Review: A Daughter’s Deadly Deception
Title: A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: The Jennifer Pan Story
Author: Jeremy Grimaldi
Release Date: November 12th 2016
Genre(s): Nonfiction, Crime
Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ From the outside looking in, Jennifer Pan seemed like a model daughter living a perfect life. The ideal child, the one her immigrant parents saw, was studying to become a pharmacist at the University of Toronto. But there was a dark, deceptive side to the angelic young woman.
In reality, Jennifer spent her days in the arms of her high school sweetheart, Daniel. In an attempt to lead the life she dreamed of, she would do almost anything: lie about her whereabouts, forge school documents, and invent fake jobs and a fictitious apartment. For many years she led this double life. But when her father discovered her web of lies, his ultimatum was severe. And so, too, was her revenge: a plan that culminated in cold-blooded murder. And it almost worked, except for one bad shot..❞
Netgalley provided me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. A Daughter’s Deadly Deception is a great read if you want to gain more insight into the Jennifer Pan case, which is both horrifying and intriguing.
This book is brilliant in the sense that it gives you a lot of information, in a way that is understandable, without boring the reader. It describes the night the (attempted) murders went down and takes the reader through the crime investigation and the trial.
Its absolute strength however lies in the additional information provided on top of that. It really makes you appreciate the amount of research done. For example, the author gives background information on interrogation techniques and references case-law about voluntary confessions. The focus doesn’t stay on the crime aspect though, as the workings of Asian immigrant families are explored, information is given on tiger moms and dads and even a psychological evaluation of Jennifer’s mental state is given. All the different aspects are given attention, often backed up by statements from professionals or literature.
Moreover, the different perspectives of the people involved are also explored. Naturally, a lot of attention is spend on Jennifer’s side of the story and what made her plan the murder of her parents. In addition, the perspectives of her family (most prominently her father and brother) and her boyfriend are highlighted, which allows you to decide for yourself how you think and feel about everything. It perhaps gives you a more nuanced view.
The only thing that I did not like about the book was its structure. It felt unnatural to me that the trial was discussed before it was revealed what really went down during planning and execution of the murder that night.
However, this is only a small downside to an otherwise very good book. It is extremely informative and an interesting read. I’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in criminal law, crime or psychology.
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