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Book Review by Jeralyn
|Book Review by Jeralyn|
Sludge Report - Entertainment Section Reporter
Washington, DC - November 5, 1998: Shadow's new book "The Best Laid Plans" is a biting satire mystery novel loosely based on the varying and numerous opinions expressed over many, many months on the JusticeWatch Forum. A review of this novel is provided below by Jeralyn:
As a world famous defense attorney, I am occasionally asked to review new mystery novels. Most of the time, I enjoy reading a new novel free while getting paid for my review. Wasting my time reading "The Best Laid Plans" by shadow, who is obviously borderline insane, was not a happy chore.
This strange, and sometimes unintelligible, book is about an executive of a major U.S. Dept. of Defense contracting company, and his beauty queen wife, who hatch a complicated plot to extort money from his company. He hires three vertically disadvantaged foreigners to fake the kidnapping of their daughter, a beautiful little girl who is a frequent winner in "Little Miss" beauty contests. The plan calls for the kidnappers to enter the house late at night, leave a ransom note, tie up and gag the child, and leave her in a seldom used room in the basement. After the $5 million ransom is paid the next day by the executive's company (to be delivered by the executive, of course), the kidnappers will call the police and tell them where the child is. The executive and his wife, with a sense for high drama, decide that the event should take place Christmas night. One of the foreigners, a forger, is given a sample of the executive's wife's handwriting to use to write the kidnapping note. The not so logical reasoning is this will look like someone who knows the family forged her handwriting and will confuse the police.
Thereafter a series of blunders began. First, the forger gets drunk and the writing of the note is not as close to the wife's handwriting as planned. Second, he forgets how much the executive said should be asked for in the ransom note ($5 million) - he does remember something about $118,000 and puts this amount in the note. Third, having been given an extra $25,000 for doing the note, the forger cannot bring himself to say anything bad about the executive. Instead, he blast the executive's company. And, finally, because of the forger's drunken condition, the ransom note appears to be written by a juvenile.
On the appointed night, the small foreigners enter the house through a basement window, and leave the note at the bottom of the stairs. At the same time, a sick puppy "jimmies" the lock on the back door and enters the house. Sick puppy is a huge, weird looking creature, carrying all kinds of sick sexual instruments including a velvet sex glove. Also, at this time, the girl's young brother and a friend (who is big for his age) are playing in the basement unbeknownst to the parents. They are whittling with a knife that they found under kitchen towels in a linen closet. To further complicate the story, the author has the wife and husband both somewhere other than in bed while all of the above is taking place.
The story jumps to the morning after Christmas. The wife comes down the stairs and finds the ransom note on the bottom step, as expected. She lets out a bloodcurdling scream when she sees how screwed up the note is. A bitter argument between the wife and the executive ensues over trusting these nitwit foreigners. They rush upstairs and are not surprised to find that their daughter is not in her room. They finally agree that they have no choice but to stick with the plan. As the wife calls 911, their young son comes downstairs to find out what the commotion is all about. The executive tells him it is none of his business, gives him a drugged glass of water, and sends him back to bed. After calling the police, the wife, a former actress, cannot resist calling several of the families' friends to witness the high drama.
The police arrive shortly after the 911 call and find nothing amiss in the house. (Reviewer's note: at this point in his novel, the author asks the reader to believe that only one detective arrives 3 hours after the 911 call and, alone, sets up to monitor telephone calls - other detectives and the FBI do not arrive until several hours after that.)
After the morning passes with no word from the kidnappers, the executive grows nervous. On the pretense of getting the mail, he goes outside and calls the foreigners on his cell phone. Getting no answer after several tries, he realizes that there is going to be no ransom call and that the foreigners have probably left the country with the $118,000 he gave them. The executive makes another call that we are not privy to, but it is obviously to a lawyer because he goes back into the house and stays as far away from the FBI agents as possible.
Several hours pass with no call. An FBI agent, who has become suspicious of the executive's strange actions, discusses drawing up a search warrant with one of the local detectives. This discussion is overheard by the detective in charge who immediately tells other detectives to search the house again. The executive says "I'll check the basement" and rushes downstairs to the seldom used room. Shortly thereafter, he returns upstairs and places his lifeless daughter under the Christmas tree. His wife immediately goes into shock, but is noticed peaking between her fingers to gage everyone's reactions.
The novel now shifts from a bungled fake kidnapping fiasco to a murder mystery. And, at this point, the book becomes totally unbelievable! The reader is asked to believe the following nonsense:
1) suspects include the foreigners, sick puppy, the son and his friend, the father of the son's friend, a disgruntled employee of the executive's company, a friend jealous of the wonderful executive and his wonderful wife, Santa, the housekeeper, a photographer, an Internet kiddy porn ring, and the executive and his wife;
2) the child's family refuses to cooperate with the police in their investigation;
3) to get an interview with the family, the police agree to share evidence of the crime with their lawyers - the agreement is retracted when the FBI strongly protests;
4) the family actually names some of their friends as possible suspects;
5) the police and DA's office refuse the help offered by the FBI and state investigation resources;
6) the DA is a friend of the family's lawyers and shares investigative information with them;
7) the police and DA's office refuse to cooperate with each other;
8) police sue each other over how they are treated; and, finally,
9) the family produces "Infomercials" blasting the media and police that are actually run by ratings crazed network TV.
Just such unbelievable nonsense as 1 through 9 above is enough to recommend leaving this sicko novel on the shelf. However, for those of you who are stupid enough to read this book, I will not reveal the ending which is quite disturbing. As a totally unbiased observer of what's happening in Boulder (which this book is obviously about), I suggest that you visit the Web Sleuths Forum for the truth!
(Editor's note: thank you, Jeralyn, for your wonderfully unbiased review of shadow's book, which I understand has been removed from book stores because you and a well-known Boulder law firm got it labeled child pornography.)
|All "Sludge Reports" are "Parody"|
|All "Sludge Reports" are "Parody" and are written by "Shadow" and are the express property of "Shadow" and donated and used on the ACandyRose Website with express permission of "Shadow" as part of the archived history of the Internet Subculture surrounding the JonBenet Ramsey murder Investigation. The parody opinion expressed in the "Sludge Reports" is not necessarily the opinion of the webmaster of "ACandyRose" and have not been included in the archive history by "Shadow" or "ACandyRose" to discredit any Internet poster or any person in real life whose name may sound familiar when referenced within the parody reports. The "Sludge Reports" can not be copied or used from the ACandyRose website without the express permission of "Shadow."|
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