His Garden

Conversations with a Serial Killer

Non-Fiction - True Crime
336 Pages
Reviewed on 09/28/2018
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

His Garden: Conversations with a Serial Killer by Anne K. Howard takes us inside the mind of a serial killer. In just a few short months in small-town Connecticut, seven people went missing and one man, William Devin Howell, better known as Bill, knew exactly what had happened to them. Howard struck up a relationship with Howell for the purposes of this book whilst he was already serving time for the murder of one of the seven victims. Initially treated with suspicion by Howell, Howard was eventually able to win over the killer’s trust to the point where Howell thought of her as a friend. He had promised Howard he would “tell all” once his trial was completed. When he decided to plead guilty to the remaining six murders, he openly confessed everything to the author and attempted to describe and justify his reasons for killing the six women and one man, most of whom were drug-addicted prostitutes at the time of their murders. In a series of letters, telephone calls and face-to-face meetings (through prison plexi-glass), Howard has managed to capture the essence of this man’s/monster’s need and desire to kill and yet, like us readers, she remains perplexed.

This is the first “True-Life” murder story I have read and Anne K. Howard has painted a picture of a complex and strangely normal person who somehow managed to turn into a monster killer who would become Connecticut’s most prolific serial killer. Particularly fascinating for me was that Howell didn’t really seem to fit the profile of a serial killer. He certainly wasn’t a loner and was both gregarious and well-liked outside of his predilection for picking up prostitutes for sex and then sometime raping and murdering them. In many ways Howell portrayed himself as a loveable rogue, which the author seemed to reinforce. Yes, he was a drifter and a drinker, but everyone who knew him appeared to have a few good words to say about him. This story was no doubt the author’s attempt to reconcile William Howell the happy-go-lucky drifter with William Howell the raping, murdering monster, he clearly was. At times the story is hard to read, especially the effects of Howell’s crimes on the families of the victims, something Howell still fails to realize, but it is riveting stuff and helps us to answer, in some small way, the question of what makes a monster? This is an excellent read and one I highly recommend.