The Phantom Prince by Elizabeth Kendall

book

source: purchased
title: The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, Updated and Expanded Edition
author: Elizabeth Kendall and Molly Kendall
genre: memoir/true crime
published: January 7th 2020 by Abrams Press (first published September 1981)
pages: 210
first line: In May 2017, I learned via the Internet that a new Ted Bundy movie was being made, and the story was going to be told from the perspective of Bundy’s long-time girlfriend.
rated: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
This updated, expanded edition of The Phantom Prince, Elizabeth Kendall’s 1981 memoir detailing her six-year relationship with serial killer Ted Bundy, includes a new introduction and a new afterword by the author, never-before-seen photos, and a startling new chapter from the author’s daughter, Molly, who has not previously shared her story. Bundy is one of the most notorious serial killers in American history and one of the most publicized to this day. However, very rarely do we hear from the women he left behind—the ones forgotten as mere footnotes in this tragedy. The Phantom Prince chronicles Elizabeth Kendall’s intimate relationship with Ted Bundy and its eventual unraveling. As much as has been written about Bundy, it’s remarkable to hear the perspective of people who shared their daily lives with him for years. This gripping account presents a remarkable examination of a charismatic personality that masked unimaginable darkness.

my thoughts:
I finished reading The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, Updated and Expanded Edition yesterday and I am still thinking about this uncomfortable and morbidly fascinating memoir.

Elizabeth Kendall wrote her memoir in 1981 and it has been out of publication for some time so when I saw this updated edition was coming out I had to read it. It is hard to say that I enjoyed reading a true crime story like this because it is based on horrific and sad subject matter but it was fascinating to get a glimpse into what was going on with the woman who loved Ted Bundy. One thing that struck me while reading is how naive Elizabeth Kendall was. She was a single mom in her twenties when she met Bundy while out drinking. And she got so drunk that night that she brought him home then passed out with him in her apartment. It is hard not to judge and I know the times were different back in the 1970’s but come on, that is still really risky behavior.

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Brother by Ania Ahlborn

brother
source: purchased
title: Brother
author: Ania Ahlborn
published: September 29th 2015
pages: 319
genre: horror
first line: Michael twisted in his bed, the threadbare blanket he’d used all his life tangled around his legs.
rated: 4 out of 5
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blurb:
From the bestselling horror author of Within These Walls and The Bird Eater comes a terrifying novel that follows a teenager determined to break from his family’s unconventional—and deeply disturbing—traditions.

Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it’s served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cops don’t knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what’s buried in the Morrows’ backyard.

But nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow isn’t like the rest of his family. He doesn’t take pleasure in the screams that echo through the trees. Michael pines for normalcy, and he’s sure that someday he’ll see the world beyond West Virginia. When he meets Alice, a pretty girl working at a record shop in the small nearby town of Dahlia, he’s immediately smitten. For a moment, he nearly forgets about the monster he’s become. But his brother, Rebel, is all too eager to remind Michael of his place…

my thoughts:
Brother by Ania Ahlborn is easily one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. It was crazy. I am a fan of horror so I was intrigued when I saw the premise and I chose this as my read for FraterFest last week.

Set in 1980, the book centers on the Morrow family who live in an old farmhouse in the deep backwoods of Virginia. Nineteen year old Michael lives with his older sister Misty Dawn, his older brother Reb and his parents Claudine and Wade. Wade is a Vietnam veteran and Claudine is the head of the family and evil personified.

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Jack and Jill (Alex Cross Book 3) by James Patterson

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source: purchased
title: Jack & Jill (Alex Cross Book 3)
author: James Patterson(Twitter)
genre: crime thriller
published: 1996
pages: 470
first line: Sam Harrison swung his agile body out of the silver blue Ford Aerostar, which he had parked on Q Street in the Georgetown section of Washington.
rated: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Join Alex Cross in a heart-stopping thrill ride as he pieces together the clues of two gruesome murders. Will he find the killers in time?

In the middle of the night, a controversial U.S. senator is found murdered in bed in his Georgetown pied-a-terre. The police turn up only one clue: a mysterious rhyme signed “Jack and Jill” promising that this is just the beginning. Jack and Jill are out to get the rich and famous, and they will stop at nothing until their fiendish plan is carried out.

