I became hooked on true crime with the discovery of Ann Rule. There is something about the intimate look into people’s lives and the justice process that is fascinating. Monster, by Steve Jackson falls into the same genre, and does not disappoint.
Jackson is as thorough at gathering the back story as the lead detective, Scott Richardson is at pinning down the details of the central crime. This story about a serial killer and his victims draws attention to the challenges facing police forces when witnesses will lie to protect the perpetrator and themselves.
The main investigation focuses around the disappearance of Cher Elder, a respectable young lady whose tragic flaw is falling in with the wrong crowd. For two years, Richardson weeds through the garden of lies to find Cher and bring her killer to justice.
In the meantime, two women do manage to escape the brutality of the “monster”, while others are still missing.
Monster presents an interesting study of human nature – from the girlfriend of the criminal who ignores, but is not blind to, the signs, to the drug-dealing junkie who demonstrates character in the end, and all the different personalities caught in this web of destruction.
Monster is a hefty, and engaging read.