There Was a Crooked Man

Fiction - Suspense
394 Pages
Reviewed on 03/13/2020
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

Author Biography

This book came about after a group that I was a part of sponsored a local Battered Women’s Shelter. To listen to the women’s desperate stories, and understand they left their previous life with nothing and still had hope, left an indelible mark on my mind, heart, and soul.
Many, within our group (including me), could not comprehend how the women found themselves in such circumstances and did not understand why they stayed so long. In listening and paying more attention, I realized many people, not just women, are imprisoned in relationships and situations they cannot easily escape.
This book, this story, although fictional, hopes to give them a voice.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

There Was a Crooked Man by Katrina Morgan is the story of how a bad relationship can not only destroy you but make your life a living hell. Jack and Katie started their love affair like any other couple; they met, they enjoyed each other’s company and then they fell in love. But things took a bad turn very suddenly. Jack and Katie lost each other and themselves as the relationship progressed. Somehow Jack turned out to be a narcissist, a man who would do anything to get what he wanted, no matter what the cost. Katie was tired of living this life, a mix of perpetual fear and desperation, so she tries to run away from him. But Jack knows what she is planning on doing and he has every intention of catching up to her before she can get away from him. When plans are shattered and desperation takes root in your heart, is any place safe?

This was a dark psychological thriller; the suspense was heavy and the atmosphere was just perfect for the story. The relationship between Katie and Jack was just chaotic from the very beginning. Katie never stood up for herself and Jack always overstepped the limits. What I really enjoyed was the fact that the author gave full disclosure to readers, there was nothing hidden about any characters. This made the story even more interesting and got me hooked. I found that both of them were at fault since relationships like these always have a start and there are always signs to indicate if a pairing isn’t right. The suspense had me sitting on the edge of my seat. I wanted Katie to get away and Jack to be punished, but at the same time, I wanted to smack them both because they really let the other person bring them to this point. This heart-racing novel gave me a lot to think about and gave me an adrenaline rush that lasted long after I finished the story.

Christian Sia

A psychological thriller at its best, There Was a Crooked Man by Katrina Morgan is a spellbinding story exploring manipulation, domestic abuse, and what a narcissistic man will do to keep a woman a victim of his caprices. Katie grew up in a home where her parents were alcoholics who abused each other on a daily basis. When Katie sets eyes on the handsome, charming Jack, she thinks he will be the best thing to happen to her. A relationship quickly develops that will see the two through eight years of both mental and physical abuse, a situation that will rob Katie of everything, including friends. Katie finally gets an opportunity to escape from her abusive, narcissistic partner, but within a few hours he discovers her plans and sets out after her. Follow the story of a chase that has the police, Jack, and the media outwitted in ways no one could have imagined. But how did she land up in the federal jail at the end and what happens now that Jack knows where she is?

The conclusion is explosive and something no one will see coming. I loved, loved, loved this story and not just because of the author’s gift for the craft and her ability to get the reader’s attention. It was more so for her exploration of the psychological traits of the characters. This novel shows readers what it takes for an abusive person to ensure that their victim stays with them. Readers will understand how hard it is to break the cycle of abuse and it seems that Katie has known abuse from childhood. The plot is expertly done with surprising turns and twists; the conflict is strong and developed at multiple levels. Then there is the drama, created with exciting dialogues. There Was a Crooked Man is engrossing, a story told in a clear, hypnotic voice and infused with a lot of realism.

Jamie Michele

“There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile. He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile. He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse, and they all lived together in a little, crooked house.” There Was a Crooked Man by Katrina Morgan is the story of Katie, a woman who grew up in an environment that no child should have to endure and, as frequently happens, ended up with a man like Jack who did nothing but perpetuate a cycle of abuse, jealousy, and exploitation. After years of seeking professional assistance without any noticeable improvement to their relationship, Katie makes a clean break. It takes almost no time at all for Jack to begin his pursuit, working every potential outlet and avenue to catch Katie once and for all. When Katie is caught in the legal system for identity theft and Jack is able to finally find her, the story culminates into a scene of public chaos.

There Was a Crooked Man by Katrina Morgan is eloquently written and wholly entertaining. The book forces a whole host of scenarios into the plot, some in which (sadly) readers will understand the plight and empathize, and others who will not, but will walk away with a better understanding. The tension rides heavily on every page and Katie becomes so humanized as a developed character that I genuinely connected in a way that's rare for me, particularly when reading a book where, in the back of my mind, I wonder how reliable the protagonist is. It's the final scenes that take the cake, though...with enough drama to keep even the most prolific readers on the edge of their armchairs.

