Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Review: Death on the River by Diane Fanning

Title: Death on the River
Author: Diane Fanning
Published: April 2019, St. Martin's True Crime
Format: Paperback, 304 pages
Source: Publisher

It seemed like the perfect romantic afternoon: a kayaking trip for two on the Hudson River. But it ended in tragedy when Angelika Graswald called 911 to report that her fiancé, Vincent Viafore, had fallen into the choppy frigid waters. Authorities assumed it was an accident, but when the bereft bride-to-be posted videos of herself doing cartwheels on social media shortly before Vincent’s body was found, suspicions of murder rose to the surface.

After hours of questioning, Graswald made several shocking admissions. She said she felt “trapped” and fed up with Viafore's “demanding” sexual lifestyle: the nightlife, the strip clubs, the three-ways. “I wanted him dead,” she had said, even though she insisted that she didn’t kill him. But as more lurid details emerged—including a $250,000 life insurance policy—a killer question remained: Did Graswald remove the plug of her fiancé’s boat and knock away his paddle as he sank?

My thoughts: I remember when this when this book showed up in my mailbox, unexpectedly, I was pleasantly surprised. I don't read a lot of true crime books, but I couldn't wait to read this one and once I started it, I had a hard time putting it down.

I used to live not too far from where this all happened, so I vaguely remember the news coverage when this incident first occurred and Vincent was still presumed missing. Of course, his body was later found, and to be honest, I lost track of what ended up happening with the case, so I was psyched to have this book fill in the gaps for me. And what a crazy turn of events it ended up taking! 

I have to admit that while I never did see any of the Dateline or Twenty/Twenty interviews - I do plan on tracking them down soon! - I did have my suspicions of Angelika from what little coverage I did see. I remember that she just seemed off and boy did this book prove that! Diane Fanning does a great job proving such an intimate picture not only of the victim, Vincent Viafore, but we get to see a pretty incredible picture of just who Angelika Graswald really is.

This book is incredibly readable - it actually reads like fiction and I had to keep reminding myself that this was real life! If all true crime books read like this one, I am definitely going to be reading more of them. 


1 comment

  1. I've watched a couple of shows on this and have been fascinated by this case. I just read my first true crime book and have been wanting to read more. This looks like the perfect next book!


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