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I’ll Take Care of You, by Caitlin Rother

Book Review by Dennis Moore


March 29, 2014 (San Diego)--I always look forward to the next Caitlin Rother novel, as she seems to never disappoint. Rother’s I’ll Take Care of You may very well be her best and most incisive to date. This New York Times bestselling author has followed up on her riveting and controversial true crime novel, at least locally; Lost Girls, with another true crime novel that will not let you put the book down; I’ll Take Care of You. I found myself being more engrossed in being an avid reader, than actually a book reviewer.

Set in the affluent and upscale Newport Beach, California area, this story centers around Nanette Johnston Packard, a sexy divorcee, who liked to meet men at the gym and through personal ads, and her boyfriend, Eric Naposki, her NFL linebacker lover, who seemed to have fulfilled Packard’s wilder cravings. In the midst of this was millionaire Bill McLaughlin, who Packard began dating, and moved her kids into his bay-front home in Newport Beach. But one man was never enough for Nanette.

The brazen and audacious nature of Nanette Johnston Packard is most exemplified in a newspaper ad she had taken out stating: “WEALTHY MEN ONLY – SWF, 25, 5’5”, 100#, classy, well-educated, adventurous, fun and knows how to take care of her man. Looking for an older man, 30+, who knows how to treat a woman. You take care of me and I’ll take care of you.” Nanette actually met millionaire Bill McLaughlin through this “Wealthy Men Only” singles ad in early 1991. On December 15, 1994, Bill McLaughlin was murdered in his home by gunshot, with his son Kevin upstairs in his bedroom, himself earlier suffering a severe brain trauma, which had put him into a coma for four months during which he was dependent on a ventilator. The logical suspects in this dastardly deed were Nanette Johnston Packard and her boyfriend Eric Naposki, but it wasn’t until 2012, that authorities had the goods on Nanette and Naposki to convict them and send them to prison, with Naposki alleging to this very day that it was another shooter.

Newport Beach is the perfect setting for this true crime drama, as the author describes it: “Newport’s natural beauty, juxtaposed with the ostentatious materialism of some of its residents, made this area the perfect setting for the television show The O.C., as well as frequent episodes of the hit reality show The Real Housewives of Orange County. In addition to the nouveau riche women who keep their hair perfectly coiffed, their nails manicured, and their clothing just so, Newport Beach has drawn celebrity athletes such as basketball’s bad boy Dennis Rodman and superstar Kobe Bryant. Eccentric actor Nicolas Cage made news here when he expanded his boat dock to 156 feet to accommodate his personal flotilla and later sold his home for a record $35 million.”

Packard and Naposki hatched a scheme to abscond with the millionaire McLaughlin’s millions, but to do this they had to kill him. Along the way there were many other men ensnared in Packard’s nefarious schemes. All of this brilliantly profiled in Rother’s scintillating true crime drama. Also along the way the author takes you inside the minds of the jury determining Naposki’s and Packard’s fate, the Newport Beach prosecution team, as well as the surviving family members of the deceased.

In January 2013, while Nanette and Naposki were languishing in prison, “Investigation Discovery” host Aphrodite Jones aired a show on the case in which she received a jailhouse letter from Nanette and also spoke on the phone with her. After all these years of silence and claims that she didn’t think Eric Naposki had anything to do with the murder, Nanette finally had decided to change her story too, albeit too late to make a difference, according to the brilliant telling of this story by Rother. Rother sums this story up by stating: “It just wasn’t Nanette’s style to let an ex-boyfriend get away with blaming her or having the last word. That’s how she took care of her men.”

The author will be a part of a new Authors and Readers Roundtable (AART) formed by local San Diego authors at Coco’s in La Mesa, California, April 22, 2014, where I am sure her book will be the subject of conversation. This is a book that I highly recommend for so many reasons.

Dennis Moore is a writer and book reviewer for the East County Magazine in San Diego and the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine. He is also the author of a book about Chicago politics; “The City That Works: Power, Politics and Corruption in Chicago.” Mr. Moore can be contacted at contractsagency@gmail.com or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.

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I love a review that makes a

I love a review that makes a book sound so good, it's a must read. I have been searching for a good true crime to read during this pandemic. Thanks for the recommendation.

"I'll Take Care of You"

Actually, it is my understanding that the author of this comment has written a book also, that I look forward to reading

Excellent review!!

Wow! This is a really nice review Dennis. This will be a great book to read. I can't wait for you to write reviews about my upcoming story series; Janju: The voice of one girl and Janju: A village girl in a city world, which will be launched at the end of the April 2014. The website for my new books is www.janju.com and I look forward to working with you on a review. I will definitely check out this book out! Great work Caitlin!


Thank you Priscilla, having viewed your website and getting some background information on your book; "Janju," I am looking forward to writing a review. It seems to be an interesting story.

I'll Take Care of You

Thanks for the thoughtful review, Dennis, and for the nice comments, everyone! I'm glad to hear that you're interested in reading the book! I'd love to hear what you think when you're done if you want to find me on Facebook or email me at crother@flash.net. I also have a couple more events to announce. If you're interested in hearing me talk about the book -- and get a signed copy, I'm speaking at the Encinitas library Wednesday, April 2, at 6 pm. I'm also leading a lecture and discussion, "Violence on the Page: How Much is Too Much?" at the Central Library in downtown San Diego on Monday, April 21 at 6:30 pm. Please RSVP to me at caitlinrother@gmail.com if you'd like to reserve a seat for the April 21 event. For more info on my other books and upcoming events, you can visit http://caitlinrother.com.

Rother's story appeared on MSNBC "Dateline" last night.

While watching MSNBC "Dateline" last night was surprised to see Caitlin Rother's story, which is what subject book review is all about. Evidently it caught the attention of MSNBC "Dateline", hosted by Craig Melvin.


Dennis has sold me on this book. His reviews always make a book sound appealing, but this one in particular has me so intrigued that I plan on buying the book. The book sounds great. Wonderful review.

"Choices" by Carole McKee

Thank you Carole, but my earlier review of your book "Choices" is just as compelling, but for different reasons.

Brilliant Review

Once again, Dennis Moore's review just sold me. I'm sucked in and won't get released until I pick up "I'll Take Care of You" and find out why Nanette double-crossed Eric. Thank you again, Dennis for filling my spare time with yet another of your recommendations and thank you Caitlin. I just released my own work of passion, "How to Be Funny: The Essential Comedy Handbook". It can give anyone the tools to make people laugh and enrich their lives. Too bad Nanette didn't have a copy.

Great Review!

You have certainly peaked my interest and I will have to purchase this book. I not only love true crime, I wrote one. Murder Is A Family Affair is about my father's side of the family - which produced some very evil men. I have been blessed with 35 5-star reviews, but I am not a NYT Best Seller, like Caitlin is! She is an excellent writer,and I am glad to hear about another great book. Thanks, Dennis, for the info.