I received this book as an Advanced Reader Copy from Penguin Random House.
I really enjoyed this book. The subject of rape and rape culture in this country is always a touchy one and most of the time leads to a wide range of emotional reactions. I truly appreciated the organization of this book. Although I did have to go back and remind myself where I was in the timeline of the mixture of stories, I loved how the authors left each chapter on a cliffhanger. It was written like a suspense novel rather than a stagnant nonfiction. This book contained detailed research and undisputed information that is vital to understanding how victims of rape can become of victims of police injustice as well. Marie’s story is powerful. There are times when I understood why police in Lynwood doubted her story. However, this book also highlights the dangers of the reasons behind false reporting charges. Saying a rape victim didn’t “act like a victim” is a phrase we as a society need to move away from. There is no proper way to “act” after being the victim of a sexual assault. Someone as outgoing and dramatic as Marie was accused of being a liar because she didn’t react to the rape in an outgoing and dramatic fashion. Even the most open person can shut down when something so personal, private, and irreversibly damaging happens to them. I was glad to see that there is positive change within law enforcement departments around the country that came from this terrible example and it is my sincere hope that another tragic episode does not need to happen for further change to take place.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who appreciated Jon Krakauer’s “Missoula.” The difference between the two books are that Krakauer focused on the epidemic of rapes on college campuses, the dangers of being victimized by someone familiar, and the inability or refusal to take action by the colleges and local law enforcement agencies while this book was more about the rarity of stranger rape and the dismissal of victim’s claims of sexual assault. Both books send a powerful message and everyone needs to read them and give themselves a greater understanding of the problem of rape in America.
A False Report is expected to be published in February.