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175 of 210 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good versus evil
Raffaele's story, as told through Andrew Gumbel's taut, forceful prose, is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the institutional and human failings that drive wrongful convictions everywhere. In their haste to solve a brutal murder, police in Perugia jumped to a rash conclusion and made a public accusation. When the truth became clear - Meredith Kercher...
Published on September 20, 2012 by Jim Lovering

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47 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A convincing tale
I had been following the case in some detail unable to make up my mind about it and found Raffaele's account rather convincing -- certainly more so than John Follain's "Definitive" one. While it is obvious that some writing is too contrived to be his or written purposefully to communicate certain opinions, the basic sincerity of Raffaele's experience does come through...
Published on September 23, 2012 by silvia stoyanova


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175 of 210 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good versus evil, September 20, 2012
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This review is from: Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox (Hardcover)
Raffaele's story, as told through Andrew Gumbel's taut, forceful prose, is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the institutional and human failings that drive wrongful convictions everywhere. In their haste to solve a brutal murder, police in Perugia jumped to a rash conclusion and made a public accusation. When the truth became clear - Meredith Kercher was killed by a lone assailant because she walked in on a burglary - it was too late for the authorities to back down. With the local justice system at their back, and with the help of reporters looking for a juicy story, they perpetrated a hoax that went on for almost four years.

I supported Amanda and Raffaele throughout their ordeal, and I know the details of the case. What I didn't fully understand, until I read this book, was the pressure Raffaele faced from all quarters to distance himself from Amanda and save his own skin at her expense. I shudder to think how differently this story would have ended had he done that. But he did not. He took the high road, and he prevailed on his own terms.

I could see, when I got involved early in 2008, that Rudy Guede committed the murder and the rest of the case was bogus. But I didn't know anything about either of the innocent defendants. I didn't realize then what I do now - that I was supporting two young people of exceptional character. This book is a gripping true story of courage and integrity pitted against ruthless power. And the good guys won.
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84 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely readable, painfully honest, nerve-racking and heart wrenching, September 20, 2012
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This captivating book is a honest unflinching first hand account of a person thrown into circumstances that put him and his family to a unimaginably hard test.

Brutal murder of the beautiful British student Meredith Kercher has seen a lot of news coverage since the investigators wrapped up the case in just a few days, arresting 3 people and electrifying the public with an incredible theory of 'a sex game gone wrong'.

The lengthy trials and legal struggle culminating in acquittal of the two defendants and release from jail after 4 years attracted the media all over the world mainly because of the persona of the young American accused - Amanda Knox, and the lurid role of a cruel, sex-obsessed she-devil she was cast. Raffaele Sollecito, her co-defendant and boyfriend of just a few days at the time of their arrest, was mostly forgotten and barely mentioned. Yet he was her only alibi.

"I don't think the prosecution or police ever seriously thought of me as a murderer. They had one overriding reason to arrest me, throw me into solitary confinement, and threaten me with life imprisonment, and that was to pressure me into rolling over and testifying against Amanda. The police made that pretty clear on the night of my arrest. Stop protecting that cow, that whore, they said, or we will make your life a living hell. On this they proved true to their word." he writes.

Raffaele tells his story with sincerity and wit. He's open about his emotions both during the few days of the budding romance and the 4 years of ordeal. he's frank and self critical about his mistakes.
Raffaele's family is clearly very important in his life and the book also follows their struggles and predicaments brought by his imprisonment and their extraordinary fight for justice.

The book's structure, intertwining personal perspective with the details of the investigation and process contributes to it's readability.

Since it's a first hand account there are also bombshells that were never reported before and that are going to shake the Perugian police-prosecution establishment a bit. You'll also learn about the evolving relationship with Amanda as they stayed in touch throughout their imprisonment.

The authors benefited from full access to the court documentation, investigation files and lawyers and the book stands out as incredibly detailed, correct and well researched.

The anatomy of a wrongful conviction is presented in frightening detail. Although we know the outcome it's nerve-racking to observe how driven by accumulation of mistakes, haste, various self-interests and obsessions the investigators tighten their nets around the naive and unaware pair of innocents.

