Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Book Review | Down the Hill: My Descent into the Double Murder in Delphi

Rating ⭐

Books like this absolutely INFURIATE me. Everything you need to know about the author is right there in that first word of the subtitle: My. I hate when authors put themselves into the story, especially one like this where families and communities have been traumatized by horrible events.

The story of what happened to Abby Williams and Libby German had my attention from the start. Best friends spending a day exploring a place they already knew well, not far from their homes, murdered in seemingly broad daylight and no one knows what really happened.

The thing is, we STILL don't know what happened, yet here's the book to make some money quick for the author. A man has been arrested for the murders, committed in 2017, but this is far from over and I absolutely can not stand books like this.

I can't decide if it is better or worse that the author has developed a relationship with the families over the years.  On one hand the author genuinely seems to care about them and doesn't give me the icklike she's only using them for her career. On the other hand, with the case nowhere near over, she will be part of the cycle that keeps the families reliving the worst days of their lives over and over again.

The major problem is that the book isn't REALLY about the girls, their families,or justice. It's about the author's experience covering the case, and all other sorts of random stuff that doesn't matter to the subject at hand.

Hendricks is a broadcast journalist and that shows through her writing. The bottom line is, it's just not that well-written. This is not a knock on broadcast journalists, but one must acknolwedge the differences between writing pieces for short news broadcasts vs. print journalism vs. authors. This also shows especially in the latter half of the book, where there is clearly not enough material to justify writing this yet. It's not a cold case, so writing a book before its resolved makes no sense. Another way to make moe money I suppose - releasing updated editions as the years go on, perhaps?

Basically, I could have done without all of the personal nonsense the author also included about herself, another example of not having enough material on the actual subject. I completely bypassed anything involving the author's personal life and any of her anecdotes. The interviews with Paul Holes and Dr. Burgess were also unnecessary. It was all just filler, there is nothing new here and there won't be for quite some time.

Abby, Libby, and their families deserve so much better than this.


  1. I *do* hope that's your '24 LOW point!!

    1. I am so behind on reviews, I read it a few weeks ago. So I already left it behind in 2023, even though the review is here in 2024. It was so terrible!

  2. Here's hoping the next book is better. Happy New Year!
    sherry @ fundinmental

  3. I was incredibly disappointed with this one too. I appreciate the resilience of the families in the wake of such a tragedy, which I found to be the high point of the book, but it was simply too early to tell this story. Like you said, it is far from over!

    1. Right?! The author made it so much about herself and stories like this should not be told in that way. The trial hasn't even happened yet, so it is insane to me that the book is out already.


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