Genres: True Crime
From the New York Times bestselling author of Bitter Blood comes the story of a greed so powerful it led to an unspeakable crime.Wealthy Lieth Von Stein lay dead--and his wife, Bonnie, near death--in their North Carolina home after a vicious assault with knife and baseball bat as they slept. The crime seemed totally baffling until police followed a trail that led to the charming Von Stein stepson, Chris Pritchard, and his brilliant, drug-using, Dungeons & Dragons-playing friends at North Carolina State University. Blood Games is the shattering true story of degraded young minds―and a son's gruesome greed turned horrifyingly real. Jerry Bledsoe masterfully reconstructs the bloody crime and its aftermath, as he takes us on a riveting journey into the secret, twisted hearts of three young murderers.
Blood Games had potential…And the first 1/4 of the story was great. Then Bledsoe went off the rails. Chapters were dedicated to the entire lineage of a character that you didn’t even know was connected to the crime. Seriously, James Bartlett Upchurch III’s entire family history, through to his great-great-great grandparents is detailed. It took up literally HOURS of the audio version. HOURS!!! Mind you, at this point, you have no fucking clue how he is even connected to the murder. The first 1/4 of the book gives you the background on the family that was attacked and gives the basic details of the attack. Then there is nothing but pedantic dribble for almost the entire rest of the story. Then, at like the last 1/8 of the book, Bledsoe finally gets his shit together and ties the story back up. I wanted to actually choke this author for the poor choices he made in his plot line. I was drawn to this story because it happened in NC and I lived there for years. Instead of a riveting true crime who-dun-it, I got a family tree and life history of every random person tangentially connected to this story (including the guy who applied to be sheriff AFTER the murders, a probation officer in Raleigh, and lots of random college students). I still get irritated just thinking about the HOURS I wasted waiting for this book to get interesting. Spoiler alert-it never does.
The narrator was good though-he had the North Carolina accent down pretty well.