It's scary because it's the truth.

For the true-crime buffs it's absolutely the definitive book about the case, but I recommend the book to everyone.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Add me to the list, August 30, 2013
By 
David H. Peterzell PhD PhD (Boulder, CO United States) - See all my reviews
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First off, I have made a donation to the legal defense at Sollecito's website. Glad I did.

Add me to the list of people who found this to be riveting, with Sollecito's (usually invisible, thanks to many in the press) humanity shining through repeatedly along with his internally consistent narrative. Having read Amanda Knox's book (recommended), I found Honor Bound to add considerably to my image of events. It was already pretty clear to me that these two had been railroaded by corrupt and hostile prosecutors and law enforcement. I remain astonished that others see it differently, including Kercher family. Sollecito names names where Knox often did not. More importantly, he provides an insider's view of various cultures within Italy, and insights into the motives of his family, friends, and adversaries, which can explain much. Sollecito also provides insightful portraits of key personalities, including his own, as he learns but does not lose forever his creativity and expressiveness. His sensible strength of will in standing up for his innocence, as well as that of Amanda Knox, looms large. He could have easily "lost it."

Sollecito begins with a simple explanation of events, as best he understands them:
"To an outsider this must sound more like a conspiracy-laden plotline from Umberto Eco than the workings of a public prosecutor's office. I wish I were making it up. But this was the mind-set we were dealing with: a grand, baroque imagination that could never be satisfied with the banalities of a brutal, straightforward murder by a man with a clearly established criminal history. From the beginning, the notion that a burglar broke in, came across Meredith unexpectedly, and killed her in a panic-- the simplest and most plausible explanation of the scene at Via della Pergola-- could not have been further from the prosecutor's mind."
As the book progresses and ends, he provides his own interpretation of what probably happened, and it holds more water than any of the prosecution's mean spirited projections.

As I said in my review of Amanda Knox's book, I've been interested (as a psychologist and neuroscientist) for many years in false and distorted memory, including false confessions. Sollecito does not disappoint in describing, repeatedly, the low road / worst practices employed by law enforcement and the procecution. To wit:
"It took us both a long time to understand how we had been manipulated and played against each other. It took me even longer to appreciate that the circumstances of our interrogations were designed expressly to extract statements we would otherwise never have made, and that I shouldn't blame Amanda for going crazy and spouting dangerous nonsense. Our interrogators resorted to time-honored pressure techniques practiced by less-than-scrupulous law enforcement and intelligence agencies around the world. They brought us in at night, presented us with threats and promises, scared us half senseless, then offered us a way out with a few quick strokes of a pen. The CIA once produced a document about such techniques and essentially itemized all the emotional stages we traveled through that night-- confusion, fear, guilt, an irrational dependence on our interrogators, and a sense that the whole world had gone topsy-turvy. As my friend and supporter, Steve Moore, a twenty-five-year FBI veteran, described it from the police perspective: "If you're trying to determine facts and truth, you want your suspect clear, lucid, and awake. If you want to coerce your suspect into saying what you want them to say, you want them disoriented, groggy, and confused." "

Neither Knox nor Sollecito say much in their books to address the unfortunate behavior of the Kercher family. I suspect that it is deeply NOT in their interests to do so. In the end, I think is one thing for the Kerchers to mourn the profound loss of their beautiful relative. But it another to continue the witch hunt after the murderer has been caught and convicted, and the hostile, flawed and fraudulent investigation has been exposed. And yet through their comments and legal actions, they continue to pursue two clearly innocent people. I can imagine that it is difficult to accept that someone as substantial as their daughter was killed by someone as small as Rudy Guede. But by continuing to support the prosecution in the face of zero compelling evidence to link Sollecito and Knox to the crime, the Kerchers have themselves become guilty. The loss of their daughter, however unimaginable, does not justify their actions.

Recommended.
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51 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and brutally frank - truly great reading, October 16, 2012
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Boy meets girl. Boy becomes enamored with girl. Boy and Girl spend four nightmare years in prison for a crime they didn't commit. Not your usual love story!

