Camera Killer by Thomas Glavinic translated by John Brownjohn

Book Description:

Published: 2003

On Good Friday, a brutal double murder takes place in the woods, and the killer records the sickening crime on videotape. With the local media building up excitement — and outrage — at the scheduled airing of the footage, two couples in the midst of celebrating the Easter holiday find their idyll interrupted by the breaking news.

Against the backdrop of twenty-four-hour news coverage, the four friends spend the weekend playing cards, chatting, eating, and drinking. Despite their best efforts to enjoy this rare time together, they’re unable to stop talking about the murders and the search for the elusive killer. Repulsed by the airing of the crime, they question the ethics of showing such atrocities on television — yet they can’t stop watching.

A gripping psychological thriller, The Camera Killer will keep listeners tuned to the very end as the mystery unravels.

Review –

Format:

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I HATED this book and I’m only mentioning it so you don’t accidentally find it in your possession and decide to read it. (The blurb made it sound so good-just goes to show you can’t trust all blurbs)

Two young boys were forced to kill themselves by jumping from forty foot trees while a man videotaped the whole thing and the story is the reactions of four friends.

The unnamed narrator and his “partner”Sonja, (always mentioned as partner instead of girlfriend) go to visit Eva and Heinrich Stubenrauch over the Easter week-end and it details their actions which involves watching television to find out the latest on the murders, having a picnic and going to the bathroom. I can’t tell you how many times this was mentioned and it became a bit ridiculous. 

The murderer is found at the very end and BAM -THE END. Too abrupt!!!!!

Anyway, I HATED it. Stay away from the CAMERA KILLER.

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The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

Book Description:

Published: October 14, 2014

Format:

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College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe’s life is ever the same.

Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran–and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

As Joe writes about Carl’s life, especially Carl’s valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory.

Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?

Review –

This book is like a tree with many branches – the story is the tree and the sub-story lines are the branches and it makes for a wonderful thoughtful tale of a young man used to taking on burdens beyond his years—none more dangerous than championing a dying  old man convicted of a horrific crime.

What starts out as a college English assignment leads  Joe and his stand-offish neighbor, Lila and his autistic  brother, Jeremy discover that a man in prison for thirty years and recently put in a nursing home because he’s dying of cancer is not guilty of the crime which locked him away. They run into many obstacles but will not be deterred and eventually get the proof they need. Add in a drunk mother, losing his college fund and getting badly beaten by the killer and you have a very thought provoking novel.  I loved it.

I really think you need to add it to your “to be read” list.

 

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