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Book Review: Murderabilia by Carl Vonderau

What I have been loving about Advance Reader Copies is that I am actually reading authors I wouldnโ€™t normally pick – or even know about and uncovering some real gems! This week Iโ€™ve been reading a twisted tale by Carl Vonderau.

Itโ€™s available for preorder NOW on Amazon – with a release date of 8th July 2019.

Murderabilia by Carl Vonderau

Genre: Thriller, Mystery๏ปฟ & Suspense

BUG Rating: 4/5

Overall: The story follows William McNary, son of the countryโ€™s most famous serial killer, as he is forced to relive a past he thought he had put far behind him, as he tries to prove his innocence in a copy cat murder, featuring the MO of โ€˜The Praying Handsโ€™ serial killer – his father. This is literally the book of your nightmares, from the descriptions of The Praying Hands previous murder set ups – his victims killed, dismembered and artistically positioned in black and white photographs for the world to admire,ย to the darkest tales from a past no child should have to suffer.ย If you want a page turner that will keep you up at night, look no further – Carl Vonderau did a truly awesome job with this gritty, dark and haunting novel!

I think owning something created by a killer empowers people. They want to feel their own darkness without unleashing it.

Plot:

The son of a serial killer must reconcile with his own dark past and stop a new string of murders.

William McNary was eight years old when his father went to prison. Since then, he’s carefully built a life as a family man and a private banker for the wealthy. He tries to forget that his father dismembered and photographed thirteen women. And he tries to forget those exquisitely composed photos of severed hands, heads, and feet that launched the “murderabilia” art market.

William has not spoken to his father for thirty-one years. No one at his Tony  Bank knows whose son he is. Not until his wife’s colleague is murdered and carved up in the same way his father would have done it.

All the evidence points to William. And only one person can understand the copycat killer–the monster William hasn’t seen since he was a child.


Murderabilia actually tells several stories in one. It focuses on the life of William McNary, the son of a notorious serial killer, Harvey Dean Kogan. 

William, his sister and mother all managed to escape a small town outside of Chicago, Illinois after the atrocities his father committed were revealed to the world. They relocated to San Diego, changed their names and thought the past was behind them. 

Until one day, William is being taunted by someone who knows who he really is. Before long, William, a well respected banker, is being charged for murder. A murder that resembles his fatherโ€™s MO and set up. 

The book follows William as we uncover what really happened and whoโ€™s behind these new string of murders, 30 years after Harvey Dean Kogan was arrested. 

I found this book fascinating. I loved the dark and twisted MO Carl came up with for Harvey Dean Kogan – โ€˜The Praying Handsโ€™. The descriptions of what this sadistic killer did to create his โ€˜art workโ€™ were breath taking and truly gruesome. 

The book has just the right amount of characters so not to get too lost. I managed to build a rapport with all of them! The main character, William, was a personality I enjoyed coming to understand –  a father that will go to any lengths to protect his children, and is totally haunted by his past. Who wouldnโ€™t be!

We also dived into the mind of Harvey Dean Kogan himself, victim of horrendous childhood abuse, dark souled, and just plain twisted, but still holds some hope and love for his family.

Carl also gave us a great supporting cast, which included his sister, Polly, hard faced, and strong and slightly irrational. His Mama, God serving and complex. Jill, his wife, strong and independent. His children, Frieda and Garth, both fearless and spirited. And finally, I even loved the โ€˜dodgyโ€™ detectives Lund and Hempel and his fierce attorney, Martha.

Itโ€™s difficult to go into too much detail, without giving out spoilers. The sequence of events are so cleverly crafted to lead you down all sorts of paths, you think you have the plot sussed out and then all of a sudden BAM, the killer has been revealed, maybe a bit too suddenly. I did feel the ending of the book wrapped up rather quickly – but incredibly intensely! I was literally on the edge of my seat, goosebumps and all, waiting to find out what was going to happen. 

A huge congratulations to Carl Vonderau whoโ€™s epic book really kept me up at night!

I received a free advanced copy of this book from NetGalley / Midnight Ink in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions are my own. 