This is a fascinating and gripping story told by a young man who almost became an afterthought in a sensationalized murder trial. While much publicity was given to the horrible murder of Meredith Kercher, and the subsequent imprisonment and conviction of American student Amanda Knox, little was said or written about the student only known as "Amanda's Italian boyfriend."

It may be cliché to say I couldn't put this book down - but I couldn't put it down. Raffaele's openness and sincerity create a moving account of a hapless kid caught up in a situation beyond his control. Trusting and naïve beyond belief, both Raffaele and Amanda fail to realize what is happening to them until it is too late. In the end, an honest judge saves them from decades in prison. Before that happens, they undergo a nightmare journey through the byzantine labyrinth called the Italian justice system, making this a powerful and exciting read!

Raffaele is thrown into a world he is little prepared for, and tells his story with candor, clarity, and guts! One almost winces at his willingness to criticize not only Italian officials who can still do him damage, but his own family, and especially himself. Caught in a media maelstrom, his family battles to save him, and Raffaele is painfully honest about the mistakes they make along the way. Above all, he will not do the one thing that will free him from hell: Sell an innocent girl down the river. Instead, he is willing to remain locked in a cell, learning how to survive in a population of criminals.

Regardless of what you may think about the case and verdict, this is a brutally frank account of survival and ultimate justice. If you like good non-fiction adventure, you will love this!
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34 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The alarm has sounded., October 5, 2012
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I have been involved with this case for 2 1/2 years and studied it intensely for 18 months after their conviction in Dec 2009, so my opinions that follow are educated opinions.

This book sounds the alarm. I highly recommend you read it because this could happen to you or most anyone. If you have ever suspected that at times the authorities frame people you are absolutely correct. DNA evaluations of evidence has resulted in 300 innocent people in the U.S. being released from prison. There are many more innocent people in prison and the authorities fight to keep them there to protect their reputations.

In this case the authorities were obviously framing Amanda and Raffaele and this should be clear to anyone that takes a look at the details or reads this book.

Raffaele clearly states the situation. I didn't think he would be brave enough to do it because the authorities in Italy can put a person in prison for six years for criticizing them. I'm sure that prosecutor Mignini would love to lock him away for the remainder of his life because Raffaele wrote this book which exposes him for what a low down dirt bag he is. I don't think that Mignini ever actually thought Amanda and Raffaele were guilty. I think he had needs that a conviction would satisfy.

The only shortcoming I see is Raffaele did not include all the dirt on the authorities in Perugia. For example he did not mention the Oggie magazine article [...] where the authorities stated a parking garage CCTV cam timer was 10 minutes slow, then later in court swore under oath that the timer was 10 minutes fast to support their lie claiming that Raffaele called the police after the two postal police officers arrived at the girls' apartment. Amanda's cell phone records and parking garage CCTV cam photos proved to the court that the authorities were lying. Nothing was done about it. It was like water on a duck's back. The authorities were caught with more dirt on them than Raffaele mentioned or that I want to address here. Google injusticeinperugia for additional dirt. Also there are more good books available if you are interested in getting to the truth/dirt. Injustice in Perugia, The Monster of Perugia, Murder in Italy, Take Me With You,and The Monster of Florence.

I find it disturbing that the prosecutor and his henchmen have not been punished. The fox is in the hen house and we stand around like a bunch of cowardly stupid cows doing nothing about it. We are in danger from the people paid to protect us. Read the book and you will understand what I'm talking about.

Oh well, power corrupts. There isn't much that can be done about that.

The media will slaughter you for their gain.......Read the book. We are in a horrible situation, as always.

