Joe Gere said he died on the afternoon his 12-year-old daughter Brenda disappeared. It was left to Brenda's mother Elaine to sustain her stricken family, search for her missing child, and pressure the authorities for justice. From the first minutes of the investigation, suspicion fell on Michael Kay Green, a steroid-abusing "Mr. Universe" hopeful, but there was no proof of a crime, leaving police and prosecutors stymied.
Tips and sightings poured in as lawmen and volunteers combed the Cascades forest in the biggest search in Northwest history. Years passed with no sight of the blue-eyed girl or the bright clothes she'd worn on the day she disappeared, but Elaine remained undaunted.
Salt of the Earth is the true story of how one woman fought and triumphed over life-shattering violence and how she healed her family - and herself.
Salt of the Earth is the true story of a courageous woman who survived a hellish 20th-century nightmare. Mob violence, injustice, kidnapping, murder, and suicide were the black holes in the awful astronomy of Elaine Gere's life. Somehow she had to summon the courage to endure: to honor her beloved dead and to rebuild the shattered lives of the sons who depended on her strength.
Jack Olsen has been lauded for his psychological insights into the most violent criminals in such previous masterworks as Doc, The Misbegotten Son, and Predator, but he has never overlooked their victims. By viewing the world through the eyes of Elaine Gere and her devastated family, he finds the core values that enabled them not only to survive and flourish, but, in the end, to triumph.
©2016 Jack Olsen (P)2016 Evan P. Olsen
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"You are the proverbial 'fly on the wall' ..."
In one review or another, the reviewer said, to my astonishment, that the prologue had given away the whole story ... as if it were a fiction novel. Not about this book, but another true crime book. I looked at those words in bewilderment. This is True Crime, not a suspense novel.
This book is so well done that it feels like a suspense novel. It puts you right in there with the family. Some True Crime books are told through the eyes of the police, the prosecutors or the lawyers. This book puts you more right in the midst of the family. For myself, I marveled at Elaine's incredible strength of character, love, resolve. She is not a heroine in a fictional novel, but a real woman who suffered a terrible series of tragedies but never felt sorry for herself. I think I should love to photograph her one day. Her eyes must hold the spectrum of emotions only visible in those with heart, strength, love, resolve.
Kevin Pierce is a fine narrator. His voice lets you imagine the entire scene. I have many of the books he has narrated.
Yes, I do like reading paper books...very much...but without these audio books, I'd never get a chance to go out walking for 4 miles without boredom. But I think I will have to start getting the Kindle editions as well because I want to see the spelling of the names and places.
Jack Olsen has taken facts and woven a fine tapestry. He does not sensationalize this awful deed, but he does not marginalize it either. His point of view is not pounded into your head. Only a fool would not share how Brenda foiled another prior attempt (I won't clarify).
I'm old and my memory is not that good. Don't feel sorry for me because it has its advantages. Next year I can listen to the book again as if it were the first time! :)
Enjoy the mastery of a true wordsmith with this True Crime book.
"Compelling True Crime -portrait of a family"
His narration was excellent. He has a tone that sounds like the actor, Tom Hanks. At first I found the pace a bit slow, but then I settled into the story. Kevin got the right balance of conveying a serious story but without a dry historical distance. He used accents for the dialogue but these were done well and didn't detract from the subject.
This is the true story of a child disappearance and the investigation to solve the crime. It starts many years in the past with the story of Elaine (the mother) and then section two rewinds to tell the background of the father. Usually I dislike books that take ages to get to the event (in this case the disappearance of teenage Brenda), but I found this worked well in this book for two reasons. Firstly because the backstory was well told and in a personal way with dialogue rather than historical distance. Secondly it gave insight into the family so that when Brenda disappeared it was easier to empathise and understand the actions of the parents.After the story reaches the crime -the disappearance and aftermath it then goes back in time and we hear about the background of the main suspect. This provides an interesting viewpoint that many crime novels miss and it helps make the suspect a real person, rather than a caricature. I felt it didn't undermine the crime or excuse it, but put things into a wider context for the listener.I found the whole story compelling and I listened almost non-stop in my spare time, finishing in a few days. The fact I wasn't aware of the outcome helped keep this a 'page turner' for me. Finally, I must mention I received a no-cost copy in exchange for a review, but don't let this influence you. This really is a great listen that I wholeheartedly recommend. It's a portrait of life and family, poverty and tragedy-not a gruesome crime /CSI novel.
