Book/Movie Title: All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez
Total Pages/Duration: 375 (paperback version)
Author/Director: James Patterson w/ Alex Abramoivch & Mike Harvkey
Pace of Play: Short chapters and lack of descriptive, flowery language make for a quick read. Some will finish this in one sitting while most will take 2-3 days.
Strengths: The authors stick to the facts and provide many direct quotes from individuals involved in the case. Information is easy to follow as it’s presented in a straight line. There are some flashbacks when necessary but you’ll never get confused. The authors bring the reader up to speed rather quickly in regard to Hernandez’s home life and his days in high school and college.
Weaknesses: The book relies on direct quotes a little too much at times (sometimes quotes go on for an entire page). It just comes off as lazy. Also, some of the rumors of Hernandez being gay or bisexual are briefly mentioned. I’m assuming there weren’t enough facts to back any of it up, but the authors could have at least tried to disprove some of the rumors by showing what evidence exists. After all, true or not, the rumors were a big part of the story. Again, it comes off a little lazy.
Unique Attributes: The authors maintain a matter-of-fact tone and avoid the use of SAT vocabulary words. Except for the description of Hernandez’s jail cell, don’t expect some of that descriptive writing James Patterson is known for.
All-American Murder contains some interesting side stories involving Tim Tebow, Urban Meyer, and the Pouncey twins. You’ll also read about the lesser-known double-murder that Hernandez allegedly committed.
Scout’s Recommendations: At this point, the story of Aaron Hernandez has been told across many mediums and probably doesn’t deserve any more of our time. But how often does James Patterson write about sports stuff? That being said, I’m skeptical Patterson did anything more than supervise on this project. All-American-Murder is worthy of a pickup if you’re about to go on a long flight or plan on lounging by the pool on a cruise ship. Other than that, it should be used as a “first stop” for people getting into the Aaron Hernandez saga for the first time.