These are my opinions.
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61 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating and emotional - an excellent read!, September 19, 2012
This review is from: Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox (Hardcover)
This book takes the reader through the entire gamut of emotions experienced by Raffaele Sollecito, from the days prior to the horrific murder of Meredith Kercher right up to his current predicament of anxiously awaiting the verdict of the Italian Supreme Court. I was riveted from the first page and read the entire book in one day. I am a true crime buff and usually tend toward books written by law enforcement so this was an entirely different perspective for me. I cannot imagine living through the days, months, and years described by Raffaele and admire him immensely for his ability to endure such terrifying, dark times. No one should have to survive such circumstances at 23 years old and most certainly not an innocent young man. The very people who should have been trusted to mount an accurate, reliable investigation were nefariously gathering and twisting the investigational information to frame him and his girlfriend almost from the very beginning. This book is guaranteed to have you astonished over police tactics, fascinated at Raffaele's ability to cope, uplifted by his attitudes toward life, and heartbroken over the damaged lives left in the wake of the injustice of this case. Warning: you will need tissues for the tears.
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65 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another View, May 3, 2013
After reading Amanda's book, just out this week, I really wanted to see what Raffaele had written. I cannot say that I found anything which had not been already covered.

Raffaele fails to sufficiently attack and blame the police and the criminal prosecutor. He also fails to shame and blame the evil Kercher family. They are largely responsible for continuing the libel against Amanda long after every sensible person was aware that there was only one killer Rudy.

Rudy's is the book I would like to read.

The court awarded 4.4 million euros in compensation to the Kercher family, one million per parent and 800,000 each to the siblings. But that was not enough for the sleazy father, who continues to write scurrilous articles for the gutter English press.

His book repeated ridiculous lies about Amanda, including sex stories, which even at the time were known to be untrue. Even now, the Kerchers snipe at Amanda and her book.

THEY are the ones profiting from their daughter's death. They are the ones perverting justice by refusing to acknowledge the real killer.

When Amanda was acquitted of murder, she also had overturned the first trial's award of 4.4mn euros to the Kercher family. THAT is why they refuse to accept Rudy is the killer. They want the blood money from Amanda. No Amanda, no money
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary tale of injustice, February 6, 2014
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I deeply admire Mr Sollecito's integrity in not 'rolling over' and distancing himself from Ms Knox during the many years of their ordeal. I have also read Ms Knox's book on the subject, and found both of them deeply moving. I can't understand how other reviewers do not see the feelings Mr Sollecito so eloquently expresses: tenderness, sadness, exasperation, anger, anxiety, despair, fear, and incredulity at the actions of some of the police and justice system. It seems Ms Kercher lost her life to a banal petty criminal. So horrible, so unfair. So much sorrow for everyone involved.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INNOCENT PEOPLE, February 19, 2014
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This book is a great read. Once started I could not put it down. I had to finish it. It's a chilling narration of the Italian Justice System railroading these innocent loving, caring, family oriented kids, Amanda Knox and Raffele Sollecito. Weird enough the same system a leaner punishment to the lone killer Rudy Guede. It's seems the system is also being used very effectively to shield people in Perugian police and prosecutors who didn't do the initial investigation properly, then the author of all this Migninni created deflections to frame Amanda and Raffele.

Bottom line, Amanda and Raffele are innocent and were not there at the crime scene when Rudy Gude the lone culprit, broke-in, pooped, attacked, raped and robbed defenseless Meredith Kercher, then left her to die. Went dancing in a Perugian bar, then fled to Germany, realizing that the police had tell tale murder location signs that he had committed the murder.

Must read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastically written book!, September 9, 2013
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After reading Amanda Knox's memoir about she and Raffaele's experience, I saw the ratings on this one and decided to read it as well. I am really glad I did.

The book is incredibly well written. It was really interesting to read his account of all the horrible lies that were fabricated and spread about them. It's a very different experience from reading Amanda's book (in a good way) due to their different personalities. I really enjoyed hearing both sides, and Raffaele is obviously incredibly intelligent and made this book very interesting.

After reading both books, I am just so glad to know that they were both released from prison because it's extremely obvious that they had no part in the crime, and what they endured and the way they were treated by the Italian police is a huge eye opener about how corrupt the government can be.

Anyway, if you're interested in this case, YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!
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Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox
Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox by Andrew Gumbel (Hardcover - September 18, 2012)
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