New Releases

UELI: Deus Ex Machina NEW COVER - 20170802 041444 PM

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It made shocking headlines around the world. Reinhold Messner called it “A tragic day!” Most who heard it couldn’t believe it. What really happened to the world’s greatest mountaineer, a two-time recipient of the prestigious Piolet d’Or [Golden Ice Axe] on Nuptse? 

April 30th, 2017 was a dazzling, icy morning in the Himalayas. Did Ueli Steck fall because of an elementary error? Had he simply underestimated the mountain, or slipped during a momentary lapse of focus?

Using the tools of true crime analysis and deep diving research, freelance photojournalist and amateur climber Nick van der Leek attempts to solve perhaps the greatest mystery in mountaineering today. In a meticulous, systematic approach, he pieces together a cogent narrative of the much vaunted and beloved “Swiss Machine”. Van der Leek made contact directly with the climber less than a year before his death and began developing the first English narrative covering Ueli Steck’s amazing exploits in the mountains.

“You have to be honest with yourself – you can only do this for a certain period of your life.” – Ueli Steck, 2012

In UELI, Van der Leek revisits the well-known aspects of Steck’s legend, including his blistering 2 hour 22-minute run up the iconic Eiger “Nordwand”, Steck’s incredible 28-hour assault on Annapurna, arguably the world’s deadliest mountain, and his assault of all 82 Summits of the Alps in a single summer. He also covers lesser known terrain, such as Steck’s first ascent of Mount Dickey. He provides links in the narrative to videos, photographs and interviews of Steck’s most pertinent moments on and off the mountains. Van der Leek also provides transcripts of his early discussions with Steck in 2016, including the soloist’s childhood memories, and his transition from Swiss carpenter to world class Alpinist, in Steck’s own words.

As he builds and assembles each piece of a surprisingly convoluted puzzle, Van der Leek stumbles across a troubling back story brewing in the background during the lead up to Steck’s tragic fall from Nuptse. 


Available on Amazon

An unauthorised biography…

“Do idylls like The Durrells do any harm?”

True crime maestro Nick van der Leek wields his scalpel towards the unlikeliest of targets: the Durrells and the literary heroes of his own childhood.

“Is the creation of a perfect world a perfect alibi? Are the idylls of the Durrells, and Enid Blyton, true idylls or are they idylls of penance, idylls perhaps anchored in suffering, idylls angling for redemption of some kind?”

Using his own diary, written during his first years in high school as reference material, Van der Leek plumbs the schisms between biographical fact and narrative fiction. By applying criminal psychology, he tests narrative authenticity and assiduously probes the narrators hidden behind them. 

“What risk is there in feeding children’s obsessive desire for escapism? Is there anything wrong with idylls, perfect worlds or preoccupations with what’s too-good-to-be-true?”

Is the business of escapism harmless or has a crime, even one against ourselves, been committed?

“…the irony of fairy tales is that they are born out of nightmares – and vice versa…”

A simple question opens a door to a creaking psychological crevasse. As usual, Van der Leek leads us bravely through a dangerous psychological ice fall, across a minefield of misdirection, through vales of tears and ultimately, deep inside the roaring core…

RESTLESS ANXIETY:  Society’s Misguided Attempt to Escape Distress in the Trump Era

Available on Amazon   USE THIS COVER - 003

It’s not just America that is feeling a heightened sense of anxiety. The whole world is shifting in discomfort. Has America lost its mind? Is it 1984? Who is orchestrating this chaotic, ongoing barrage, and why? What is true, coming out of the White House, and what is not? Why has information been distorted and weaponized of late to the extent it has? What’s happening?

Gaslighting is a psychological technique used to effect extreme anxiety and confusion. Gaslighting tricks its target audience into distrusting their own memory, perceptions or judgment by systematically withholding factual information. In effect, it is a kind of psychological hacking through a systematic breakdown of our psychological firewalls.