Divine Zape

There Was a Crooked Man by Katrina Morgan is a novel that explores the psychology behind an unhealthy relationship and what it takes for blackmail to succeed, which leads to other ills like verbal and physical abuse. Readers are introduced to Katie, a woman who has witnessed domestic violence as a child. She grows up and gets into a relationship with a charmer, Jack. In fact, she liked him the moment they met for the first time. But Jack is a narcissistic, controlling freak who eventually submits Katie to all forms of abuse for eight years. Katie has lost her friends and all hope of escape from this ordeal. Then a golden opportunity presents itself and Katie grabs it. She is only gone for few hours when Jack discovers her plans and sets out on the chase.

The reader is pulled into a chase involving the police and the media. Katie is deft in manipulating her pursuer, and barely staying a step ahead of him. But when she is settled and feels that everything is safe for her, then the police get her for Federal Identity Theft. The most tragic thing is that Jack knows where she is being held. The conclusion to this psychological thriller is what will take the reader’s breath away. It is well written and Katrina Morgan demonstrates a great understanding of blackmail in relationships and how it can escalate into staggering proportions. The characters are real, three-dimensional, and with solid backgrounds. I enjoyed the psychological side of the story, the deft handling of conflict, and the world building. There Was a Crooked Man is gripping. It’s a book you shouldn’t pick up if you have important appointments, because you’ll miss them.

K.C. Finn

There Was a Crooked Man is a work of suspenseful psychological fiction penned by author Katrina Morgan. In a story written for adults due to themes of emotional and physical abuse, we find ourselves deep in the relationship between protagonist Katie and her partner Jack. Jack’s narcissistic behavior has led him down a spiraling path, with Katie as his victim. After five years of pain, Katie makes a break for it and races to escape from the man who has systemically isolated her and destroyed her life. But even as Katie feels the threads of a whole new life within her grasp, disaster strikes again. And Jack will always be there, to do whatever it takes to make sure she doesn’t get away.

Author Katrina Morgan has created an emotionally intelligent novel about both abuse and psychological terror, and one which asks pivotal questions about how people get themselves into these terrible traps in the first place. The presentation of the protagonist Katie is neither weak nor victimized, but a woman conditioned and pushed to very limit until desperation forces her into an escape. Jack is no caricature either, and his psychosis and motivations are well merged into the plot, making for a fascinating and genuinely unpredictable villain whose real terror is the fact that many just like him exist in the real world today. Overall, There Was a Crooked Man is both a thrilling and suspenseful drama and a fascinating, true to life tale of warning signs and downward spirals. Highly recommended for psychological drama fans.

Ruffina Oserio

There Was a Crooked Man by Katrina Morgan is a suspenseful novel that tells a story that readers live or witness in real life. It explores the theme of mutual manipulation and abuse. Katie has been in an abusive relationship and, in recent years, the mental and physical abuse from Jack only gets worse. Now, her friends are even distancing themselves from her. Tired of her abusive situation, Katie seizes the slim opportunity she finds and escapes. But it is not long before Jack discovers the betrayal and sets out to find her. The story takes readers on a hunt that lasts for days, with Jack on Katie’s heels, and Katie cunningly outwitting him, staying just a step ahead of him. When she is arrested for Federal identity theft and jailed, Jack makes a last desperate move to get to her. The outcome is explosive.

This is a well-crafted story with strong psychological hints, a page-turner that explores the nature of an abusive relationship. Readers encounter a victim who is an enabler. It is difficult to think that someone can be abused for so long before they take the bold step of getting their freedom. The story is told in a gripping narrative voice showing what Katie’s childhood was like, and the rhyme the little child reads from her book when she hears the argument between her parents becomes very symbolic in this book. “There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile. He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile. He bought a crooked cat which caught a crooked mouse, and they all lived together in a little, crooked house.” The author lays the foundations for Katie’s behavior. Of course, as a child, she had grown up in a family where parents fight and physically abuse each other. That might have registered as natural to the little girl. The effects are felt in her adult life. The writing is gorgeous and the author uses suspense to make the story electrifying. It is a page-turner, with sophisticated characters and a very cunning plot. Katrina Morgan’s There Was a Crooked Man is a story with a powerful message that only an individual can give another person the power to hurt them so deeply.

Mary Broschk

This was a very good book. It really shows how naively a person can fall into a dangerous relationship. Without giving away the plot entirely, you will find yourself at times really frustrated at Katie. You will go into the mind of a victim of mental and physical abuse. READ THIS BOOK !

John Morgan

Exceptional writing, gripping suspense. A page turner you can't put down.