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A Twisted Faith: A Minister's Obsession and the Murder That Destroyed a Church

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3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  482 ratings  ·  80 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen investigates the sensational story of a minister who seduced four of his female congregants, and hatched a cold-blooded plot to murder his wife.

On December 26, 1997, near the affluent community of Bainbridge Island off the coast of Seattle, a house went up in flames. In it was the shy, beloved minister's wife Dawn Hacheney. Wh
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by St. Martin's Press
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Esteban del Mal
Oct 30, 2012 Esteban del Mal rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those interested in the Coen Brothers, Rasputin, and the Pacific Northwest in the 1990s.
Recommended to Esteban by: I saw the story on the tv
When I was in my early twenties, I dated an attractive young woman who had had a nervous breakdown a few years prior wherein she had pounded on her neighbors' doors in the wee hours of the morning proclaiming herself Satan. I don't know what happened in the intervening years until the point at which I met her, other than she had been ushered away to some facility for a while, but by the time we dated the only remaining trace of her very specific mania was a penchant for wearing black clothing. H ...more
Eric_W
Audiobook: There’s something salacious about true crime stories that always intrigues, yet the author’s reportage of intimate thoughts and conversations always makes me wonder just how accurate they can be. Some of the intimate details and verbatim conversations where only the perp and one other person are present tend to set off my crap detector. The scene where the victim’s mother goes out with Nick and then gives him a BJ had me wondering just who his source was for that little tidbit.

Certain
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11
Nobody is really shocked anymore, when stories come out about ministers abusing their positions of power and trust, are they? After thirtysomething years listening to news reports of molested altar boys, televangelists with private jets, and of cult leaders with harems- religious figures abusing trust have become a well-worn stereotype. They were already cliché back in 1997, when the events in this book went down... but this stuff still happened, didn't it? Knowing these things are possible does ...more
Robin
If you are looking for an Ann Rule read-a-like or book that reads like a suspense novel, then look no further. Gregg Olsen is an underrated author who has written both true-crime (Starvation Heights is also excellent) and suspense/thrillers. This is what I hope is his breakout book because it deserves to be picked up by anyone who likes a fascinating story about faith and love gone wrong.

Nick Hacheney was a charismatic preacher for a small church on Bainbridge Island in Washington who burned do
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Constance
Truth can be stranger than fiction, but what I initially found strangest about this book was that so many people would be taken in by Nick Hacheney for as long as they were - believing even that his actions had the sanction of God.

