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Invisible Darkness Invisible Darkness

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,007 ratings  ·  68 reviews
"Invisible Darkness" is the story of one of the more bizarre cases in recent memory--killings so sensational that they prompted the Canadian government, in the interests of justice, to silence itsnational press and to lock foreign journalists out of the courts.
To all appearances, Paul and Karla Bernardo had a fairytale marriage--beautiful working-class girl weds brightupp
ebook, 544 pages
Published August 26th 2009 by Bantam (first published 1996)
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It is very difficult to write a true crime novel in this day and age without having it be sensationalist, and I won't go so far as to say that Williams has achieved Helter Skelter levels of journalistic integrity with Invisible Darkness, but the fact of the matter is that for true crime, this is a well-written piece. The case itself is fascinating from the get-go, and the author pulls no punches as he narrates the compelling depravity from as far back as he could reach. I've read hundreds of boo ...more
Dawn Kemmerlin
Disturbing. Period. I'd never read it again and want it out of my house as soon as possible! It's not the author or the writing. It's the subject matter and how Karla Homolka was given a slap on the wrist for being a sick, twisted, incestuous pedophile rapist. Her family is sick as well and seem completely out of touch with reality. It scares me to think there are people like Karla and her family that walk among us. She has been released and is married and has children. I can't figure out who wo ...more
I clearly remember what led up to these two monsters being arrested. I remember how the media was not allowed to write anything about what happened in court or anything to do with what these two did. In Canada that is. In the USA books were written that gave even more graphic descriptions of the crimes they committed agains three young women, Karla's sister included. I followed, as much as possible , what was going on during the trial. I was outraged, like many other people, to find that there w ...more
I reluctantly give this book 5 stars. How can I really rate this book when I've never read any others on the case? Anyway, from what I gleaned from it, I really enjoyed (kind of) reading it. I am not going to bother explaining what the book is about. By now, you probably know. Rather I'll just make a few short comments.

Only kind of because there were times when the book was a bit heavy to read. Many of the reviewers complain of graphic deal. That is complete and utter nonsense. Or perhaps I have
Karla Homolka should have got life in prison in the general population. I don't even have any words to describe her. Paul, who is in prison, should also be in the general population. If the police hadn't so severely messed up, several times, I believe that Leslie and Kristen would have never died. If I were the parents, I would have sued the police. My heart goes out to them- what a horrible tragedy. A good read if you want to get pissed off.
This book is really infuriating, actually, because Homolka, who was probably more culpable than Bernardo and should have spent the rest of her life in a supermax (uh, hello, she helped rape and kill her own sister!), got away with a relative slap on the wrist because the authorities were too goddamn stupid to believe that a woman could be anything but a poor innocent abused victim of a man. Last I looked, she was out of prison, remarried, with a kid of her own. That should scare the hell out of ...more
Julie Levenhagen
This true crime novel was a compelling, albeit disturbing, read. What set this book apart from other true crime novels was that it was written in a fiction-like narrative. I really went down the rabbit hole with this, and watched some interviews with both Karla and Paul. I will forever be confounded as to how Karla Homolka has managed to put so many people- men, women- under her spell when she is so obviously a sociopath. Her dead-eyed retelling of the crimes is truly haunting. This book is not ...more
Incredibly detailed, but somewhat disjointed in the execution. The narrative flips back and forth from Bernardo and Homolka, to their victims, to the amazingly inept police investigation, to various people that existed in Bernardo and Homolka's universe. While the author spared no expense in describing the details of the couple's crimes, it was also done in such a way that had no empathy or sympathy for the victims. Many passages were extremely disturbing.
although i am giving this book a high rating, I have to save that it is mainly due to its affect on me which was profoundly disturbing..this all took place in the region where i residents of this area, we were constantly reminded of these horrendous crimes on a daily basis from the local news .. I don't know why but i was compelled to finish this read..
An apology I feel is necessary. I am fascinated/repulsed by real crime. I never cease to be amazed by what people can do, are capable of. Way past what any fiction writer can imagine for them. I know not everyone feels this way. This case is unique, and little known outside of Canada. Again, it's fascinating, but I understand not for everyone.
It was alright... Kinda repetitive of the other ones I've read.
Jenna Galves
A bit slow and boring at times but overall an interesting read.
This is one of the best true crime books I've ever read. I knew the case going in, and this have me every detail I wanted to know. I have orders the authors second book about Karla (even though I've heard it's not as good as this one) because he really knows the in's and out's of the case. The book is very graphic, so be warned. This book will also make you mad because Karla did indeed get away with rape, kidnapping, and murder. She's a very interesting psychological study, but one who belongs i ...more
Apr 16, 2014 Railyn rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sadists
Shelves: true-crime
Oy. Where do I start?

I always found the Barnardo/Homolka case interesting. I first heard about it on an episode of "Autopsy" on HBO a number of years ago. So when I got on a reading kick, I decided to finally check this one out.