"Lots of Kevin Pierce...can't go wrong."
The narration was great and I loved the book. I really got into each of the characters and I felt that I understood all of the perspectives.
The thing I liked about this one is that it went on for a long time and really developed the storyline without getting boring or mundane.
I have begun to select books just because of Kevin Pierce. He is a perfect choice for this kind of book.
"Olsen and Pierce are a great combination"
Kevin Pierce is the best narrator I have found on Audible.
This was my third book that combined Jack Olsen and Kevin Pierce. I have yet to be disappointed.
"Great story, slow start"
I would recommend this book to lovers of true crime novels, with the caveat that the first 2-plus hours are dedicated to describing the upbringing and town life of the parents in the story. The author takes you through their childhoods, albeit briefly, through meeting, dating, and having children...and then raising them until the daughter is 12 and is abducted. So I felt like it was more of a life story than a crime story. However, this is not a negative thing. I struggled to get through the first two and a half hours, wondering where the crime was. But if you can get through that, the writing starts to feel more relevant to the actual crime as the descriptions of family life detail the family dynamics and Brenda's (the daughters), role in the family, so you can imagine how her disappearance will affect each family member.
By the time it got to the abduction, I was hooked. I was even listening to the story during breaks at work, and feeling irritated I only had 15 minutes to devote to it.
Kevin Pierce narrates superbly and has a voice that, quite honestly, lends itself to hours of enjoyable listening.
I do recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in true crime, but again, it took patience for me to make it through the first 2.5 hours.
I received this book at no cost in exchange for a fair and honest review.
"Salt Of The Earth"
Amazing. Moving. A terribly story so beautifully told. 1 of the best true crime novels ever.
"A frustrating listen, because of the people' story"
Two huge items. The craftsmanship of the story written by Jack Olsen. And equally important, Kevin Pierce's narration.
Throughout the book. The train ready to derail in this family's long daily ordeals.
Again, the development throughout the book. Start to finish. Gave the in depth story of what the people were thinking and going through.
Vindication that the killer was eventually found and sadness for the victims, the living and the murdered.
I'm a fan of True Crime. Salt of the Earth audiobook version combines investigative elements as well as the ability of Jack Olsen to expose the humaness of the story. And the great narrative style of Kevin Pierce.
Thank you for making this available for review.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com."
"Tells facts in a story form"
This is a true crime book that does a good job telling the facts about the family, friends, crime, criminal in detail, yet story form. I "read" most books in audio form these days. This was one I couldn't turn off, did not want to take a break to eat dinner with my husband, lol. Had to keep switching and charging up ear pieces. A book is good when you can put it down or hit pause.
The unbeatable combo of Jack Olsen and Kevin Pierce strikes again. I won't soon forget little Brenda Gere or her amazing mom Elaine Gere or her wonderful little brothers.
"Kevin Pierce and Jack Olsen, need I say more?"
This is a weaker turn for Jack Olsen, but that isn't much of a knock, by true crime standards in general I'd probably give this five stars, but for Jack it's only four. This combination of author and narrator is, or at least should be, legendary. Kevin Pierce is the best narrator of the serious and haunting, and you won't be let down.
"A brilliant tale of every family's worst nightmare"
Beautifully narrated by Kevin Pierce.
Brenda Gere's disappearance.
A stunningly crafted book spanning the generations of a family who go through hell and back. Takes a while to get going, but it's worth the wait.
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