True crime and trial opinions from a layman's perspective
5 Stars, Excellent! Another astounding narrative in a series that’s left…
Melissa Manzella on January 7, 2016 (verified purchase)
Excellent! Another astounding narrative in a series that’s left readers absolutely spellbound. This is perhaps the most comprehensive to date, and is chocked full of stunning new revelations. Both authors go further here, explore more, REVEAL more, than in any other narrative thus far. Other books have been written regarding this crime, but this series of narratives stand as definitive.These two, Nick Van der Leek and Lisa Wilson, just have a unique ability to harness this case and all the many characters within it, all the facts, move the story along to where it stands today, and all the while never miss even a nugget of pertinent information. All balls are in the air, and this talent shines through again here in spades! A well written account, as usual, beginning with an informative and truly eye opening interview with Honourable Judge Chris Greenland (retired) giving his thoughts on the actual shooting, and ending with the actual appeal itself, with tons of action in between. Their account of the appeal proceeding is superb, as they actually attended it, and share not only their take on the process, but their thoughts as to their emotional relief of what this murder conviction means to them. At the same time, they recognize their bittersweet lament of the somewhat incompleteness of it. The authors have believed from day one that this murder was one of Dolus Directus, premeditated murder. Their accompanying insights shared here on this subject are quite exceptional. Nick himself studied law, and so naturally has a good grasp of the issues. As with any really good book that holds the readers interest, the authors have a true passion for their subject matter. I happen to believe this reality makes a book distinctive, makes the reading better, more authentic, more interesting. Clearly that is the case here with THE APPEAL. Both authors share a true disgust for the murderer, along with his attempts at thwarting justice (he nearly did), and both share a genuine sorrow for the death of Reeva Steenkamp. Van der Leek has an uncanny talent in recognizing and aptly exposing the character flaws of his subject, in this case Pistorius, and he puts every card on the table here in this book. His criticism of Pistorius is scathing, he goes further than he’s ever gone before, revealing how grotesque and manipulative is the nature of Oscar Pistorius. For those who have followed this story and case, when one reads these words, they immediately resonate as the truth of the matter. He reveals too just what he thinks Pistorius could have been up to immediately following the murder. We’ve all probably pondered it, held it in the back of our minds, but hearing Nick state it gives this possibility much more weight in this readers eyes. Nicks refusal to sugar coat absolutely any aspect of this case, gives the reader a more honest look at what’s really transpired here, as does Lisa’s accuracy and command of all the many facts involved, her integrity and her desire for complete objectivity. Both authors believe there were attempts both by Masipa and even society to some extent, to give Pistorius a pass of sorts. Some leniency. Both believe this notion is flawed and ludicrous, and believe Pistorius should be held 100% accountable for his deed. They mention the horrendously vile and callous nature of his crime and his lack of remorse. To quote the author Van der Leek, “That a man could reason that his symbolic life of luxury, endorsements and specific conveniences was ‘worth’ more than another person’s life is the true horror of Oscar Pistorius.” This quote sums the decision made by Pistorius to shoot Reeva, says it in a nutshell, and this reader concurs. Nick speaks often of his conviction to do justice in his books to the victim Reeva, his first book being one that was solely about her, who she was, her dreams and aspirations, what she cared about most. Lisa speaks similarly of having been profoundly moved by this tragedy and a longing to know more about Reeva, as she began to watch this trial from many miles away in America. She wanted to discover the truth. Then she wanted to see justice done. During the writing of this particular narrative, Lisa happened to travel to South Africa. She includes some side stories of her experience that are really superb and some that are simply hilarious! In a book covering such serious subject matter, some moments of brevity are both nice and appreciated. Pictures are included here as well, which is a really nice bonus. Always an adventure with Nick and Lisa. A truly special part of this visit to SA includes the authors visit with June and Barry Steenkamp. The reader here is treated to bits of conversation with them, and as someone who has really followed this case and developed great empathy for these parents, it was good to hear how they’re faring these days. It’s clear that these two will never ever be the same (how could they) but they’re getting on with it. The visit sounded like a very pleasant one, and the authors remark on just how meaningful it was to them. This crime and resulting trial has held the interest and intrigue of half the world, and continues to do so even today. Pistorius has now appealed his conviction by the SCA to the Constitutional Court, so this matter is sadly not over yet. The hope is that no consideration is given to this appeal by the Constitutional Court, and a just sentence is dispensed instead. It’s high time for it. We hold our collective breath….
5 Stars, This book is a masterpiece! Well done!
Jane Vaughan on January 1, 2016 (verified purchase)
This book is a masterpiece! Nick and Lisa have once again collaborated on the continuing saga of Oscar Pistorius. I enjoyed the way this book was written, a step by step account of the Pistorius saga starting with his days, weeks, & months in prison, through the South African appeal process. This book also makes numerous references and examples of the social media and mainstream media coverage, including video clips from the appeal, and quotes by various players. Unfortunately, with Oscar’s celebrity, there is still a portion of his fans who will attack the truth because they prefer to believe that ten months = one life taken. This book is a ten, unfortunately I can only give it a five. Well done, your collaboration is excellent, no longer awkward, and this is very, very well researched. I enjoyed it, can’t wait for your next one!
5 Stars, Excellent
Amazon Customer on December 29, 2015 (verified purchase)
Excellent … again. !! These books are so good at telling the story of what I consider to be the real truth behind Reeva Steenkamp’s murder.
And… we even heard from one of the Pistorians. I’m glad they didn’t buy the book and waste their money 🙂
1 Star, This book is a reflection of the sad state of South Africa’s publishing industry
SR Graham on December 29, 2015
This book is a reflection of the sad state of South Africa’s publishing industry. The authors should be ashamed of themselves for being attached to such a worthless project. Find something valuable to write about you opportunistic fools.
If you don’t have a Kindle, no problem. You can download the free Kindle Reading App and read on your PC or any smart device.
If you do read THE APPEAL, please stop by Amazon to share your thoughts. You can also join the conversation with the authors by commenting on this blog post, or by reaching out to them via Twitter.