This book takes place in the late 1990s in Bremerton and Bainbridge Island, Washington, where I have lived more than half my life. Bainbridge Island is known for having a well-educated demographic, more people with secondary and post-secondary degrees than just about
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Beverly Garside
A Twisted Faith: A Minister's Obsession and the Murder That Destroyed a Church I don't read much true crime, but this tale of a Christian role-playing church, complete with apostles, prophets, exorcists, and a minister with an entire harem of married women taking turns in his bed was one I could not put down. By the time the demons are cast out and the prophecies are announced, you can almost forget about the suspicious death. For me, the most fascinating aspect was the degree of deception we ar ...more
Valerie
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Hava
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Alison Whiteman
It was a hot sweltering week at Christian Youth Fellowship camp just outside Colorado Springs, the now mecca of sprawling evangelical churches to rival that of America's tasteless and tacky strip malls. I managed to narrowly escape the deceitful hands of a camp counselor four years my senior. Actually I didn't escape him entirely because of my numerous unexplained falls. He always appeared out of nowhere to cradle me with his athletic and toned 18-year-old arms. I was a scrawny 14-year-old girl ...more
Jill Hutchinson
I like this author, he writes well but his subject in this true crime novel is so maddening that it is hard to give the book any stars in the ratings. I hated the characters........when you hate the characters, it is hard to like the book.
I am not conversant with the religion of fundamental Christians but any church (in this case, more of a cult than a mainstream denomination) that espouses the dogma described in this book cannot be spiritual.........get whatever you want, run up your credit car
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Marianne Stehr
I am not a reader of true crime, but I am a fan of Gregg Olsen, so I thought I would read this one. I enjoyed the book (if that is the right words for reading a book that captures this youth pastor's disgusting behaviors) but remembered why true crime is not my thing: 1. I don't mind as much when I know the author made up a work of fiction that is disturbing and 2. I am not a fan of foreshadowing, since a true crime book has a definite end that is known to most people before you even pick up the ...more
Lynne
While reading this book, I couldn't figure out whether I liked it or not. I had a hard time keeping all the names straight of the women Nick slept with - Lindsey, Nicole, Annette, Sandy, his wife Dawn - as well as their husbands, boyfriends, and, later, ex-husbands. Talk about a soap opera. At times the story seemed unbelievable, although I know it's all true. It's just crazy that one extremely unattractive man could display so much charisma. Until, that is, one sees how gullible and vulnerable ...more
Sarah
This was a very well-written true crime book about a lascivious pastor who uses his position of mentor and counselor to manipulate women in his church, before and after his wife dies in a horrible fire. I thought the way the author presented the story, using dialogue to recreate conversations and scenarios as well as actual text from emails and IM conversations made it read almost like a novel, though not quite. I did get a little tired about 3/4 of the way through of reading play-by-play detail ...more
Gretchen
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frogfairie
This is a true crime book focused more on the bizarre behaviors of those involved rather than the trial itself. Although I would have liked more information on the trial it was an interesting read. I carried the book with me everywhere until finishing.
Burl
This tragic tale, brilliantly told, is another example of Olsen's literary talent, investigative skills, and heartfelt human empathy. Here is a true crime writer at the top of his form. Excellent in all respects.
Danielle
I cannot believe how easily some people can be duped! What would YOU do if your pastor or priest or rabbi told you that he wants to have sex with you because God wants it? Really? How can some women be so completely brainwashed? You would think this guy is a gorgeous, can't help myself kind of man, and you would be wrong. He was a fat, not too handsome man. I don't honestly know how he did it. He killed his wife and went free for a few years. 1 of his women knew he did it, and said nothing. Thes ...more
Mary Ann
This is the riveting tale of a tight-knit church community that unraveled over the course of a few years. Against the backdrop of a fight over leadership of Christ Community Church on Bainbridge Island, Washington, one man, youth pastor Nick Hacheney, would commit deception, adultery, and eventually murder. By telling fantastic tales of prophecies and apocalyptic spiritual battles, Hacheney conned the women whose marriages he was supposed to be saving through counseling into sleeping with him; a ...more
Wes
What's truly frightening about this book is how easily this Church leader
dove into a life of spiritual depravity; one of greed, sex, and murder while claiming to be following God and capable of leading a Church.

Perhaps even more frightening is that these people listened to this guy and allowed him to lead them and talk them into joining this pastor's sinful lifestyle. They thought they were following God, when it's obvious that none of them were. Not one of them had the intellect or spirituality
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Thomas Holbrook
Review of: A Twisted Faith: a Minister’s Obsession and the Murder That Destroyed a Church (1st ed.) by Gregg Olsen, St. Martin’s Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010. 2010 by Gregg Olsen. 304 pages. [Jan. ‘13]

There is much good about the way the Protestant, Revivalist faith Traditions “do” church. In those traditions, the individual is responsible for his/her relationship to God and for how that relationship is expressed in life. If, however, a person uses the freedom of such a tradition
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Jennifer
First let me begin my review by letting you know that I am not a religious person. Sixteen years of Catholic education has left me a bit jaded, to say the least. Therefore, as I read Gregg Olsen’s latest true crime novel A Twisted Faith I was stunned not only at the depravity of the main character, Nick Hacheney, but also his ability to brainwash and control a plethora of seemingly intelligent individuals. I use the word individuals because I think that Nick’s control was not limited to the wome ...more
Janis Gilbert
New York Times bestselling author Gregg Olsen investigates the sensational story of a minister who seduced four of his female congregants, and hatched a cold-blooded plot to murder his wife.

