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Death Trap

Death Trap

4.1 79
by M. William Phelps

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A chilling tale of a sociopathic wife and mother. . .compelling! —New York Times bestselling author Harry N. MacLean

"Eye-opening. . . Phelps's writing reads like a mystery novel." —Suspense Magazine

It started when Alan Bates and his new wife arrived at his ex's house to pick up his two daughters for a weekend visit. Then two charred

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Death Trap 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Laurenne_Lucille More than 1 year ago
If you love true crime this is perfect for you. The story is so crazy that when I first heard about the case I could not quite accept it as reality, but the author really brings these people to life. Though I was left with unanswered questions, I highly recommend this book.
Jaime_Neiman More than 1 year ago
Death Trap should be at the top of your true crime list. While I have enjoyed all of M. William Phelps' books, I personally believe this is his best one yet. The author makes the criminals seem more like us and less like monsters. This makes his stories scary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a sad story but the book is well written. The story was tragic and probably could have been avoided, had the courts been on the husband's side. The wife was extrememlly abusive to him and to the children by making them pawns. To believe the children aren't suffering emotional damage is remarkable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What this family went through, especially the children, was just tragic, and, against what many children are taught. The ex-wife remarried a police officer helpinf her in this horrific crime of such cruelty, that it made me feel angry and want to finish the book to see justice for the two who murdered a happy, young couple in cold blood. This is a book true crime buffs like me won't reget reading.
Mike Messina More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed learning about this tragic event and cant understand how people can allow such behavior. Seems the writing was on the wall. I hope people learn to prevent this senslessness, not just family and friends but also the judicial system. So many people failed this young, happy couple and the children.
Tuckslady69 More than 1 year ago
I have watched M. Williams Phelps on his TV show, Dangerous Minds and was intrigued about his story telling ability when he's using a true story. This is my first Phelps book and it is a truly horrific story. Despite that, it kept my attention and I could hardly put it down. The only negative I can think of is his "flashbacks in time" which sometimes made it difficult to follow. However, if you enjoy thrillers, you won't be disappointed!
VeronicaMae More than 1 year ago
This book is well written, includes the facts about what happened. Was an easy, quick read, enjoyable (considering the topic) and informative. The idea that a woman can have this much power over men is disturbing and disgusting that she would choose to use it this way. Unfortunately, there are people in the world like this, and at least this book shows that people do get what they deserve, even if it has to come to something like murder. The writing style is unusual and something I haven't read before, but overall a great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read written by M. William Phelps. It was so incredibly sad but a great read for true crime readers. Most books get bogged down in court scenes. This book flowed perfectly. I will definitely buy more of his books.
lovebutrfly More than 1 year ago
As reading this book....it was a little slow at first, but then again I am a stay at home mom with little ones. Getting towards the story of the couple who were the victims and why they had to go through what they endured....it was very sad and nonsense. The author explains this situation in depth and the whole story comes together. Once reading, you end up turning the pages to find out more. This story is very interesting and gets your mind thinking of how in the world do people end up doing what they do. All in all....if you like reading true stories, I would recommend this one. THANK YOU?
Josh White More than 1 year ago
This book's description intrigued me while browsing on my NOOK so I purchased it and was almost immediately taken hostage by the story, the characters involved and an interesting and, at times, very apparent dislike and disgust for Jessica McCord by M. William Phelps. I'm usually impressed by an author's ability to objectively approach such cases, portraying what are usually undoubtedly guilty criminals as innocent until proven guilty. It was clear almost from the initial description of this book's villainess that, in this case, the author was not going to be offering the reader any reasonable doubt. This trend continues throughout the book until almost the very last word. It's not completely unimaginable to think that, after researching such a disturbing, horrible and senseless crime, the researcher would be shocked by a criminal's behavior but in this case, the shock and disappointment almost seems personal and appears to be unprofessional until the end of the book. Here, Phelps describes his conversations with the parties involved and it becomes very apparent that Jessica McCord would not cooperate and, in fact, attempted a last-ditch effort to proclaim her innocence. It's not hard to surmise Phelps found this to be insulting and he lets us know about it. Normally, such biased writing towards anyone, even a cold-blooded killer, would turn me off. The sheer gall of Jessica McCord and her ability to manipulate those around her (to the point of perjuring themselves), however, leads me to believe that the author, during his research, uncovered someone so obviously culpable while continuing to believe their own lies. If anything, this bias creates another layer to this story which will leave you stunned.
Sandy Gartrell More than 1 year ago
Well written, well organized, incredibly researched. Summarized the trial well so it wasnt repetitious and boring like some TC books do to fill up pages. Terrible story but facsinating read. Highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A tragedy of a story, yet the book depicts the mindset of a narcissistic person and what they can be capable of with the manipulating, self-absorbed world in which they live.  As long as people with such mind sets exist, where no one else matters, no one else suffers, and the world revolves around their need to win and get everything their way, then sad events such as this one will happen.  For the family and friends whose lives will never be the same, you are victims, along with Alan and Terra.  Alan's ex-wife has no conscience, no remorse, or regrets.  The book does a good job of portraying this type of individual's behaviors.  The patterns of her behaviors were apparent early on, beginning with setting her sights on Alan and getting pregnant in order to get what she wanted. It is despicable what she was capable of doing because of the rage that exists within her.  The consequences of her actions were not something she thought about, that was apparent when reading the book.  An enlightening look into the narcissistic personality!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bravo Mr Phelps! You are still the master of true crime story telling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of those hard to put down books. If you are a true crime fan then this is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am from Birmingham so I am partial to this true story. Additionally, I worked with Roger Brown and this is an accurate depiction of the individuals with whom I am familiar.
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WesternMass More than 1 year ago
One of Phelp's best It's hard to believe that this could actually happen. I can't help but put some of the blame on the court system. Alan Bates went through seven years in trying to just see his children, but his wife was allowed to get away with outrageous contempt charges...over and over again. I didn't think any book could top his "Perfect Poison" book, but this one did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was really disapointed with this story. It was too predictable, the things that the exwife did were dispicable and very predictable. All in all I was not impressed...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Suebee129 More than 1 year ago
Phelps continues to improve with every book he writes. He has become my number 1 true crime author (sorry Ann Rule). Book was quick paced.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could and should have been 200 pages shorter. Not worth your time.
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