The latest non fiction true to life memoir released earlier this May is the story of the American Student Amanda Knox, who went to Italy to study and wound up serving a four year prison sentence for the murder of her flatmate, Meredith Kercher. Told from the point of view of Amanda, the book takes us through her initial arrival in Italy, the chance encounter with her flatmates, the man she would be tied with during the murder investigation Raffaele Sollecito, the investigation, interrogation, conviction, prison and eventual overturn of her 26 year prison sentence.
A small girl from Seattle and a self proclaimed outcast, Amanda Knox's relationship with her parents is established as strained and distant especially with her stepmother and stepsisters overtaking the attention away from her and her biological sister. The trip to Italy was a chance to get away and make a name for herself without anyone knowing about her past behavior or family history.
The book takes us through the first meeting with Meredith Kercher, a student from London and learning to live with three flatmates, although when she meets Raffaele, she spends most of her time with him including the moments the murder was happening. And her behavior after the murder, which she justifies as nervousness and shock. She does not completely process what is happening until they are brought into interrogation for the next 50 hours and then she realizes that she's in deep mud.
During the interrogation, she is pressured into answering questions about why she used certain expressions and pinpointed the murder on an innocent bystander, Amanda's boss at a bar she often waitressed and eventually is arrested. Although he is later exonerated, his reputation is damaged. After pinning the murder on him, Amanda is lead to believe her boyfriend flipped on her and confessed that she did in fact murder Meredith Kercher and that he didn't know what had happened until she returned from her apartment.
When Amanda is arrested, she is taken to the Hyatt of Prison wards in Italy, complete with a kitchen, private bathroom and a shower, her privileges were restricted at first but after so many months and her first conviction, she was able to take part in some of the prison programs. For nearly 1,000 days she was imprisoned, until her conviction was overturned due to forensic mishandling.
I admit reading this book aggravated the living snot out of me, because when the police shifted their attention to her before she was actually arrested, she had an opportunity to come home, although it might have signaled her participation in the murder, it might have changed the public opinion of her because her refusal to leave signaled that she had no remorse over the murder, most people who are caught in that situation would want to avoid looking guilty at all costs would want to go home.
Reading this book left alot to be desired because in some of the interviews I feel like Amanda Knox is holding back something vital pertaining to the murder, almost like someone has threatened her to keep her mouth shut and everything that comes out of her mouth now is an afterthought.
A couple of plot points that also bothered me is that anyone who's seen an episode of Law and Order knows the first thing you do is ask if your being arrested and the second is ask for a lawyer and a member of the American Embassy, I admit to following this story late in the game but everyone knows whatever country you are in, you immediately ask for a lawyer before you end up putting the screws to yourself. Although I do think Amanda Knox was involved somehow in the death of Meredith Kercher just not as much as the police
I think maybe if Amanda Knox had waited another year to write this book because she is technically under investigation despite Double Jeopardy being in play and new charges could be brought against her. It ends abruptly that way with no real ending.
For a crime story, it had murder, intrigue, romance and suspense which great stories must have but in the end, the only people who can answered the unanswerable questions won't or can't speak for themselves.
Have you read Amanda Knox's book? What did you think? Is she a total sociopath or is she a victim of circumstance?