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Hell in the Heartland: Murder, Meth, and the Case of Two Missing Girls Kindle Edition
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Editors' pick: A riveting, at times heart-pounding read rightly compared to Michelle McNamara's I'll Be Gone in the Dark."—Chris Schluep, Amazon Editor
"Harrowing, beautifully written, and filled with unexpected twists, readers won’t be able to put down this book until they reach the very last word. A new true-crime classic that is sure to engross fans of the genre."—Booklist
“Beautiful and devastating."—CrimeReads
“A captivating ride through the frustrating twists, turns, and dead ends of a horrifying murder case…. This is as much an exploration of the underlying social issues that feed into a system of fear and violence as it is about the crime itself. A vivid storyteller, Miller proves herself as adept at nonfiction as fiction.”—Publisher's Weekly
“The title of Jax Miller’s book is, believe me, no exaggeration. This writer marched straight into a piece of Oklahoma that can fairly be called Hell and didn’t come out until she’d covered every track leading to and from an ice cold crime and relentlessly covered a whole lot of nasty possibilities. Murder and Meth are only the beginning.”—Beverly Lowry, author of Who Killed These Girls?
“A top-notch true crime work shot through with desperation, paranoia, and regret. Reading this book feels like running headlong into danger, and Miller’s writing is haunted and haunting. It’s a patchwork of broken dreams, of secrets and lies, of trouble under the surface. Mesmerizing, raw, evocative, unforgettable.”—William Boyle, author of A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself
"Every generation has its standout true-crime writer. Jax Miller does with Hell in the Heartland what Truman Capote did with In Cold Blood. I've witnessed firsthand the extraordinary lengths Miller went to in order to investigate this case. She is without doubt a writer at the peak of her powers."—A.A. Dhand
"True crime fans who are fascinated by the dark side of rural life and police incompetence and open to a somewhat ambiguous ending will find much to savor.”—Library Journal
- ASIN : B07XKPZLX4
- Publisher : Berkley (July 28, 2020)
- Publication date : July 28, 2020
- Language : English
- File size : 35979 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 335 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #157,392 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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The crimes actually begin about a year before the murders of the Freemans with the death of their older child in a scrape with the local police. Shane Freeman, a wild child, was killed. The Freemans and their family felt the police didn’t investigate Shane’s death and were even involved in it. The bad blood simmered from there, still affecting lives 20 years later. More people died, some by murder, some by drugs, some by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The story of the tiny area of northeast Oklahoma is fairly well told by Jax Miller. What isn’t so well written was Miller’s insertion of herself and her personal story into the larger tale. I’m not sure why authors do this, because it’s not easy to write. Miller’s intrusions breakaway from the telling of the main story and add very little. It reminds me of a recent book, Emma Eisenberg’s “The Third Rainbow Girl” - also a story of a kidnapping and murders of two young women in drug-addled West Virginia. I might be interested in Eisenberg and Miller’s stories if they were told in their own memoirs. As written now, they just become extraneous bits inserted in the lives of others.
However, if you don’t care if an author inserts herself in her work of nonfiction, I can recommend “Hell in the Heartland”.
Throughout the pages of the book, she unfolds the story in the masterful way that few True Crime authors can accomplish.
She is able to share dark and painful details in a precise and factual way while still keeping the story personal and real with the focus on the victims and the most important thing... justice and the search for Ashley and Lauria.
“Hell in the Heartland” is an must read for True Crime enthusiasts and Jax Miller is absolutely an author to follow. With this being her first True Crime novel, I can only imagine what’s to come. Personally, I think we’ve possibly found the next Ann Rule.
***The HLN Network did a series in May of 2019 called “Hell In The Heartland, What Happened To Ashley And Lauria” and Jax Miller is in the series. It is a great introduction to her and her passion for this case.
I have heard of the missing girls - Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible, but I hadn't heard any updates in quite some time. Jax Miller became fascinated with the Freeman/Bible case and started investigating. At some point during a sleepover at Ashley Freeman's house in 1999, the home catches fire, and when the police arrive it is discovered that Ashley's parents have been murdered and Ashley and Lauria are missing. Jax finds herself caught up in rumors of drugs, police incompetence, and possibly even police involvement. What happened at this trailer? Where are the girls?
There are so many threads to this story. One of the fascinating ones is about Ashley Freeman's brother who was shot and killed by a police officer a year before the fire at the age of 17.
One of my favorite things in any book is when the location becomes a character. Jax does a fantastic job bringing Oklahoma to life. I can picture all of these places and I'm curious about visiting some of these places.