Written by Jack Olsen, a long audiobook at close to twenty-three hours of listening, and narrated by Kevin Pierce. Son, originally published in 1983, is an accounting of a serial rapist in Spokane, WA in the late 1970s, early 1980s.

An update to the true crime of this story, information not included in the book. The saga of Fred Coe continued for a few years after the release of the book with appeals, convictions overturned, etc., but fortunately, enough stuck to this predator to keep him locked up. Fred Coe is behind bars as of this writing. Coe has consistently, to this day, been adamant in professing innocence. However, forensic tools now available, such as DNA testing, have confirmed his guilt. A 2011 plea for release was denied.

Silly to enjoy grizzly fiction and get queasy when confronted with the real thing, but there it is. True crime is a genre I’ve avoided – it is so disturbing. Easy to follow, Son is a well written reveal of Fred Coe’s psychopathic mind, in addition to the enabling sickness of his mother, Ruth Coe. The book is about rape, the effect of rape on victims, the victims’ families. It is also the dissection and analysis of a psychopath – not just a rapist. Each chapter is preceded by a quotation from a noted physician/psychologist with sage words of understanding or comprehension or explanation.

Narration by Kevin Pierce is excellent. No attempts to sway opinion, by narrator or author. The facts are presented in a listenable manner.

I can’t say I enjoyed this book, but I’m very glad I listened. Not for everyone, but a highly recommended true crime book.


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