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Presumed Dead: A True Life Murder Mystery (Berkley True Crime) Mass Market Paperback – July 6, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: Berkley True Crime
  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425235939
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425235935
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By G.I Gurdjieff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 6, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I doubt that this case merited much attention nationally, but it appears it created quite a stir in the vicinity of Oakland and Berkeley CA area where it occured.
The facts? A young mother disappears without a trace. Her van is found, but the case picks up steam as it becomes obvious that there are any number of possible suspects. The potential perps include an estranged husband, a former boyfriend/best friend of the hubby upon whom the victim appears to be financially dependent on, and a current boyfriend the victim picked up on the net. In fact, the missing woman seems to have no fear of making social connections via the internet which results in a lot of dead ends from an investigative pov.
As the authorities hone in on the evidence, the husband becomes the clear suspect. Nutty and controling beyond description and totally devoid of basic social skills, he has CREEP written all over him. The core of this story focuses on the husband and his consistently peculiar and controlling behavior, his continual contradictory statements, and how his presumed perception of his peculiar 'genius' and his inherent arrogance really does him in on a lot of levels. Despite not having any physical evidence such as a body to prove that a murder took place, the autorities bring te husband to trial. In the end, the case is resolved in an odd and somewhat unpredictable way.
The author Henry Lee is a local Oakland reporter and this is his first book. It is well-written and meticulously detailed. The end result is that very little, if anything, is left unanswered.
This is an interesting book that has its share of cliches, but the actual facts and circumstances surrounding this case lack a certain amount of suspense because the husband's inherent nature points to him early on.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Brenda A Lee on July 13, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
When I was a Bay Area resident, I had followed this case as it played out - at the time, Nina Reiser's body hadn't been found yet. It wasn't until years later that the case was finally resolved. I was happy to see a book written about the case, and by a local reporter, no less! It's chock full of details that we regular Joe-Schmo citizens aren't normally privy to, and it covered a lot of different angles. I appreciated the written style of the book, in the sense that it didn't sugarcoat or try to "fluff up" the story - real life is stranger than fiction, as they say. A solid read - and I'm hoping the author will write more about other big Bay Area cases that he has covered.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TIN53 on August 18, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I did not know of this case before I read the book. It was intriguing and I could not put the book down. I had to know what happened to Nina and if they found her body. I will suggest this for our book club. The author Henry Lee did a great job.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A nymphomaniac, taking huge risks meeting and screwing strangers, while juggling 3 othe boyfriends with whom she is also having sexual relations, while in the midst of a nasty divorce and custody battle with her Ex.

What did she think was going to happen?
Maybe because it's California this is considered normal behavior but I seriously doubt it.

No one deserves to be killed for promiscuity but the odds rise substantially for something nasty to happen when engaging in such out of control, animal behavior.

Craigslist?? After the murders that have occurred using this venue to meet the opposite sex?? A mother exposing herself to this type of risk takes away any empathy I can muster for her.

Author tells a good story but I have to quit reading from time to time to get through it. He could easily have cut the pages in half by hiring an editor. For sure, no one crossed out one single punctuation mark let alone a word, sentence, or paragraph.

Lee felt the need to name every single person, their shoe size, their relatives, the friends of their relatives, and on and on and on, that was even remotely knowledgeable about this murder and disappearance. His excruciatingly minute details were so frustrating I literally wanted to throw this thing against the wall b 4 I finished it.

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alana81 on October 5, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This chilling story had me at the edge of my seat. It definitely keeps you reading and the short chapters makes it easy. It's so detailed it makes you feel you're apart of the investigation. I highly recommend this read and can't wait for more to come from Henry Lee
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. Maroney on August 20, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Presumed Dead is a fascinating story--in a macabre sort of way. The cast of characters makes The Addams Family look positively benign. However, these people are all too real. That's the good news.

I strongly suspect that any subscriber to The San Francisco Chronicle, during the time that Lee covered this story has already read the book word-for-word. The repetitive quality of the text is excruciating. Lee's editor did him no favor by failing to insist that the text be condensed to at least half its published size. That Henry K. Lee is an indefatigable investigative reporter is indisputable, however.

If you can survive the redundancy, you will find embedded within all the verbosity, a story right up there with the best of fictional murder mysteries.
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17 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Kim Cantrell on July 9, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hans Reiser was a computer geek, in all sense of the words. Being the creator of Linux-competing software, he was prone to do things a methodical manner.

Including choosing a wife.

Hans met Nina, a licensed Russian OB/GYN, through a bridal agency. They married in 1999.

But in just a few short years, and after a couple of kids, the marriage was, for all intents and purposes over. Nina wanted a divorce.

While Hans didn't have a problem with a divorce, per say, he was very unhappy with the costs. Child custody, support, and alimony, that is.

In 2006, Nina suddenly disappeared. Everything Hans did indicated that he no doubt was involved in Nina's disappearance, and probably her death.

Pretty simple, huh? Not really. Especially when you take into account Nina's two boyfriends: a bisexual S & M enthusiasts and the not-quite-yet divorced Greek guy.

Debut author Henry Lee, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, gives a detailed timeline of the events surrounding the Reiser's marriage and subsequent dissolution.

Being that it is a prefectly in order timeline and most sentences begin with the time, date, or other indication of either, it's obvious that the book is writing strictly from Court records, police reports, and other materials.

I prefer my true crime to be written as a story, not as a newspaper article; with a little of the author's personal style being evident.

The case of Hans Reiser is an interesting one, indeed; but the writing of Presumed Dead: A True Life Murder Mystery was just a little too cut-and-dried for me.
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Presumed Dead: A True Life Murder Mystery (Berkley True Crime)
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