2 Comments

  • Carl Vonderau
    April 1, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    I just discovered your review. I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. Love the summary and images you put together. I also found it fascinating to explore the very diffiucult lives of the children of serial killers. Lives full of secrets and guilt.

    Reply
    • bookedupgirl
      April 1, 2019 at 5:55 pm

      Thanks for the comment Carl, you did a great job, and hope to read something new from you soon??

      Reply

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๐Ÿ˜ฌ It is a fast pace, binge worthy thriller- you will be ok the edge of your seat!
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๐Ÿ–ค I really enjoyed the story (๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป swipe for plot) and it was full of twists and turns, but I did find some parts a little far fetched.
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โœ๐Ÿป Iโ€™m obsessed with the duos writing style and loved getting to know all the characters through the alternating POVs with each chapter.
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๐Ÿ‘€ If youโ€™re looking for an intriguing suspense novel, look no further โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ซ Out next month ๐Ÿ“†
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  • Itโ€™s my birthday ๐Ÿฅณ I love to read a birthday themed book for it, and last night I binged on this gem ๐Ÿ’Ž
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๐ŸŽ‚ The story follows Eric and Morgan, whoโ€™s friendship is bound by being born in the same hospital, on the same day, at the same time! The book spans several years and how their friendship and lives change over this time (๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Swipe for plot)
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โœจ Itโ€™s a truly incredible book. @_myfictionalworld recommended it a while ago and Iโ€™ve only just got round to it ๐Ÿ™ˆ. I cried a lot, I smiled a lot. I loved this book ๐Ÿ˜ญ The story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Itโ€™s a powerful story of friendship, love, grief and self discovery/acceptance.
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๐Ÿคง An important must read book, I canโ€™t recommend it enough โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ซ
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๐Ÿ’ญ Have you read this one? Tell me how much you loved it ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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  • Nearly didnโ€™t post today ๐Ÿ˜ฒ just feeling so unwell from antibiotics/steroids, but here I am, dedicated to #bookstagram ๐Ÿ˜‚ (and luckily found a draft post Iโ€™d still not added ๐Ÿ˜‹)
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๐Ÿคธ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธAfter being obsessed with the new Netflix docu series, Cheer, I wanted another sports fix! ๐Ÿ‰ Funny, well-paced- the perfect brain candy after a few harder reads! I literally got through Intercepted in a few hours.
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โœจ Itโ€™s such a quick read, full of drama and romance. It had major Mean Girl vibes! Despite enjoying overall, one thing that really bugged me was the constant hashtagging ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ
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๐Ÿ’ญ Do you like sports romances? Any must reads? ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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  • Only TWO days of work for me this week ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿฅณ
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๐Ÿ“š My TBR stack is HUGE and I have a large number of buddy reads to get through this month ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜… so hoping to be spending most of this week reading ๐Ÿค“
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๐Ÿ“– Reading update: Just finished A good girls guide to murder by Holly Jackson, a @the_spines rec which I REALLY LOVED ๐Ÿ–ค (review up soon) and Iโ€™ve just started You are not alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
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๐Ÿ’ญ Whatโ€™s everyone reading this week? ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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  • Isnโ€™t this the CUTEST gift? ๐Ÿ˜ I absolutely love the idea of โ€œblind datesโ€ with books and @wearehownovel offers just that! ๐ŸŽ
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๐Ÿ“š Thereโ€™s loads of different genres/themes to choose from! โœจ Pictured is the Deadly mystery box ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ To get 10% off your first order, head over to @wearehownovel and use code: bookedupgirl10 ๐Ÿ›’
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๐Ÿ’ญ Do you love surprises? Can you guess the title based on the clues? ๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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  • After loving Outlander so much, I pretty much started book 2 straight away โ€“ Dragonfly in Amber ๐Ÿ˜…
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๐Ÿ’“ I LOVED this book. I have totally fallen in love with Gabaladonโ€™s writing style and have really enjoyed losing myself in the last two books. The story and cast of characters are so well crafted, rich and highly addictive! ๐Ÿ’˜
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โœจ The book was full of magic, passion and heartbreak (including many death and sex scenes!)
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๐Ÿ˜ฌ I was beside myself at the end โ€“ the most intense of all cliffhangers โ€“ be warned! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I am so ready to dive into book 3 to see what happens next!