On December 26, 1997, near the affluent community of Bainbridge Island off the coast of Seattle, a house went up in flames. In it was the shy, beloved minister's wife Dawn Hacheney. When the fire was extinguished, investigators found only her charred remains. Her husband Nick was visibly devastated by the lo
...more
Cheryl
I don't normally get that disturbed by true crime books, particularly when, like in this case, I have seen the true crime television program(s) telling the story. However, this book really disturbed me. The television retellings of these events limited the discussion of Nick Hacheney's sexual proclivities to his affair with Sandy Glass. This book makes it clear that there were others who fell under his creepy but charismatic spell.

I was appreciative of the sensitivity with which Olsen portrayed
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Katherine Coble
Olsen does a good job of writing respectfully about religious people--a skill often found wanting in modern authorship.

Unfortunately this just isnt that gripping a story. It basically boils down to The Anatomy Of A Church Split With A Murder Thrown In. Aside from the "murder" part, for a 41 year old woman like me who grew up in church and Christian school, the whole church politics/cliques/legalist bullies thing is about as normal and unremarkable as a lightswitch. A sad commentary to be sure, b
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Michelle Robinson
This book is well written and would be a great read for someone that loves to read true crime, as I once did years ago.

I felt so bad as I read this book. It reminded me of how people will take one person's true faith and twist it into something ugly and despicable. Something to make one feel ashamed, dirty and ugly. I don't think there is anything wrong with faith, by itself, but this book is a testament to what happens to vulnerable people who fall into blindly following other people and not th
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Alisi ☆ needs to stop starting new books ☆
The writing in this book was more than drab and boring. I wanted more of a, I don't know, true crime novel than a blow-by-blow description of all the women he slept with.

Truly. He spent a tiny bit on the actual murder and everything from then on is about the women he was sleeping with. We didn't any kind of perspective on the murderer other than he was rushed to the hospital as an infant. There's no details on his early life.

It's boring.

What is worse is the fact that the author (as I said) onl
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Kitty
Poor God. He gets the blame for everything. This book is just another example of many, many that show what happens when you follow a man or women, for that matter, that says they know what God wants for your life and then begin to let you in on it. This story is as old as time and I am sure the main women in this book will never get over how naïve, trusting and duped they were. A good true story and it moves right along.
Tracy
I enjoy Gregg Olsen and his writing style, and although I've gotten out of the true crime genre for the most part, I liked this books. For me, true crime that reads like a novel, with interesting characters, is what brings the awfulness home, and this book does just that. In addition, it is set in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Bremerton and Bainbridge Island, two places I am familiar with. The minister in question does not, from his pictures, look like anyone who could be sexually desirabl ...more
Dana
This could have been a quick read but took my time due to subject. Dawn died in a fire while her husband is away on a hunting trip. With a quick glance it should have been a open and shut case but over a period of time secrets come out and truth is revealed. I enjoy Gregg Olsen's writing style and admire his ability to to let you draw your own conclusions.
Julie
Gregg Olsen is a really good true crime writer ,and this one doesn't disappoint.
There have been a few cases in the news like this in the past couple of years, where ministers aren't exactly "good guys ".
These guys really bug me ,as they are leading groups of people and counseling them to live good lives, where behind closed doors they are doing some pretty nasty stuff.
This guy seemed to think he was a Romeo and ,sadly ,several ladies in his church fell for his "line of crap " .
Thus, the wif
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Throughout his career, Gregg Olsen has demonstrated an ability to create a detailed narrative that offers readers fascinating insights into the lives of people caught in extraordinary circumstances.

A New York Times bestselling author, Olsen has written seven nonfiction books, three novels, and contributed a short story to a collection edited by Lee Child.

The award-winning author has been a guest o
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More about Gregg Olsen...
Starvation Heights: A True Story of Murder and Malice in the Woods of the Pacific Northwest Envy (Empty Coffin, #1) Abandoned Prayers: The Incredible True Story of Murder, Obsession and Amish Secrets A Wicked Snow Victim Six

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