Meanwhile, Washington, D. C. homicide detective Alex Cross is called to a murder scene only blocks from his house, far from the corridors of power where he spends his days. The victim: a beautiful little girl, savagely beaten and deposited in front of the elementary school Cross’s son attends. No one in Washington is safe-not children, not politicians, not even the President of the United States. Only Alex Cross has the skills and the courage to crack the case, but will he discover the truth in time?

A relentless roller coaster of heart-pounding suspense and jolting plot twists, Jack and Jill proves that no one can write a more compelling thriller than James Patterson, the master of the nonstop nightmare.

my thoughts:
Alex Cross. Sigh. I got into this series last year while on vacation and I loved the first two books. Jack & Jill is the 3rd installment in the Alex Cross series which includes 26 books so far. 26! One thing I really enjoy about this series is that these early installments have a 1990’s vibe to them since that is when they are published. This 3rd book does fine as a stand alone read but I do recommend starting with book 1 at least to get more of a feel on Cross’s character and background.

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Mind Games (Kaely Quinn Profiler #1)

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source: free ARC via Bethany House (Twitter)
title: Mind Games (Kaely Quinn Profiler Book 1)
author:Nancy Mehl (Twitter)
published: December 4th 2018 by Bethany House Publishers
pages: 336
genre: Suspense/Mystery/Christian Fiction
first line: He stood in the middle of his secret room, staring at walls covered with old newspaper clippings.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Kaely Quinn’s talents as an FBI behavior analyst are impossible to ignore, no matter how unorthodox her methods. But when a reporter outs her as the daughter of an infamous serial killer, she’s demoted to field agent and transferred to St. Louis.

When the same reporter who ruined her career claims to have received an anonymous poem predicting a string of murders, ending with Kaely’s, the reporter’s ulterior motives bring his claim into question. But when a body is found that fits the poem’s predictions, the threat is undeniable, and the FBI sends Special Agent Noah Hunter to St. Louis.

Initially resentful of the assignment, Noah is surprised at how quickly his respect for Kaely grows, despite her oddities. But with a brazen serial killer who breaks all the normal patterns on the loose, Noah and Kaely are tested to their limits to catch the murderer before anyone else–including Kaely herself–is killed.

my thoughts:

Well, I have to start off by saying that Mind Games was so good! I still thought about it after I turned the final page. This book starts off the Kaely Quinn series by Nancy Mehl.

Kaely Quinn is a FBI behavior analyst who is known for her unconventional method for profiling suspects. She is the daughter of a notorious serial killer Ed Oliphant a.k.a. the Raggedy Man. Now there is a serial killer on the loose who seems to have it out for Kaely and writes a cryptic poem about his victims that has the FBI trying to figure out his next move.

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Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross 2) by James Patterson

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source: purchased
title: Kiss the Girls Alex Cross 2
author: James Patterson(Twitter)
genre: crime thriller/detective fiction
pages: 481
published: 1995
first line: For three weeks, the young killer actually lived inside the walls of an extraordinary fifteen-room beach house.
rated: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars
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blurb:

In Los Angeles, a reporter investigating a series of murders is killed. In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a beautiful medical intern suddenly disappears. In the sequel to Along Came a Spider,Washington D.C.’s Alex Cross is back to solve the most baffling and terrifying murder case ever. Two clever pattern killers are collaborating, cooperating, competing-and they are working coast to coast.

my thoughts:

After having read and really enjoyed Along Came a Spider I knew I had to read the second in the Alex Cross series. Kiss the Girls starts off where Along Came a Spider left off, but it is definitely a stand alone read. There are a few references to characters and occurrences from the first novel but nothing that would confuse a reader. The ending wraps up nicely while leaving room for the next installment.

At the start of Kiss the Girls  there is a serial who calls himself “Casanova” and has been abducting and torturing beautiful and successful young women in their early twenties. Alex Cross is a Washington, D.C. homicide investigator and forensic psychologist who has been called to go to South Carolina with his partner to the scene of the latest murder by Casanova. This is the third victim. Cross has also just been notified that his niece Naomi Cross is missing. He fears Casanova has taken her.

As the story flows, the detectives realize there are two killers working together and that this spree has been going on for over a decade. Casanova has a partner, The Gentleman. What ensues is a thrilling cat and mouse chase with twists and turns as the detectives try to find the missing women and the case hits close to home for Cross as he tries to find his niece.

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