January 7, 2014

I'LL TAKE CARE OF YOU by Caitlin Rother

Description:   Nanette Johnston Packard, a sexy divorcee, liked to meet men at the gym and through personal ads. Soon after she began dating millionaire Bill McLaughlin, he moved her and her kids into his bay-front home in Newport Beach. But one man was never enough for Nanette. . .
Eric Naposki, her NFL linebacker lover, fulfilled Nanette's wilder cravings. Together they schemed to make her fiance's fortune their own. When McLaughlin was gunned down, authorities had suspicions--but no proof. Pulitzer-nominated writer Caitlin Rother explores this chilling story of a woman who seemed to have it all--until justice finally had its day.  

My Thoughts on I'll Take Care of You by Caitlin Rother

Since first hearing about the publication of this book, during an appearance by author Caitlin Rother, I have looked forward to having it in my hands and reading it.   Not only because of the crime it delves into and the location of that crime but because Ms. Rother is a fantastic author of narrative nonfiction and I knew she would do the entire story justice.  And she does. 

Having long been a reader of the true crime genre, serial killers like Bundy, Gacy and the like give you pause, cause you to double check the locks on your doors and windows and hesitate about turning that light off.  They are frightening, those strangers that lurk in the dark.  But what about those people we know?  Those people who share our lives, that sit across the table from us at meals, that sleep and awake next to us and who have a cleverly crafted persona in order to get close to us? 

Nanette Johnston Packard is one of those people and Ms. Rother ferries the reader of I'll Take Care of You on the twisted road down Nanette's intense cravings for wealth, status and material goods at any cost.   I found her personality fascinating - - not just that she would sleep and cohabitate with, as well as become engaged to, a wealthy man for his bank account but that she would so completely lie about her background and accomplishments that she would take credit for the very invention that her victim Bill McLaughlin created.   I suppose it's not just that she wanted and expected for others to believe that she - - a teenage wife and mother with only a high school education - - created a complex blood separation system but she claimed credit on something that could easily be verified to have belonged to someone else. It boggles the mind.  And helps to make Nanette a con artist of the first degree.

Equal attention is also paid to Eric Naposki, Nanette's one-time lover.  What drove this man to kill for her?  What was it about Nanette, in Orange County, where plenty of attractive (and even wealthy) women abound, that made her so irresistible to Eric and impossible to say no to?  While he was the one to get his hands dirty, I couldn't help but feel that he was her victim too, in a sense.  I don't doubt that if it hadn't been Eric, it would have been someone else being played and having their strings pulled by master manipulator Nanette. 

As I've said in other books by Ms. Rother, she is a stellar investigative writer.  She brings the persons involved in the story - - victims, perpetrators, friends,investigators - - to life.  While I'll Take Care of You may not have the gory, titillating details found in another true crime entry, the deep and complex study of the human psyche makes for captivating and intriguing reading.  The reader also gets plenty of information from the initial investigation through the trial.  One thing I did not realize about this case was how disappointing the initial investigation done by the Newport Beach Police Department was.  Their lack of follow up to certain items was baffling and inexplicable. 

Even knowing the outcome of this case, having watched investigative programs about it, the book is still a must-read thanks to Ms. Rother's writing, which reads more like a novel than a blow-by-blow account of true happenings.  As I did, you too will find yourself eagerly flipping pages and tuned out to what's going on around you.   

I would not hesitate to recommend I'll Take Care of You to the novice and experienced true crime reader alike.  It's well worth the read and you too will find yourself adding Caitlin Rother to your "must read" list. 

I'll Take Care of You is available for purchase at most booksellers, including Amazon.  I am an  Amazon affiliate.  I will make a small commission if you make a purchase through my link.

FTC Disclosure:  Review copy of this book provided by the publisher/author in exchange for a fair and honest review. In no way did the provision of this book affect the outcome of my review.

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