On a national scale, gaslighting is a mass psychological warfare that operates in a similar manner to brainwashing. When exposed for long enough, people – and nations – lose their sense of self. Unable to trust our own judgments, we can start to question the reality of everything in our lives. Who can you trust? Trump’s message within this clamoring cacophony is simple: you can only trust me.

What should we do? How do we protect ourselves from psychological hacking? We can install a psychological antivirus before it’s too late…

In his most important narrative to date, bestselling author and investigative writer Nick van der Leek explores the insecure mind’s susceptibility to anxiety, and influence. He regards it as yet another “network” that can be colonized with terrifying implications: the American and global landscape can be occupied and captured from within.

D O U B T 3: The Madeleine McCann Mystery

NEW doubt 3 madeleine mccann

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DOUBT 3 is a grim reconnaissance of dirt and graveyards, a brutal interrogation of the gritty undercurrents of intention and motive.

In its mission to find Madeleine, or some substantive evidence of her, the third narrative in this bestselling true crime series burrows down through obvious stratum into the subterranean, stinking caverns underlying this case.

“If Madeleine is invisible then we must resume our search for her not in the visible but in the invisible world…”

As such DOUBT 3 interrogates:

-The Paraiso Restaurante CCTV footage of May 3rd
-Carol Tranmer’s Police Interview
-Goncalo Amaral’s coffin theory
-Possible dates remains were moved
-Madeleine’s final resting place

Through atoms and germs, odours and intuitions, sulphur and smoke, Van der Leek and Wilson attempt to find a thread, a few crumbs or a particle to piece together a long-forgotten form into someone we knew once upon a time.

“Make no mistake, on the other side of all the nonsense, outside of time, some other version of events floats through the ether. That is what we want to get to. Not via a court room, that ship has sailed. Is the true story out of reach or are we up to the task of recognizing and grasping its threads?”

The author suggests that besides Madeleine, something else – something that belongs to all of us – also vanished from the Algarve on that day in early May, 2007.

The author navigates seaside sewers, recent interviews and long dead history in an effort to rescue the one, if not the other…

D O U B T 2: The Madeleine McCann Mystery

NEW doubt 2 madeleine mccann

Available on Amazon

Buckets brimmed with glinting coins for all who came and played their part. Even so, Madeleine remained missing.

If DOUBT dealt a sweeping view over the vast Madeleine McCann case file, DOUBT 2 roosts over the main highlights of the case.

In DOUBT 2, Nick van der Leek once again boldly interrogates the haunting, not-quite-right, aftermath of Madeleine’s “abduction”.

•Time of death
•Had there been an autopsy, injuries sustained?
•Removal and disposal/s of Madeleine’s remains
•Three weeks after her death, what was used to transport Madeleine’s remains?
•Ultimate suppression of Amaral and others in court
•How the narrative was controlled
•How the pot of gold turned into a goldmine buried beneath the media mountain that sprouted, like a cinder cone volcano around this Missing Person’s Case

DOUBT 2, using a shoestring budget, attempts to go beyond the £11.1 million investigation that was shelved. It aims to go far beyond the £4 million Find Madeleine Fund that was drained dry during the course of an investigation into the disappearance of a little girl who some believed had never gone missing at all…

D O U B T: The Madeleine McCann Mystery

best version

Available on Amazon

Did the little girl at the centre of the most heavily reported missing-persons case in modern history ever go “missing” to begin with?

If Madeleine was never abducted, if she died on May 3rd, why was it reported as an abduction?

Despite the absence of a trial, what we have now is a fairly precise version of events from the McCanns themselves, a by-product of their relentless PR. We also know the original lead investigator, Goncalo Amaral’s, counter-narrative, now a legally defensible matter of public record.

The questions that arise from these opposing narratives are dead simple:

Which narrative is more credible?

Which narrator is more credible?

What was the motive behind all the publicity? Neither Madeleine nor her abductor ultimately benefited from the ongoing media barrage, so who did?

