• A Beautiful Child

  • A True Story of Hope, Horror, and an Enduring Human Spirit
  • By: Matt Birkbeck
  • Narrated by: Skye Borgman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sharon Marshall was a brilliant and beautiful student whose future was filled with promise—until her murderous, fugitive father drew her into a lifetime of deception that became one of the most baffling cases in the annals of American true crime.

A student at Forest Park High School near Atlanta, Georgia, popular blonde-haired Sharon Marshall was at the top of her class. Serving as a Lt. Colonel in the ROTC, she earned a full scholarship to Georgia Tech University to study aerospace engineering. She was the ultimate girl next door, sweet, generous, and well-adjusted. But Sharon had disturbing secrets so shocking and unique, they took more than a decade to unravel....

This is the horrifying true story of a mysterious young woman caught in the violent web of the murderous fugitive she called her father—and a heartrending testament to the profound courage and perseverance of one woman trapped in the grip of extreme evil.

©2005 Matt Birkbeck (P)2022 Penguin Audio

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What listeners say about A Beautiful Child

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Danielle Kirsty Suggested this Book

I have to say that Danielle Kirsty told this story better than the book. The book jumps around a LOT and skips over some really important details of Suzanne's story. (She is known best as Sharon Marshall, but her REAL name is Suzanne) The book goes into detail on the background of the investigators but not so much information on her friends or the fathers of her 3 children. Since Suzanne is not able to tell this story herself, so many details are just missing in general which is why they spend a lot of time fluffing up the book with information that isn't important. (Talking about the man who found the pictures under the truck and his background, ETC) Honestly, if you are interested in this story and want the maximum details available presented to you in a clear and concise way, you should watch Danielle Kirtsy's video on YouTube instead.

4 people found this helpful

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Amazing!!!

I watched the documentary on Netflix and then decided to look into the book- so worth it!!! It gives so much more detail and understanding to the complex story. An awesome read.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent book

This story is both heartbreaking and interesting. It’s a very consuming story, fast read/listen. It’s a scary thought to just how long someone was able to destroy a young girl’s life and essentially get away with it.

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Such a Sad Story

This poor, sad life. So glad her story lives on. Her life matters to us.

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Fascinatingly horrible story, unimaginable how sick some humans are.

As terrible a story as this was, it was certainly astonishing to hear all the outlandish things this man did to this lil girl, who then became a woman. And so sad she never had the guts to speak out to someone early on to save herself from this life.
I thought it was well written and well narrated. Enjoyed the listen, as weird as that is. I love true crime.

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A twisted, convoluted and tragic true story

After watching Danielle Kirsty cover this case on YouTube, I went down the rabbit hole in search of information. Since she cited this book as a reference source, you can imagine my eagerness to obtain the audio version the very same day it dropped. Unfortunately, the excitement ended there.

In its simplest terms, this case is twisted, convoluted and confusing. However, that is no fault of the author. The writing of this book, originally published in 2004 cannot possibly cover the case to a satisfactory end, due to facts still being unknown at the time of the writing. If you know nothing of the case, this could be a solid starting ground, but be warned, there is a lot of unnecessary detail and information related to bit players in the story. Fortunately, the author followed up with a sequel titled “Finding Sharon” which is supposed to provide closure to the case as it continued to develop over the next ten years. I’m off to read it right now.

Ultimately, this book did serve a valuable purpose. It brought Suzanne’s story to the attention of the world, helped the CIA solve the case and honored the life she may have lived, were it not been robbed from her.

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  • Cheese fest
  • 07-07-22

Well written, but narrators voice grated a bit

couldn't finish it because the fullness of the narrator's voice for to me. Overall good.