Eight known victims and one set of skeletal remains. Will Larry Lee Smith get away with murder? Similar Transactions is a gripping memoir about the author's determination, over a seven-year period, to solve a murder and to bring the perpetrator to justice.
Former social worker S. R. Reynolds has never forgotten the mishandled case of 15-year-old Michelle Anderson, a vibrant beauty who went missing from Reynolds' Knoxville, Tennessee, neighborhood years earlier. Aided by her old professor, famed forensic anthropologist Dr. Bill Bass - founder of the University of Tennessee's Body Farm - Reynolds picks up the trail of this cold case. As she presses neglected pieces of the puzzle into place, Reynolds unearths a string of heinous kidnappings and rapes across the South, crimes that span decades. She talks to the victims. A picture begins to form. Patterns appear. And all evidence points to one man: convicted sex offender Larry Lee Smith. As a result of Reynolds' efforts, the Knoxville Police Department reopens the cold case of Michelle's disappearance, but Larry Lee is about to be released from a Georgia prison, where he served time for a related crime - a "similar transaction." What transpires in this story is amazing.
©2015 S. R. Reynolds (P)2016 S. R. Reynolds
A not particularly bright and less than methodical predator--despite a few prison terms-- manages to victimize multiple young women over several decades. "Similar Transactions" combines the story of the serial rapist's "career," with that of a devastated family struggling, first, to find out what happened to their missing daughter, and then, when their worst fears are realized, to find justice. The narrator, Linda Kimbrough, is perfect--mixing the appropriate reportorial style with just the right amount of characterization in the participants' dialogue.
A sad story of a sadistic narcissistic sexual predator and his trail of human wreckage. The authors tenacity and compassion is commendable. The narrator excellent.
You have to love a good true crime book to make it through this one. It's very good and thoroughly researched and it's a very long story. There's not much way to shorten this saga to justice. I believe there are some parts that could have been edited down (court hearings, etc). I appreciate that the author isn't a seasoned true crime writer just churning out another book for the masses. I try to avoid those and this book certainly isn't one of them.
This is a mesmerizing story of the destruction caused by Larry Lee Smith – a serial rapist and suspected murderer, and the long, painful process of securing him where he belongs. The author has done an amazing job of describing the lives affected by Smith: some wounded, some shattered, some strengthened... And one perhaps ended. Reynolds keeps the pace surprisingly fast and fluid as she recounts events spanning more than 30 years.
Kimbrough's narration is lively and holds the interest. Some of her "in-character" voices tend to come off rather nasally, but overall a very solid delivery. I would definitely listen to her again.
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