True crime maestro, Nick van der Leek, plumbs quagmires of confusion and a thicket of thorny inconsistencies to probe what lies beneath: the psychologies. What is the significance of “doctors” as suspects? Did it matter or mean anything that the McCanns and their cabal of friends in the Algarve were mostly doctors?

Peeling away the gossamer threads, over the course of just four days [April 29th – May 2nd], van der Leek intuits that very little was routine: not the weather, not where meals were eaten, not where or when they slept and not what they did as a family. But what were their routines when it came to other, murkier things, like sleeping patterns, cell phones and sedatives?

Drawing intangibles out of the darkness, van der Leek sews the vexing loose ends from several conflicting stories into a definite – if not definitive – end-result.

King of Freaks: The Saga of the West Memphis Three

King of Freaks cover

Available on Amazon

True crime’s rising stars Nick van der Leek and Lisa Wilson, fresh from the success of three trilogies dedicated to the unsolved JonBenét Ramsey case, have cast about for a new challenge.

In the West Memphis Three case, they find a heart of darkness to rival the webs of shadowy intrigue bedeviling Boulder Colorado in 1996.

“Having written about the unsolved Ramsey case,” writes van der Leek, “I was looking for a challenging case to rival and to sharpen the true crime saw even further. The West Memphis Three saga does precisely that.”

But where the Ramsey case was a murk of sophisticated smoke and mirrors and legions of chummy, high-powered lawyers working behind the scenes, as we’re about to see, this story is quite different. In Arkansas, at the heart of America’s crime infested capital, very little makes sense. Out of the woods a slew of unsophisticated folks emerge, each floundering in a self-made soup of blood, mud and twisted psychology.

“The irony, for me,” adds Wilson, “was how many supposedly sophisticated folks could be duped by the artless performances of the impoverished and the uneducated, and Echols’ especially.”

Getting stuck in the muddiness of our own sick minds, it turns out, is a fate common to rich and poor, genius and imbecile alike. King of Freaks navigates how and why this “getting stuck” happens, and the way through it when it does…

sequin star  2007-2012


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Is the Ramsey case unsolvable? What kind of alchemy is required to dig up new revelations decades after the JonBenét Ramsey case went cold? 

In the second Sequin Star narrative, the authors seek to build a brand new psychological case from the ground up.  They burrow deep through the darkest vestiges of the criminal archive and hold the Ramsey Intruder Theory up against real cases involving real intruders, like the Karla Brown murder and sexual assault from 1978.

The authors also test a myriad of inconsistencies in the Ramseys’ ever-evolving narrative. Why do they exist? What are these irksome inconsistencies covering up so many years later?

In addition to timeline critical events spanning 2007 – 2012, the second Sequin Star also interrogates:

–              Lighting inside the Ramsey home on the night of the murder

–              The northern neighbor Scott Gibbons’ eyewitness testimony

–              The Broken Playroom door

–              The flight itinerary of N2059W, John Ramsey’s personal plane

–              John Douglas’ profile of the killer

–              The Ramseys’ attitude to the media during the maturing phase of their saga

The narrator, investigative photojournalist Nick van der Leek, examines the Ramsey case file through the fiery psychological shafts of grief.  He masterfully casts over endless evidentiary fluff, revealing tangibles buried deep within the 20-year-old Ramsey canon.

Lisa Wilson, an L.A. based true crime researcher, meticulously assimilates and filters all available information to synthesize, from the cloud, the most cogent counter narrative yet.

“The second narrative in this series is solid,” Wilson says. “It expands on the theory of the first in many ways we didn’t expect, and neither will the reader.”

By applying an arsenal of modern investigative techniques, the authors have crystallized the unspoken horror haunting the Ramsey case in the starkest terms to date.  So many words.  So many years.  So much time and life lost.  What can be salvaged from the ashes of one little girl’s life?

sequin star  2000-2006

1-fullscreen-capture-20161107-020707-pmAvailable on Amazon

The sequin star trilogy interrogates the sixteen years of ‘post-truth’ surrounding the unsolved JonBenét Ramsey case.

