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Review: A Monster Of All Time: The True Story of Danny Rolling, The Gainesville Ripper



A Monster Of All Time

by J.T. Hunter

on Tour July 1-31, 2019

A Monster Of All Time by J.T. Hunter
 

The True Story of Danny Rolling, The Gainesville Ripper

Ambitious, attractive, and full of potential, five young college students prepared for the new semester. They dreamed of beginning careers and starting families. They had a lifetime of experiences in front of them. But death came without warning in the dark of the night.

Brutally ending five promising lives, leaving behind three gruesome crime scenes, the Gainesville Ripper terrorized the University of Florida, casting an ominous shadow across a frightened college town.
What evil lurked inside him?
What demons drove him to kill?
What made him A Monster of All Time?

My Review:

What a gripping, fascinating tale about a horrifying serial killer and his reign of terror! I consider myself to be quite the true aficionado and I'm shocked I never heard about Rolling before.

Now that I have, if I had to describe him in a word: Monster. What he did to these five women (and two men and even one young boy) is simply horrible. I honestly recommend going into this book not knowing anything about his crimes because it will take you through it in a comprehensive manner.

The first third of the book is somewhat confusing because it jumps around in time a lot. I found myself flipping back and forth to keep track of when different events had occurred. Danny is referred to with common nouns for the majority of this section. I think it was done to keep an emphasis on the victims, which is great, because we should remember the victims not the killer.

However, it could have also been done to build suspense, because there is a second suspect. However, with it being a true story (and Rolling's name on the cover) it doesn't really hold a lot of weight. I did enjoy hearing about the other suspect and how the police tried to just make it work. It really reminded me of the story of Steven Avery's nephew from Netflix's Making a Murderer.

The second half of the book deals with the aftermath of the killings - the trials, the conviction, the verdict, and the healing of the victims' families. I found both the court proceedings and the attempts to get back to normalcy to be very intriguing. I also enjoyed the inner look at how long it takes from ordering the death sentence to the actual event. I don't feel like that's a spoiler since it happened in real life.

Check this book out if you enjoy true crimes; it's very well-written, detailed, and informational. It is definitely not for the faint of heart, as there are graphic descriptions of the victims right of the bat (but no pictures).

Thank you to Partners in Crime Book Tours for giving me a chance to read and review this book.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
View all my reviews

Book Details:

Genre: True Crime
Published by: RJ Parker Publishing
Publication Date: September 4th 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 1987902521 (ISBN13: 9781987902525)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Prologue
January 1987
Parchman, Mississippi

The prisoner raged in his lonely cell.
"When they let me out of here," the prisoner swore to himself, "I’ll make them all pay."
Years of condemnation and contempt had taken its toll, breaking him down, eroding his spirit, destroying all sense of hope. Now only the anger remained.
~~~~~
Cast into the bowels of Parchman Prison, the notorious Mississippi State Penitentiary, the prisoner had suffered daily torments during his confinement, each day falling deeper and deeper into despair. Raw sewage regularly seeped into his cell through the floor and flowed from a broken drain down the hall, flooding the cramped 8 x 10 feet concrete space with a revolting grey-brown liquid and an unrelenting stench.
Kept in this torturous isolation, his besieged brain had betrayed him, replaying the grievous moments of his life, all of the humiliations and feelings of helplessness, every piercing word, and every raw, painful memory. It was a constant reminder that the world had always been a hurtful place of violence, animosity, and aversion, never one of empathy or understanding.
Desperate to escape the unrelenting torment, he retreated ever deeper into the labyrinth of his own mind, creeping ever closer to madness. It was in that maze of insanity that he found himself. Or rather, something found him.
In the bleak, all-encompassing darkness, something whispered his name.
Faceless and formless, the voice seemed to emanate both from the impenetrable blackness surrounding him and from the shadowy depths of his own consciousness. The voice soothed and seduced him, its language both alien and familiar. It promised the strength to survive whatever nightmares awaited the remainder of his confinement. It offered the tools of revenge for his present condition, for all of the wrongs committed against him in the past, and for the scorn and mistreatment yet to come. Most of all, it promised the power to make others feel the suffering he had so long endured.
Then a name imprinted itself into his brain, uttered from an unseen shape in the darkness, or muttered from the murky depths of memory.
"Gemini," an eerie voice proclaimed. "I am Gemini."
At that moment, an infernal compact was crafted, a devil’s contract offering redemption for the damned, a demonic covenant accepted regardless of the terms. Caring nothing for the consequences, the prisoner embraced the assurance of vengeance, pledging revenge for the countless injuries inflicted upon him. Just as a cold, uncaring world had robbed him of his humanity and stolen years of his life, he would take the lives of others in an equal and equitable proportion. A new sense of purpose washed over him, bringing with it a rebirth, a recognition of what he needed to do.
And now he waited, marking the days with hidden malice, the bitter darkness of his cell matched only by the malevolence of his twisted, tainted soul.
***
Excerpt from A Monster Of All Time by J.T. Hunter. Copyright 2018 by J.T. Hunter. Reproduced with permission from J.T. Hunter. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

J.T. Hunter
 
J.T. Hunter is an attorney with over fourteen years of experience practicing law, including criminal law and appeals, and he has significant training in criminal investigation techniques. He is also a college professor in Florida where his teaching interests focus on the intersection of criminal psychology, law, and literature.
JT's bestselling true crime books include:


  • Devil in The Darkness: True Story of Serial Killer ISRAEL KEYES
  • The Country Boy Killer: The True Story of Serial Killer Cody Legebokoff
  • In Colder Blood: True Story of the Walker Family Murder as depicted in Truman Capote’s, In Cold Blood
  • Deadly Deception: True Story of Tampa Serial Killer, Bobby Joe Long
  • Death Row Romeo: The True Story of Serial Killer Oscar Ray Bolin
  • The Vampire Next Door: True Story of the Vampire Rapist and Serial Killer

  • Catch Up With J.T. Hunter On:
    jthunter.org, Goodreads, BookBub, & Facebook!

    Tour Participants:

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    Enter Giveaway!

    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for JT Hunter. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on July 1, 2019 and runs through August 2, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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