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Portrait of a Monster: Joran van der Sloot, a Murder in Peru, and the Natalee Holloway Mystery Hardcover – Abridged, July 5, 2011
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“This well-detailed book is disturbing and haunting in its revelations of a self-centered cad with a dark side.”--Publishers Weekly
“Journalists Pulitzer and Thompson zero in on Joran van der Sloot, a wealthy young man suspected of killing two young women within five years to the day of each other… This true-crime account delivers excellent and gripping reporting of the crimes and the manhunt.”--Booklist
“A thorough, journalistic recounting of two crimes, five years apart, linked by the same alleged perpetrator…A worthwhile read for true-crime fans and followers of the case.”--Kirkus Reviews
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Top Customer Reviews
But I recently read Portrait of a Monster and it changed my mind. The authors, both long-time true crime authors, are masterful in their portrayal of the two crimes attributed to Joran Van der Sloot: the disappearance of Natalee Holloway and the murder of Stephany Flores. Armed with court documents, police reports, interviews with many of those involved in the case, and photographs of the crime scenes, the authors vividly recreate the two crimes.
Holloway vanished in Aruba in 2005 while on a trip with her high school senior class. The last person known to have seen her alive was Van der Sloot. While he was never charged with kidnapping or murdering her, he changed his story dozens of times. Finally, he fled Aruba for the Netherlands, Thailand, and finally, Peru.
It was there at the casinos that he met Flores, the daughter of a wealthy businessman. When Van der Sloot realized that Flores had several thousand dollars on her, he lured her to his hotel room. Three days after he checked out, she was found dead--beaten, strangled, and smothered.
Portrait of a Monster is the definitive account of these cases. While Joran Van der Sloot awaits trial in Peru, the families of Natalee Holloway and Stephany Flores still grieve.
I recommend this book to all true crime fanatics.
After following this story through the years, there were still so many unanswered questions. I was thoroughly amazed how many of those questions were finally answered in this book. How can Mr. Thompson know so much about this case and EVERYONE involved and the media not?!?!?! The personal details that only someone intimately close to the case could know are revealed throughout. Evertyhing falls in to place in Portrait in an easy-to-follow fashion. Thompson really knows how to tell a story, feeding you all the juicy facts while staying focused on the how and why it happened the way it did.
He really gets inside of Van der Sloot's head and helps you understand everything that went on in Aruba and Peru as well as what led up to these tragic incidents and what's gone on since.
Once I started reading, I literally could not put it down. It was by far one of, if not THE best non-fiction crime books I have ever read. His and his co-author's understanding of this case and all of its intricacies alone is worth the price of the book. I highly recommend it.
I came away from this book thinking even less of Van der Sloot than before. I find it interesting that the signs that he was trouble were there for his parents long before he killed Natalie Holloway. While I feel bad for his mother and his parents should not be blamed, I can't help but feel they screwed this situation up badly. The guy is ill and should never get out.
In any case I think this is worth a read and I recommend it for people interested in the two cases. I was able to obtain a copy from the library and I recommend you do that rather than purchase the hardcover. I don't think it is going to be the "definitive" book on Van der Sloot because it is just not comprehensive enough.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Was hoping for a portrait of this guy from childhood to adulthood. Instead it focused entirely on the crime details.Published 3 months ago by Nature1&
Compelling book about a young guy that who was also a gamble and turned into a monster and a murderer. So sad that he killed two young, pretty girls without remorse.Published 4 months ago by S. Chisholm
I really liked the book. MY problem with it was the way it was formatted. You would be reading about Stephany's murder in 2010 one chapter, then the next chapter went to... Read morePublished 5 months ago by TERESA
Very well written story. It depicts the characters very well. I am enjoying the read.Published 7 months ago by Anna M. Lotto
It is spellbinding as a true crime story. I enjoyed it very much and I would recommend it to anyone interested in true crime.Published 7 months ago by Louise Marinelli
This is a great book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the minute details of this case. I, too, thought that I had read all there was to know about this case. Boy, was I wrong. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Coastalzone