The first narrative spans nine lawsuits, two books, John Ramsey’s first political campaign and the circumstances surrounding Patsy’s death – all during the first six years after the Grand Jury trial was railroaded. It also interrogates the psychological fabric holding these “sequins” together.

Besides testing aspects from the original timeline, the sequin star narrative examines the arch account of the Ramsey case; that treatise of ‘post-truth’ penned by the prime suspects themselves, as well as the writer of the arch counter-narrative, detective Steve Thomas.

“In this narrative,” writes LA-based true crime researcher Lisa Wilson, “we will seek parallels between some of these historiological concepts and the criminological elements of this case. The Logos is the first ‘day’ of Christmas, when ‘word’ is made ‘flesh’, when a star is born, where God enters into the world he has made in the form of a baby.”

“How this literally translates to this case,” adds van der Leek, “is through lawsuits. These lawsuits were essentially a bickering contest over semantics.”

From 2000 onwards the Christmas spirit is inverted. Instead of peace, joy and love for all mankind, words are made cash. Whenever the Ramseys won their suits, millions flowed back to them.”

Investigative journalist Nick van der Leek plumbs the Justin Ross Harris case to seek insight and potential allegory into how a reckless and distracted parent may attempt to conceal this fact.

“The Harris case induces a real star in the death of a child. The son is killed by the power of the sun acting in the closed cubicle of Harris’ vehicle. The test is whether this is intentional or not? Does Harris have a shiny record as a parent or a heart of darkness? Are Harris’ claims plastic or authentic?”

Through their sequin star narratives van der Leek as narrator and Wilson as researcher go far further into the human story and deeper into human psychology than the veneers of other narratives anchored to this particular crime.

The sequin star series is an attempt to understand through the Ramseys in Boulder what our society was and is becoming, and who we are becoming. Is there a cosmic significance to the extinguishing of a single tiny star in the curtain of night above a small hamlet? Can today’s society stand as JonBenét did, perched under a gigantic but artificial star on the edge of a Continental divide, and know what it is to fall from those dizzying, glittering heights into an abyss?


1-fullscreen-capture-20160927-050306-pmAvailable on Amazon

The third book in The Day After Christmas is twice the length of the previous two. This epilogue examining the aftermath of JonBenet Ramsey’s murder is chock-full of new revelations. A handful include:

Why are there no fingerprints on the Ransom Note? What hidden charge is buried in the Grand Jury’s True Bill? What is the significance of JonBenet’s My Twinn Doll? How does a knife connect the murder weapon to the murderer? What impact does Lockheed Martin – and money – have on any of this?

The Day After Christmas restricts the laser focus of true crime’s rising stars Nick van der Leek and Lisa Wilson to the year 1999. In their methodical approach to this case, the authors systematically close in on the money train and its itinerant mechanisms. As usual, psychological patterns are distilled from the ether. But beyond the insights and the evidence, what new and secret serum is buried in those glinting mechanical fangs, oiling the coils that have suffocated justice in this case? What machine drives the entire case?

The final narrative in this bestselling series probes the following areas for insights:

-The relevance of Mind Hunter and John Douglas to the JonBenet Ramsey case
-The Lindbergh kidnapping – dubbed “the biggest story since the resurrection” and “the Crime of the Century”
– The impact of Pete Hofstrom
– Behind the scenes revelations into the “Atlanta Fat Cats”
– The significance of the mysterious photo # 17.7
– The likelihood that John Ramsey did not break the basement window, and neither did an intruder
-The powerful symbolism behind money and the Myth of the MegaMachine


1-fullscreen-capture-20160927-050943-pmAvailable on Amazon

Most of the legal action surrounding the unsolved JonBenét Ramsey case has nothing to do with prosecuting the case. The premise of the second book in The Day After Christmas trilogy surgically removes the peripheral noise.

