Review: Unbelievable by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong


Title: Unbelievable

Author: T. Christian Miller & Ken Armstrong

Published: September 3rd 2019, Windmill Books

Status: Read September 2019 courtesy Windmill Books/Netgalley


My Thoughts:

In 2016 Christian T. Miller and Ken Armstrong won a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Writing “For a startling examination and exposé of law enforcement’s enduring failures to investigate reports of rape properly and to comprehend the traumatic effects on its victims.”, with their article, ‘An Unbelievable Story of Rape’.

On August 11 2008, 18 year old Marie was brutally raped at knifepoint in her own home by a masked intruder. Barely a week later the vulnerable young woman was accused, and later convicted, of making a false report to police after she was intimidated into withdrawing her complaint by disbelieving officers.

More than two years later the capture of a serial rapist revealed photographs taken of Marie during her ordeal. She had told the truth.

In this accessible and utterly compelling narrative, Unbelievable (previously published as A False Report) expands on the original article written by Miller and Armstrong, delving into the investigation that finally caught the rapist and a history of the perpetrator, along with a brief exploration of the historical scepticism with which rape victims are viewed by law enforcement, and society at large.

Marie’s experience is heartbreaking and infuriating, and unfortunately not an isolated event then, or now. The thorough, objective investigation of rape allegations is crucial to ensure justice, both for the alleged victim, and the alleged accused.

Now the subject of a Netflix limited series, I highly recommend you read and/or watch Unbelievable, and demand that law enforcement and the justice system do better.


Available from Penguin UK

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I via Indiebound I Book Depository


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Beth F
    Sep 20, 2019 @ 21:21:23

    I had this on my Netflix list — I didn’t know the background of the story.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Helen Murdoch
    Sep 21, 2019 @ 01:03:16

    Such an interesting subject and it sounds like this book treats the topic with respect. It infuriates me the way women are treated when they file rape charges.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Vicki
    Sep 21, 2019 @ 02:44:48

    I haven’t heard of this before. I’ll see if it’s still on Netflix.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. 1girl2manybooks
    Sep 22, 2019 @ 17:07:50

    This honesty feels like it would fill me with a rage I don’t know how to handle.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Verushka, an editor (@SydneyEditor1)
    Sep 22, 2019 @ 20:38:16

    I somehow missed there was a book out about the investigation — the article was such an engrossing read even if it made me want to scream at the cops.

    Liked by 1 person


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  7. Jackie
    Sep 23, 2019 @ 15:41:10

    I actually just finished watching Unbelievable on Netflix. I admit to liking all 8 episodes and the one investigating officer Merritt Wever who played Denise in The Walking Dead.

    Liked by 1 person


  8. Jan
    Sep 25, 2019 @ 01:04:11

    This sounds like such an important book. Hard to believe these things still happen, but, unfortunately I know they do. Also the fact that so many rape kits never even get tested is terrible. Good review.

    Liked by 1 person


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  13. volatilemuse
    Nov 27, 2019 @ 02:26:57

    This sounds utterly heartbreaking but we owe it to these young women to read their stories. Thank you.



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