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She was a hard-working, cheerful waitress, one of the nicest people you'd ever want to know. She was also a three-bottle-a-day alcoholic, hopelessly in love with the IHOP's manager, Allen Bryant. Bryant wanted his live-in lover, IHOP owner Art Venecia, dead. And Dee Casteel helped him to arrange it.
After Venecia's murder, Dee and Bryant moved into his house, forged checks, spent his money, and embezzled from the IHOP to buy gifts for Bryant's boyfriends. But there was an even more gruesome killing to come.
Without Mercy is an engrossing, bizarre true story that traces the twisted path to a loathsome crime. But it is also the story of middle-class citizens gone wrong, of an almost-perfect murder, the traumas of alcoholism, and a legal system that can be deadly in itself. Dee Casteel was an ordinary woman - who now stands convicted of one of the most cold-blooded crimes of this century.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Stephanie on 02-08-17
I Thoroughly Enjoyed This Book
Would you listen to Without Mercy again? Why?
I absolutely would. The writing was excellent. It flowed seamlessly, and felt as if it was someone just speaking. Many times with books, I find that the writing is distinctly separated from the story. It's very hard to explain, but Gary Provost has a style of writing that feels totally natural and allows you to place yourself *into* the story; as if you are standing right beside the characters, and not observing from the outside. It sucks you into the world of the story, and that is always an indicator of an excellent book.
What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?
Besides the writing, which draws you in without you even noticing, what I found most compelling was the story of a woman who found herself a key player in 2 murders. At the end of the book, I was conflicted in my feelings towards her. It's much easier to judge someone when you don't know what they've been through and what led them to make the choices they made. At the same time, she clearly made decisions that resulted in the deaths of 2 people and deserved to be punished. So at the end of the book, you ask yourself "was justice served?" I personally think it was, but part of me still felt sorry for her, and then I felt bad for feeling sorry for her. I like books that leave me conflicted. That means they have made me feel something.
What about Kevin Pierce’s performance did you like?
Kevin Pierce, as always, nailed the performance. I very much enjoy his narrations. He has a pleasant voice to listen to and uses pauses and inflection to enhance his performance. He also (Thank God) takes the time to learn how to pronounce names of people and places correctly, which I didn't know could be an issue until I heard another narrator slaughter all sorts of names in a very well-know and public true-crime case book. So now I have a whole new level of appreciation for narrators who pronounce words correctly. I don't hesitate to download any book narrated by Kevin Pierce.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
It didn't make me laugh or cry, but it did leave me with mixed emotions, and that's rare for me with a true-crime book. I am not sure if that was the author's intention, but it was because of his thorough portrayal of Dee. He was able to write her in such a way that made her so identifiable. She wasn't a cold-blooded monster, and that made what she did hard to come to terms with. I was quite impressed with the impact this book had on my emotions. I didn't expect to get as involved as I did.
Any additional comments?
I received this book free of charge from the narrator in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Moimeme on 08-21-17
Well narrated, personalised
The writer at times veers toward second person; it's rare and insightful to hear a story from the perspective of what might have taken place in the victim's mind as they were attacked. Good length, empathetic yet objective. Overall, solidly done