Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
|Print List Price:||£9.99|
Save £4.96 (50%)
BETTER OFF DEAD: A Sordid True Story of Sex, Sin and Murder Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
One of Michael’s formidable talents as a documenter of true crime cases is his ability to set a scene so credibly that the reader feels like an observer at the scene. He opens this excellent marriage of reportage and novel writing with a visit to the murder about which the story is centered: ‘An hour before sunset, Shaun Ware swung his white work truck right off Goodrick Drive into the Summit Industrial Park, a complex of metal buildings with tall garage doors. It was Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, a warm summer evening in the high desert. Shadows enveloped the Tehachapi Pass, the mighty turbines in the windmill farm standing still in the light western breeze. Traffic roared by on Highway 58, cars and trucks shuttling between Bakersfield and the Mojave Desert. Every half hour, a long freight train from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway would rumble behind the complex. Arriving for his overnight shift, Shaun pulled his truck up to a space with “BNSF” stenciled on the concrete parking block and immediately felt something was wrong. The metal door to the work area was closed. The day-shift responder, Robert Limon, would have kept it open to ventilate the stuffy garage during the 89-degree afternoon. Robert would have told him if he were out on a service or call or making a food run. Shaun raised the door with a remote opener. Robert’s BNSF utility truck was parked next to his personal car, a silver Honda. Shaun walked into the garage along the right side of the truck. He nearly stepped on broken glass that appeared to have come from one of the fluorescent fixtures hanging from the 18-foot ceiling. To his right, the door to the small office was wide open. That was wrong, too. The office door always stayed closed. The office appeared to have been ransacked. File drawers had been yanked open and papers strewn across the floor. A BNSF-issued Toshiba laptop was missing. Shaun walked around the front of the work truck, which pointed toward the kitchenette against the back wall. The door of the small refrigerator was flung open. So was the door to the bathroom. That’s when he saw him. Robert Limon was on the floor, his back slumped against the driver’s side tire of the truck. Shaun kneeled. “Rob, what happened?” Shaun said. “Wake up, buddy.” Robert had a vacant look on his face, one eye closed, the other half opened.
Blood had pooled beneath him. He didn’t respond.’
Relating a true crime story in the form of a summary runs the risk of betraying the tension of the novel: the synopsis Michael offers is polished: ‘Sabrina Limon, a vivacious blond mother of two and part-time "sample girl" at Costco, is handing out free food samples one day when in walks handsome young firefighter Jonathan Hearn shopping for the station. Their conversation leads to a flirtation that leads to a steamy affair that has them hooking up once and twice a week at her home, his home, and out in hidden spots in the vast Mojave. Sabrina finds in Jonathan's embrace the love and understanding she lacks at home. To the outside world, husband Robert is a big tattooed teddy bear of a man, a hard-working railroad mechanic, loved by all. This gregarious couple seemed matched by their love of family, friends and good times. But the partying had gotten out of control for Sabrina. There was boozing and wife-swapping and group sex. Once a turn-on, it now left Sabrina feeling debased, dehumanized, spiritually adrift. Robert won't talk about it, consumed by his work, boat, truck and porn. With Jonathan showering Sabrina with poetry, gifts, religious insights and, of course, illicit sex, a devious plan is hatched; one hot August night Robert Limon is found dead of two gunshots in a pool of blood. False leads send police into dead-ends until a tip arrives from a most unexpected place. For Sabrina, it's a stunning betrayal that hurtles the case back to a perfect little place in the desert. With informants, undercover cops and wiretaps, investigators discover a romance fueled by lies and dangerous fantasies. But are Sabrina and Jonathan merely covering up an affair? Or are they hiding a conspiracy that led to murder?
Beautifully written, well documented even with photographs, this is an exceptionally fine novel by an author who has mastered his craft. Grady Harp, January 18
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
From the wiretap transcriptions, we learned something of the interaction of the mother Sabrina and her children. I was left wondering what kind of a mother she was since she talked on the phone to Jonathan a lot when her children were close enough to call to her for attention. And after the husband Robert's death, Jonathan became part of the children's lives almost immediately.
As open as the friends were about their sexual activities, including backyard parties, I would be surprised if the children weren't shunned and harassed by their peers about their parents' lifestyles. Even though the children were young when the parents were actively partying with others who had open sexual relations, the neighbors would surely not want their children to become friends, and the segregation of the children would naturally engender curiosity so that the neighboring children would be attuned to gossip. Surely reporters would have investigated that aspect of the story.
It seems as though Mr. Fleeman simply put together public reporting and records without developing the background. I appreciate the need to separate reporting from editorializing, but my view is that effective true crime writing demands both.
I was provided with a digital copy of this book for an honest review, and am sorry I cannot provide a more positive reaction.
thank you Wild Blue Press for giving me the opportunity to review this book. The Author has done a great job.
There were some missing words but not anything I couldn't figure out.
Wildblue Press drew this author to my attention by asking for a review. If this book is typical of Mr Fleeman’s style, then all I can say is ‘send me more of his work!’
A free digital copy was provided by Wild Blue Press, and Michael Fleeman, for my unbiased review.