I got about 3/4 of the way through it, and I struggled. It's not particularly well written, in terms of style. For some reason, the author has a particular beef with anything associated with the Niagara Falls area. He is also very fond of the phrase "he/she had an open fa
Tom Mueller
Disturbing look at a serial killer couple. Karla Homolka served only 12 years after turning evidence against her husband, Paul Bernardo. The "deal with the devil" Canadian prosecution made with Homolka is truly appalling. A posit made by authorities has it that Williams had access to banned tapes of the couple's abuse of more than four victims' rape and abuse by the couple. Victims included Karla's teenage sister. Conjecture that copies of videos exist on black market.
Jack Ketchum based Weed spe
Lynn Fergusson
This book was a very detailed and very disturbing read. I had to stop reading a couple of times to try and get rid of some of the images in my head after reading descriptions of what were shown on the videotapes. The book elicited a lot of emotions from me,mostly anger and disgust at these two narcissistic, evil people who thought they could treat these young girls as playthings. I don't believe for a moment that Karla Homolka was the victim of abuse and forced into doing these things against he ...more
T.M. Carper
This book is very detailed and includes details of events based off the video tapes and/or transcripts. There were no interviews with Karla or Paul to the best of my knowledge, but it's clear Williams had access to mountains of information. The first 70% of the book leads up the trial portion and the books focuses more on Karla and her trial toward the end than Paul's, though his background is mentioned as well.

It's a chilling account of a depraved pair that at times made me ill.
Breanna Whipple
Well, I am really angry. Which is good! I mean, I was already disgusted about the fact that Homolka is living free in my country, and now I have so many more reasons to feel that way. This book was extremely well written, I flew through the last 400 pages over my Christmas holiday break from work. Totally worth it... Everyone should read it, so I have an outlet to discuss my anger. I hate this woman. I truly do.

I had already picked up Williams' other book, Karla. Not sure if I should immediatel
Astrid Jakobs
I thought a book about the Holmolka/Bernardo thing would be exciting. Wrong! It was totally boring. Like snoozeville. I would read it to lull me to sleep. It just showed me something I always suspected was true and am learning with every true-crime book I read: the police (no matter where you are) are totally incompetent and the judicial system (no matter where you are) is tedious and chock-ful (choc-full?) of red-tape.
Extremely graphic yet this book is a warning to all that the most dangerous psychopath might be the normal-looking person next door (and isn't it always the case?).

I really enjoyed the narrative style but the book does not get the full five stars due to the many typos and grammatical error that were somehow missed during editing.

If you enjoy true crime and can stomach some pretty graphic scenes this book is a must read.
Erica B
Disturbing. A lot of facts surrounding the case you wish you didn't know. And horrible to think people believe Karla was under his influence and is now living her life doing what she pleases.
Very well written, I have mixed feelings about Karla because I feel for her and think she was also a victim but at the same time she is evil and knew what she was doing was a crime
Rebecca  Porter
Pretty much the best book there is on the Bernardo-Homolka case. Great writing, thorough investigation and stomach-churning details that will haunt the reader forever. It is unbelievable that Karla Homolka pulled off what she did and reading this book stirs real anger about that, as it should. These two may have a low body count when they are compared to some killer couples, but their crimes are no less shocking or disgusting. Bernardo will likely rot in jail forever but to know that Homolka is ...more
Great book but twisted details!

The book was well written and tells the story the public never heard. The details are almost too much to read, they are so disturbing. I don't want to read another book like this.
such a diturbing book about the Canadian couple down east in the St. Catherine area..and what they did to woman to get themselves off
Rose Anna
Disturbing to read, but good to know what happened.
Best true crime ever
Tracy Hansen
Mar 04, 2011 Tracy Hansen is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this back in November and have had to take breaks from it, unlike most true crime stuff I read. This is most likely due to the fact that I consider these two to be two of the scummiest beings on the planet. And the fact that Karla's sentence ended the way it did...ugh...

It is an excellent read though when you can bear it because it's very no holds barred. There is a special place in Hell for these two. There's only a few people I feel very sure of that about and they a few of t
What else can you say about these sick freaks? As a girl that was Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy's age back when they went missing in the same province, it was scary walking home from school or going to a friend's house.

Reading about how they committed their vile crimes was a real eye opener as to what really happened. It's a book you only read once but was well written and well researched.

I wish Karla was rotting in prison forever and so glad Paul is.
Jul 22, 2007 Jenny rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people that study serial killers
This book is about Karla Homolka & Paul Bernardo. They were a married couple that raped and murdered several young girls in Canada. Karla Homolka turned her husband in and claimed to be an innocent victim, but is later found to have participated in many of the deaths. Including that of her own sister!

Karla Homolka is now out of jail!!!! And has a baby of her own.

Read this book and decide for yourself how guilty you think she really was.
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A direct descendant of Horace Greeley who said "Go West, young man, go West" (whereupon Greeley went East and founded "The New York Tribune" for which Karl Marx became a stringer,)

Stephen Williams began his writing career in his early teens after noting the hypnotic effect the lyrics from Bob Dylan's first album had on women and reading "Les Sous sond fait" by John Paul Satre.

First published at 1
More about Stephen Williams...
Karla: A Pact with the Devil

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