Review: A Talent to Deceive by William Norris

Hey Everyone,

Happy Friday. I hope you’ve all had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend. I don’t have much planned for this weekend other than odd jobs around the house and some down time. My other half will be on the golf course tomorrow so I can have some lovely alone time; feels like a lifetime ago since I’ve actually been in the house alone for an extended period of time.

Book πŸ“–

A few years ago I went through a phase of reading only true crime books. Then I moved onto true crime podcasts and I’ve stepped away from them for a while. They become a little harrowing after a while but as it’s been so long since I’ve dipped into true crime, I wanted to give this book a go. Thank you to @CamcatP and William Norris for this audio copy of A Talent to Deceive in return for an honest review. A Talent to Deceive has already been published and you can get a copy here.

Description πŸ”–

This piece of investigative journalism delves into the murder of the Lindbergh baby that happened in 1932. There was an arrest, a trial and subsequent execution for the crime, but for the last nearly 90 years, many have claimed that the murder was pinned on the wrong person. William Norris dissects the case and all of the suspicious secrets that have been kept for all of this time.

General Thoughts πŸ€”

I may well have been living under a rock for my entire 33 years of life, but this case wasn’t one that I had heard of before this book. I do now appreciate how high profile the case was at the time and there were some very famous names dropped within the book which made me realise just how big it was.

There was obviously a lot of speculation surrounding the whole story and there were definitely points revealed by the author that shed a lot of doubt on whether Bruno Richard Hauptmann should or shouldn’t have been sent to his death. I have to say that I believe he was innocent and fell victim to being an easy target.

What really struck me was the Hauptmann’s trial. I would like to think that no law professional would be able to behave in such a way nowadays and go unpunished but I’m sure that it unfortunately still happens but probably less blatant.

Writing Style ✍️

There’s a lot of detail and information provided in the book and I think that is always important for a true crime book in order to let the reader make their own conclusions. What I will say is that I think the author could have done a better job of giving a more rounded summary of the case. He obviously had quite strong feelings about the Lindberghs and other individuals and I think that that came through maybe a touch too much.

I listened to the audio version of the book and I struggled with the narration to begin with but soon settled in. The accents caught me off guard when I first heard them but again; I soon became quite used to them and particularly the German accent for Hauptmann helped bring the story to life.

Conclusion & Scoring πŸŽ–οΈ

Overall I’m not sure how sold I was on this book BUT I didn’t dislike it. The chapters about the trial were definitely my favourite as I found it shocking that they were allowed to get away with what they did. This wasn’t my favourite true crime book but definitely wasn’t my least either.


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