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Showing 1-10 of 80 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 90 reviews
on September 29, 2013
"A Need to Kill" was a very well written book by mister Mark Pettit. It kept me in suspense and disbelief yearning to read more with every turn of the page. Mr. Pettit described the story in such detail it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I am in such aw how everything was meticulously captured from the temperature in the air, clothes people were wearing, faces, atmosphere, etc. that I felt like I was present when all of this took place. John Joubert was obviously a very disturbed man but am relieved he decided to open up and share his story with the persistence of Mark Pettit. I feel what Mark Pettit has shared in this story can bring some closure to the families and people involved during these horrific crimes. My heart and prayers go out to the families who lost their boys, the siblings who lost their brother, the kids who lost their friend, and the entire towns people who will ever be changed. If you enjoy a good read I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book and share your feedback.
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on September 30, 2013
This reads like a New Yorker piece--well-researched and full of pathos. For true crime books details are everything. The author, as a reporter who covered the original crime and then its unfolding over time, takes us on a remarkable journey that still hasn't sorted itself out today (reporter is in lawsuit to get more information out of the state government). It's somewhat unusual for a reporter to write a book about a murder that took place so long ago. This is good news from a story-telling perspective because you can count on the fact that reporters know how to write and keep the reader's attention. A worthy addition to the library of True Crime aficionados.
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on May 25, 2014
I can't say I enjoyed the book since the subject matter is off a horrible nature but the book did hold my interest. Author Mark Pettit did a thorough job in researching the book in addition to interviewing the young man who murdered these children. Murderer John Joubert took special satisfaction in being in the presence of others discussing the crimes and not knowing the actual murderer was in their midst. Special comments are written by a parent of each of the two Omaha victims and the book concentrates on each of them whereas a victim from Portland, Maine, is briefly mentioned at the end of the book.

This is a quick reading book and will hold your interest. I guess the lesson to be learned is that the unlikeliest source can be the place to look for a suspect after a crime has been committed. This book is disturbing to read but the author has done a commendable job in covering this case.
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on April 5, 2017
As an Omaha resident I read this book when I was younger. I wanted to re-read it again so I bought it. It is a good and easy read, and a heartbreaking story.

Book Condition was excellent, like brand new. It also delivered fast. All around a great experience buying this book.
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on January 10, 2014
I usually enjoy true crime accounts and thought this one might be a decent one with a sad subject. I did finish it but found it to contain excessive fluff and verbiage. Many additions of unimportant details and even people do nothing to help garner the facts of what happened. The mentioning of Profiler Ressler seems only to help validate the importance of the book and/or author. This book should have been focused less on descriptions of detectives and other law enforcement or the cold in the winter and more on the people who truly mattered. While I was glad to see the devotion of the people assigned to the cases, this book was not written as an expose on the police.
The writing itself was sophomoric. I felt the author had no basic outline of how is story should be presented. Some things were left undone. For instance, why was it continually said that Joubert had kept them for sometime but the narration does not tell us why anyone thought that Joubert had kept the boys. As the story is told there was little time spent with either child-akin to a blitz attack and gone. Why the discrepancy? The difference makes a big difference in understanding the killing and the killer.
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on April 21, 2014
I live in Omaha and worked close to the first kidnapping sight. My nephew was so scarred I had to drive to Millard when my brother wasn't home to help him feel safe. This book is a detailed discription of a very disturbed young man and I myself trying to figure out what made him do these horrible things. I could not put the book down and highly recommend it if you like to try to figure out the mind of a serial killer. A great read and a look at how a crime like this affects the small community of Bellevue Ne. Too close to home. This author makes it real and brings it all back. A must read...
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on April 30, 2014
This book was written very well I read it in two days between work and home. The writer put every thing he had into it especially chapter 10! The young man in this book was just like any young man you would see on the street rideing his bike. He looks so young and innocent who would ever know a monster lived inside of him? Thats the scary part of this book he could be the boy next door! This is a must read you will not be able to put it down until the end!
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on April 10, 2014
A fast read about some names you have probably already heard if you are a true-crime reader. Joubert has been convicted of killing three young boys, but the book is primarily about 2 of the boys. The third boy is written about half way through the book, but then not mentioned again until the end. It left me wondering what had happened to him and it was an awkward read until the third boy showed up again at the end. I kept thinking "What happened to the third kid?" Finally it was resolved at the end, but it could have been arranged better. Editor's fault.
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on July 29, 2014
Not being able to award three and one-half stars, I rounded up. An account of brutal murder of the most horrifying kind, that of children, I was left with a feeling of digesting a narrative with a less than fulfilling delivery. A true crime story is not a novel, and Mr. Petit exemplifies this difference. It reads like the work of a newspaper staff writer; not that of a columnist. It is not an exciting read, nor a riveting one. But the story does present the writing ability of a good account of a seasoned reporter.
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on March 20, 2014
I grew up in Portland Maine one street away from John Joubert. I knew him a little and knew his sister well. I spent time in his home, which in hindsight makes me wonder if that may have kept me safe. Many of the children he attacked in Portland were my friends, including Michael Witham who at the time (3rd grade) was my best friend. Reading about this time in his life was like reliving my a time in my childhood. My biggest criticism of this book is the author's description of Portland...way off base! Otherwise I found it very interesting.
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