book. After all the actions done, pain experienced and years past I couldn’t feel the love being rekindled through the course of one story. The author created very developed characters and it made the book seem more sophisticated and a more creative read than I thought it would be. Overall the book was average. I don’t feel like I wasted my time reading it but I don’t think it added to my life in a great way.

I rate this book a 3 out of 5.