In If I Can't Have You, bestselling author Gregg Olsen and co-author Rebecca Morris investigate one of the 21st Century's most puzzling disappearances and how it resulted in the murder of two children by their father.
Every once in a great while a genuine murder mystery unfolds before the eyes of the American public. The tragic story of Susan Powell and her murdered boys, Charlie and Braden, is the only case that rivals the Jon Benet Ramsey saga in the annals of true crime. When the pretty, blonde Utah mother went missing in December of 2009 the media was swept up in the story – with lenses and microphones trained on Susan's husband, Josh. He said he had no idea what happened to his young wife, and that he and the boys had been camping in the middle of a snowstorm.
Over the next three years bombshell by bombshell, the story would reveal more shocking secrets. Josh's father, Steve, who was sexually obsessed with Susan, would ultimately be convicted of unspeakable perversion. Josh's brother, Michael, would commit suicide. And in the most stunning event of them all, Josh Powell would murder his two little boys and kill himself with brutality beyond belief.
Veteran true-crime authors Olsen (If Loving You Is Wrong) and Morris (Ted and Ann) do a solid job depicting the heartbreaking case of Susan Powell, a young wife and mother who disappeared from her home in a suburb of Salt Lake City in December 2009, and the murder of her two sons seven-year-old Charlie, and two-year-old Braden less than three years later. From the outset, Powell's husband, Josh, oddly indifferent to her disappearance and possessing a spotty alibi, is the obvious suspect. In addition, the marriage had problems for years, amply documented in emails to friends in which Powell indicated that she feared divorce or worse. Readers also learn about the suffering endured by Susan's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox, who had the loss of their daughter compounded by Josh's deadly response to a custody battle, before he ultimately attacked his boys with an axe and blew up the house with all three inside. There are a few lapses, such as one passage describing an event that no one witnessed, but overall this is a powerful narrative of one family's tragedy.
Customer ReviewsSee All
If I can’t have you
This book was so eye opening and tragic, it was a very good book I would recommend it. It’s just soooo sad😩!
Good story, okay writing
This book is full of facts although they are narrated in a clearly subjective tone. In addition, the writing is a bit immature. It reads as if an inexperienced author wrote the book, and they skipped over the editing process. There are a few sinister parts that read somewhat cheesy. For example:
“It didn’t take her long to see that Steve was in a league all by himself, a Perv with a capital P.”
“If Chuck and Judy Cox had even thought to hold their breath for Steve Powell to tell the truth about Susan’s disappearance, they’d have long since passed out from lack of oxygen.”
That being said, it is a very interesting story and I finished the book in three days.