crime · Killers · Prison story · suspense

How To Kill Your Family – Bella Mackie ★★★★

Blurb; I have killed several people (some brutally, others calmly) and yet I currently languish in jail for a murder I did not commit.

When I think about what I actually did, I feel somewhat sad that nobody will ever know about the complex operation that I undertook. Getting away with it is highly preferable, of course, but perhaps when I’m long gone, someone will open an old safe and find this confession. The public would reel. After all, almost nobody else in the world can possibly understand how someone, by the tender age of 28, can have calmly killed six members of her family. And then happily got on with the rest of her life, never to regret a thing.

When Grace Bernard discovers her absentee millionaire father has rejected her dying mother’s pleas for help, she vows revenge, and sets about to kill every member of his family. Readers have a front row seat as Grace picks off the family one by one – and the result is as and gruesome as it is entertaining in this wickedly dark romp about class, family, love… and murder.

But then Grace is imprisoned for a murder she didn’t commit.

My Review; This was mine and Mel’s last buddy read of 2021. Now don’t get me wrong I loved the whole story and the plot especially the ending which made the whole book for us both. Totally unexpected. But this book has really really LONG chapters. We are talking huge chapters here. Which many readers including myself do not like. Which made reading it drag for us both even if we split it into three or four chapters a day.

The story is told from inside her cell and splits chapters to each of her kills with also a look inside her prison life. Each kill is different. Each clever. Each very well planned out. Can’t fault that. Just the long chapters is the downfall here. Which is why I awarded four stars instead of five.

Amazon Link US

Amazon Link UK

crime · Prison story

*BLOG TOUR* Diary Of A Prison Officer – Josie Channer ★★★★

Blurb; It’s 2003, Tony Blair is still Prime Minister and a shy loner from east London, Amber Campbell, joins the prison service searching for purpose.

Behind the walls of the women’s prison Amber is determined to prove that she has what it takes to become a tornado officer. She makes a pact with two close friends to support each other no matter what. However, the three Black women struggle when they experience discrimination and disappointment at every turn.

There is rising racial tension in her home town when far right local councillors are elected. Amber reflects on the prison system in her blog and takes an emotional journey off the beaten track through Africa to find love.

My Review; WOW. If you’ve been following me for a while you will know that true crime and anything about prisons I LOVE. It’s just really interesting to me so I knew this was right up my street.

I loved the lay out of the whole story. It is written in diary entries from the past of her time working in a prison to the present where she is touring Africa. It does feature a lot of race issues and some political situations too. It’s honest. Part’s are brutal. It gives you a really good view into life working in an all womans prison. The ending was huge and had me holding my breathe to see the outcome. It also highlights how important friendships are.

An easy read, page turner. Very interesting and I look up to this woman although the book is fiction it is based off the authors life experiences so to me makes it more real! Amazing for everything she went through and stood up for. Highly recommend. A well deserved four stars from me.

Amazon Link UK

Amazon Link US

crime · Non-Fiction · Prison story

34 Years in Hell: My Time Inside America’s Toughest Prisons – Jamie Morgan Kane ★★★★

Blurb; In July 1983 James Morgan Kane returned home in the evening to find a corpse in his living room. Fearing that he would be blamed and sensing that his wife was somehow involved, he wanted to do all to protect his young family. Jamie worked through the night to dispose of the body all the while disbelieving the situation he found himself in. His luck ran out days later as he was arrested and sentenced to 13 years in prison. Jamie entered the U.S. prison system and was to stay there for 34 years with stints in San Quentin, Folsom State Prison and the notorious Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) in California. He would rub shoulders with some of the world’s most infamous serial killers such as Charles Manson, Edmund Kemper, Charles Tex Watson and Herbie Mullin as well as gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood and Mexican cartels. This book tells of his time: locked up with no hope of release, living the brutality of the unforgiving penitentiary system and finding his new purpose in life, as well as tales of his many run-ins with some of the world’s most dangerous inmates.

My Review; This is a non-fiction, real life story. It starts off more a biography of his life before the arrest and prison. He hasn’t had an easy childhood at all. Then we move on to the arrest and prison side to the story. If you’ve been following my blog a while you will know prison interests me so I love to read them and the stories within them. They’re intriguing to me.

Throughout reading this I really felt sorry for Jamie. What a brave, strong and determined man. He was moved between so many prisons in the 34 years and denied bail so many times, but he never gave up and I applaud him for that. He experienced many fights and battles along the way. It all paid off in the end. The ending we all wanted and needed. A story to tell. He hasnt let it effect his freedom now, instead after his release in 2018 he decided to share his story with us all.

I think America has a huge problem with their prison system that needs to be looked into further. An eye-opening, real read! Well deserverd four stars from me. Highly recommend. What a man. What a story.

Amazon Link US

Amazon Link UK