Finished it and just in time 'cause it was due back yesterday. Also, forgive the eating metaphors. Not doing it because of the subject matter but just how I describe reading.
My Sweet Angel is the true crime account of Lacey Spears, one of those Mommy Bloggers that goes on and on about their kid. You know the type. I happen to be related to one. But unlike your typical overbearing Mommy Blogger, Lacey was up to something a lot more insidious. In January 2014, Lacey delivered a fatal dose of salt into her son's stomach via his G-Tube, causing the 5 year old Garnett to suffer a horrible, painful death. She was brought to trial and convicted in 2015 but the question remains, why? Going back to the beginning of Lacey's life and following her actions until that faithful January day, John Glatt paints an incredible yet horrifying picture of a woman considered by some to be a textbook case of Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy.
This book is an incredible read but so incredibly gut-wrenching. True crime is often rough by this one shook me in a way the genre hasn't shook me before. Glatt spares no detail in his depiction of all the medical procedures Garnett was forced to endure and his mother's bizarre behavior. At the same time, it was all necessary to help us understand what exactly happened and why the jury found Lacey guilty in the end.
My favorite part of this book was the third part, which detailed the description of the investigation and the trial. It was incredible to see just how the detectives worked in compiling evidence and just how much evidence they really had. I read a lot but didn't feel like I was swallowing a lot. I understood it all for the most part and was impressed with their diligence. For example, the detective's work in reading all of Lacey's texts, internet history and social media posts. It totaled about 1800 pages and they went through all of it. Really, just astounding police work and what I consider to be a great example of why True Crime is such an awesome genre.
In my opinion, the biggest weakness in the book is it starts out with you knowing she was found guilty or had Munchausen's, which took away the ability to be unbiased. The writing itself also seemed to indicate that Glatt is convinced of her guilt and I wish it wasn't quite so heavy handed to make the reader able to form a more impartial opinion. That said, Lacey didn't exactly help portray herself as innocent in the actions described in the book. There's a lot of evidence against her and I was shocked to see her defense team didn't seem to think there was any. I actually think her attorneys kinda failed her but that's a discussion for another time I think.
Final rating: 4.5 out of 5. Incredible but difficult read. Read for the police work for sure. It's incredible.
Final thought: Glatt has a book on the three women who were abducted in Cleaveland. I think I'm gonna have to read that one too.
As this is a DNF, I rated it 1/2 a star.
I tried. I made it 70% of the way through this book before calling it a day. I really wanted to like it. I wasn't counting on another joyful find like the Armand Gamache books, but I was hoping to at least like the guy. Sadly, it didn't happen.
I found this book to be filled with what I have come to understand as white man privilege, I guess. All I know is that I found the tone of the book to be racist, both overtly and subtext as well as misogynistic. For the latter, there is just too much what I might call Marty-Sueism having to do with the man in his 40s being beguiled, seduced, attracted to the sensual, not as innocent as she looks, 17 year old school girl. Poor, helpless men. *eyeroll*
And the portrayal of black people in this book? SO very stereotypical in every way. The only thing we're missing is the wise, loyal black housekeeper who basically brought up the children. But then I checked some info on the first book in the series and it looks like she was murdered then. These are attitudes I would expect to find in a book about the 1950s south and while things maybe haven't changed a lot down there since then - I don't expect the upright hero of the book to have those attitudes.
I just did not like the way this book was making me feel. I found myself making that ... "Huh? What?" face on more than one occasion. It felt ugly.
I hate DNFing a book, it feels like a failure, but I have to remember, it's the book's failure, not mine. I have book 3 in my e-TBR pile, but I don't know if I'll ever get to it.
I am disappointed.
The Fallen Angel is a mid-series entry (#12) in Daniel Silva’s long-running series about Israeli spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon. At the beginning of The Fallen Angel, Gabriel is retired from the intrigue business and at the Vatican to restore a painting by Caravaggio. He is drawn into an investigation of the death of a female curator who was investigating malfeasance in the Vatican collection by his friend and occasional ally, private secretary to his Holiness Pope Paul VII, Monsignor Luigi Donati. Of course, Donati knows more than he initially reveals and soon Gabriel is off to the Italian countryside followed by St. Moritz to investigate. It being a Gabriel Allon story, there can’t be just one villain, just one plot, and soon enough the story circles back to events in Israel and the clock is ticking as Gabriel races to save the world in the nick of time.
Read by iconic narrator George Guidall, The Fallen Angel, like many thrillers made an excellent audiobook. While The Fallen Angel can stand alone, I would have benefitted from a more recent memory of the previous volume in the series (which I somehow appear to have missed). Gabriel has been aging in real time and would be in his late 50s at the time of The Fallen Angel. He is still, barely, young enough for the high jinx to be plausible. While Daniel Silva continues to turn out one well researched Gabriel story a year (#17 was published earlier in July 2017), the stories since The Fallen Angel just haven’t been quite as compelling.
Read for Fantasyland 6: Read a book set in a Western European Country or with a wintry scene on the cover