Fun fact: Since it’s National Book Lovers Day, I’m racing the clock to publish this post before midnight!


Since I discovered the My Favorite Murder podcast about a year ago, I’ve started delving into the true crime genre quite a bit.


So, the last time I went shopping for new books, I decided to check out some true crime titles, and when I saw this book, I had to have it.


Being that this was a fairly recent, high-profile case, I remember hearing about the Jodi Arias trial as it was taking place.  One detail in particular that had fascinated me about this case was the fact that cops were able to recover deleted photos of the crime scene, which ultimately helped to convict Jodi Arias.  Sometimes, when I accidentally delete files on my own devices, I think of this case and take comfort in knowing there’s probably a way to get them back, but I digress…


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My Thoughts on Picture Perfect: The Jodi Arias Story


Overall, this book provided a pretty detailed account of the relationship between Jodi Arias and her murder victim, Travis Alexander.  In a way, I almost felt that the author spent too much time focusing on the backstory of Jodi and Travis’s tumultuous love affair, but since this book is only about 370 pages, it’s still a pretty easy read.


The book starts off by describing the night Travis Alexander’s body was found, and then takes you through the backstory of how he met Jodi and ultimately became her victim.


Part of what makes this whole story so sad is that Jodi was clearly an unhinged person, and many of Travis’s friends tried to warn him about her.  I won’t get into too many specifics and spoil the book, but based on the behavior Jodi demonstrated throughout her relationship with Travis (and even prior to that), anyone can see that she is absolutely a dangerous person.


A Bit About The Author, Shanna Hogan


Prior to starting this book, I hadn’t done any research on the case or the author; one thought I kept having as I was reading was that the book read almost like a novel.  I’ve only ever read one other true crime book, The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule, so I don’t know if the writing style I’m referring to is typical of this genre.


But as I was reading, I kept asking myself, “Who is this author in relation to the story and where did she get her information from?”  In case it turned out that Hogan was someone who had no business writing about the case, I decided to wait until I finished the book to read up on her qualifications.


As I found out, Shanna Hogan is an Arizona journalist and the executive editor of the Times Publications Group.  More importantly, she mentions in the acknowledgements of Picture Perfect that the book was based on information she collected by interviewing police officers and detectives who handled the case, as well as Travis’s friends and family.


There are a lot of authors writing books on subjects they have no authority in, but I was glad to learn this is not one of them.


Final Thoughts


Viewing this book through the lens of somebody looking for interesting reading material (it feels weird rating a murder story), I’d give it 4 out of 5 stars.


Shanna Hogan did an excellent job on this one, and I’d definitely check out more of her work.


Tell Me What You Think About This Book!


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Picture Perfect Jodi Arias Story - True Crime