“What do we see? We see a case that involves a trifecta typical to the true crime genre. Sex, money and prestige underpin the triumvirate of power, and somehow this crime is a manifestation of all three. Thus far we have dabbled in the prestige but we’ve virtually not touched on sex and money. In this narrative we will deal with sex. What impact did sex have on the murder and cover-up of JonBenét?”



Available on Amazon

“…where does the urge to kill come from and how do we get it if we don’t have it?…”

The first narrative in The Day After Christmas Trilogy focuses on the events immediately following the discovery of JonBenét Ramsey’s small blonde six year old corpse.

In this narrative the bestselling authors of The Craven Silence Trilogy attempt to prove the seemingly impossible. Three prime errors in the JonBenét Ramsey canon are examined, interrogated and if these popular true crime maestros are to be believed, rectified. The implications of these amendments to the canon are profound, hence a second Trilogy.

“In our first book of The Day After Christmas series we will attempt to show why the murder weapon is significant, and why mistakes in this area have seriously undermined all investigations thus far into this case. The black baseball bat is not only not a baseball bat, what’s more, it belonged not to Burke Ramsey but to another member of the Ramsey household. The broken window was not broken months before the murder. In this narrative we attempt to show why that is, and why it wasn’t broken by John Ramsey. By the end of this narrative we address exactly where JonBenét was murdered.”


1-fullscreen-capture-20160903-033548-amAvailable on Amazon

Where civilization ends savagery begins…

In their third narrative investigating the unsolved murder of JonBenet Ramsey the two bestselling authors of The Craven Silence 2 have uncovered some startling new evidence.

Is another boy from the Boulder neighborhood involved in the Christmas 1996 incident besides Burke? Why was an aborted 911 call made from the Ramsey residence on December 23rd?

Was John Ramsey having an affair?

Van der Leek and Wilson unravel secret after secret to uncover what lies beneath The Craven Silence.


1-fullscreen-capture-20160903-033321-amAvailable on Amazon

Rumor has it Burke Ramsey killed his sister. Once again dark stormclouds have been milling in the media around the Ramsey family. If the rumors are true has the 20 year old mystery finally been solved?

Are we really any closer to understanding why the six year old beauty queen was murdered, precisely where in the Ramsey home and exactly how?

In this sequel to the bestselling THE CRAVEN SILENCE true crime maestros van der Leek and Wilson shine a light where none have dared before. The authors peel back layer upon layer of misdirection obscuring the raw eddies of child psychology. What do the foremost experts on human anthropology say about aggression in children?

This second narrative in a series of three exposes countless contradictions in the statements of those first suspected of the crime. Were those initial suspicions valid after all, and if so, what is left, where is left for this “unsolved” case to go?


best2Available on Amazon 

Nobody knows who killed JonBenét Ramsey.

Despite the efforts of Colorado’s legendary super sleuth Lou Smit, the JonBenét Ramsey case has – to the present date – defied demystification. Smit, who cracked over 200 cases and had a 90% success record, devoted the last years of his life to finding JonBenét’s killer. Smit died in 2010 having failed to solve this confounding case. 6 years later, despite massive media attention and widespread public scrutiny the most famous of cold cases remains unsolved.

Now two rising stars of the true crime genre have put their heads together for their toughest assignment yet.

“The caseload involved is colossal. It’s overwhelming. At times I’ve felt like I was drowning; literally dying while I was investigating this case. I haven’t felt anything as bad on any other case; that should indicate what we’re dealing with here.” – Nick van der Leek, Photojournalist

But The Craven Silence is more than just an investigation into the murder of a beautiful little girl, it’s an investigation into the very basements of the human condition. To genuinely probe the cold desecrations of our common humanity, the authors move through the veneers of winter and Christmas to deeper and darker places.

“I can understand how this case obsessed Smit but ultimately it defeated him and just about everyone else. We’re trying to avoid getting bogged down or lost inside this twenty year old story; we’re trying to find something no one else has and when we do, stay humble.” – Lisa Wilson, bestselling author and blogger

In The Craven Silence the authors have burrowed behind Boulder’s chummy bureaucracy in search of not one murderer, but several…

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