Excellent! Another astounding narrative in a series that's left readers absolutely spellbound. This is perhaps the most comprehensive to date, and is chocked full of stunning new revelations. Both authors go further here, explore more, REVEAL more, than in any other narrative thus far.
Other books have been written regarding this crime, but this series of narratives stand as definitive.These two, Nick Van der Leek and Lisa Wilson, just have a unique ability to harness this case and all the many characters within it, all the facts, move the story along to where it stands today, and all the while never miss even a nugget of pertinent information. All balls are in the air, and this talent shines through again here in spades!
Their account of the appeal proceeding is superb, as they actually attended it, and share not only their take on the process, but their thoughts as to their emotional relief of what this murder conviction means to them. At the same time, they recognize their bittersweet lament of the somewhat incompleteness of it.
The authors have believed from day one that this murder was one of Dolus Directus, premeditated murder. Their accompanying insights shared here on this subject are quite exceptional. Nick himself studied law, and so naturally has a good grasp of the issues. As with any really good book that holds the readers interest, the authors have a true passion for their subject matter. I happen to believe this reality makes a book distinctive, makes the reading better, more authentic, more interesting. Clearly that is the case here with THE APPEAL.
Both authors share a true disgust for the murderer, along with his attempts at thwarting justice (he nearly did), and both share a genuine sorrow for the death of Reeva Steenkamp. Van der Leek has an uncanny talent in recognizing and aptly exposing the character flaws of his subject, in this case Pistorius, and he puts every card on the table here in this book. His criticism of Pistorius is scathing, he goes further than he's ever gone before, revealing how grotesque and manipulative is the nature of Oscar Pistorius.
For those who have followed this story and case, when one reads these words, they immediately resonate as the truth of the matter. He reveals too just what he thinks Pistorius could have been up to immediately following the murder. We've all probably pondered it, held it in the back of our minds, but hearing Nick state it gives this possibility much more weight in this readers eyes. Nicks refusal to sugar coat absolutely any aspect of this case, gives the reader a more honest look at what's really transpired here, as does Lisa's accuracy and command of all the many facts involved, her integrity and her desire for complete objectivity.
Both authors believe there were attempts both by Masipa and even society to some extent, to give Pistorius a pass of sorts. Some leniency. Both believe this notion is flawed and ludicrous, and believe Pistorius should be held 100% accountable for his deed. They mention the horrendously vile and callous nature of his crime and his lack of remorse. To quote the author Van der Leek, "That a man could reason that his symbolic life of luxury, endorsements and specific conveniences was 'worth' more than another person's life is the true horror of Oscar Pistorius."
This quote sums the decision made by Pistorius to shoot Reeva, says it in a nutshell, and this reader concurs.
Nick speaks often of his conviction to do justice in his books to the victim Reeva, his first book being one that was solely about her, who she was, her dreams and aspirations, what she cared about most. Lisa speaks similarly of having been profoundly moved by this tragedy and a longing to know more about Reeva, as she began to watch this trial from many miles away in America. She wanted to discover the truth. Then she wanted to see justice done.
During the writing of this particular narrative, Lisa happened to travel to South Africa. She includes some side stories of her experience that are really superb and some that are simply hilarious! In a book covering such serious subject matter, some moments of brevity are both nice and appreciated. Pictures are included here as well, which is a really nice bonus. Always an adventure with Nick and Lisa.
A truly special part of this visit to SA includes the authors visit with June and Barry Steenkamp. The reader here is treated to bits of conversation with them, and as someone who has really followed this case and developed great empathy for these parents, it was good to hear how they're faring these days. It's clear that these two will never ever be the same (how could they) but they're getting on with it. The visit sounded like a very pleasant one, and the authors remark on just how meaningful it was to them.
This crime and resulting trial has held the interest and intrigue of half the world, and continues to do so even today. Pistorius has now appealed his conviction by the SCA to the Constitutional Court, so this matter is sadly not over yet. The hope is that no consideration is given to this appeal by the Constitutional Court, and a just sentence is dispensed instead. It's high time for it. We hold our collective breath....
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