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๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Also, swipe to see the Outlandish Companion ๐Ÿ“– My early birthday gift (๐Ÿ˜˜ @quirkychristine ) which has EVERYTHING and MORE about the first 4 books, including detailed synopsis, character deets! I love it!
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๐Ÿ’ญ Are you an Outlander fan? ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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  • The perfect book title for today ๐Ÿ–ค Emmanuel over at @4thestatebooks has been spoiling me with amazing books lately! Thank you for this one ๐Ÿฅฐ
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๐Ÿคช Definitely not a love story, but OMG it sounds so good! Deets โคต๏ธ
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๐Ÿ”Ž Itโ€™s February 1976, and Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. While the townโ€™s men embrace the coming prosperity, its women intimately know and fear the violence that always seems to follow.
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๐Ÿ”Ž In the early hours of the morning after Valentineโ€™s Day, fourteen-year-old Gloria Ramรญrez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whiteheadโ€™s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager had been viciously attacked in a nearby oil fieldโ€”an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, the stage is set for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
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๐Ÿ’ญ Out in June - whoโ€™s going to be adding this one to their TBR? ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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  • Another March release ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป A Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs ๐Ÿฆด Thanks to @simonschusteruk for my advance copy ๐Ÿ–ค
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๐Ÿ“บ I was a HUGE fan of the TV show Bones and was devastated when it finished ๐Ÿ˜ญ So I was very excited to see this new book from Kathy Reichs (TV show is based on her books!)
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๐Ÿ”Ž This is my first read by Reichs, and given there are 18 books before this one, I didnโ€™t get the most out of this book. Many of the characters and relationships were different to the TV show so it was hard to follow.
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๐Ÿ”Ž The case side was riveting ๐Ÿ˜ฌ, but there was far too many passages/detail on the relationships to try and follow - which normally Iโ€™d love! ๐Ÿ˜” I would definitely recommend reading previous books first so you donโ€™t feel as lost as I was ๐Ÿคช โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ซ
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๐Ÿ’ญ Have you read this series? Thoughts? ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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  • I wasnโ€™t going to post this for a while BUT it was SO good, I just had to let you guys know! Thanks @michaeljbooks for my advance copy (out next month) ๐Ÿ–ค
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โœจ So, first off, as itโ€™s not clear from the photo - this is Recovery of Rose Gold by @stephaniewrobel (aka Darling Rose Gold in ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
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๐Ÿ–ค Secondly, I LOVED this! I received my copy before Christmas but was hesitant to actually read it. I thought it was going to be very similar to The Act, TV show, based on Gypsy Rose (this book is unrelated), and wasnโ€™t sure Iโ€™d be able to handle reading all the details of the abuse inflicted on Rose Gold by her mother with munchhausen by proxy ๐Ÿ˜ข
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๐Ÿ”Ž I was pleasantly surprised! The book focuses mainly on the time AFTER Rose Goldโ€™s mother, Patty, is arrested for child abuse ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป
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๐Ÿ”Ž The chapters alternate between Rose Goldโ€™s and Pattyโ€™s POVs, which I really enjoyed. Flipping between past (Pattyโ€™s time in prison, and Rose Gold adjusting to life without her mother - and LOADS of other stuff ๐Ÿค) to present (Pattyโ€™s release and relationship with Rose Gold)
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๐Ÿ”Ž I donโ€™t really feel like this fits into the thriller category ๐Ÿค” Itโ€™s more of a domestic drama with some real tension and twists ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I think if you enjoyed My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing you will like this! โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ
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๐Ÿฅ Also, I just want to acknowledge @aliceliveing AMAZING recipe for White chocolate + cinnamon croissant bake - it was SOO GOOD (pictured) ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿคค
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๐Ÿ’ญ Are you marking your calendars ๐Ÿ“† and adding to your TBR? ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป
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  • Last month saw the release of American Dirt, which caused quite a stir ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I did really enjoy it but I also wanted to check out some of the amazing own voice books that have been recommended! ๐Ÿ“š
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๐Ÿ’ญ Have you read any of these? Thoughts ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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