Two years later, Albert DeSalvo, a handyman who had been working at the Jungers' home on the day of the Belmont murder, who had often spent time there alone with Sebastian and his mother, confessed in lurid detail to being the Boston Strangler.
By turns exciting and subtle, A Death in Belmont chronicles three lives that collide, and are ultimately destroyed, in the vortex of one of the most controversial serial murder cases in America. The power of the story and the brilliance of Junger's reporting place this book on the short shelf of classics beside In Cold Blood and Helter Skelter.
Listen to Sebastian Junger discuss his book on This Is Audible.
©2006 Sebastian Junger; (P)2006 HarperCollinsPublishers
"He's a hell of a storyteller, and here he intertwines underlying moral quandaries....This perplexing story gains an extra degree of creepiness from Junger's personal connection to it." (Publishers Weekly)
Sometimes an event is a lens into an entire culture. Sebastien Junger's account of a serial killer in Boston, follows the threads into the Deep South, the New England immigrant communities, and the workings of pre-CSI police forces. Junger has a personal connection to the event, since the killer worked briefly for the family. It's an engaging book that doesn't try to solve what is still a partially unsolved case.
Like Junger's previous book The Perfect Storm, A Death In Belmont follows the case from the first murder through the ninth, and on into several trials. One trial bizarrely ends in the midst of national shock at Kennedy's assassination; felt even more in Boston where Kennedy had been a senator.
I went into this book cold, no idea who the Boston Strangler was or of any of the murders. The book contains a good deal of background information but for the most part it is interesting and presented well. The story is extraordinary enough to sell itself, but Junger does a good job of laying it out and keeping your attention. A good audiobook lets you escape for a while and this is definitely one of those. Excellent narration work by actor Kevin Conway, too.
This was an excellnt book that broke all the rules that say you must start from your conclusion and then write a book to support that idea. This book takes you on a jorney adn a thought process that is well worht the trip.
This piece of writing immediately grabs the reader and doesn't let go until the end. Though provoking and well researched.
Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was very interesting and well planned. I liked how it jumped back and forth between the story of the Bessie Goldberg murder and the other murders. It really set out a picture of our justice system in that time. The narrator was great.
I am a novelist but will soon attempt a foray into true-crime writing. I rarely listen to books more than once. This one would be an exception because it's so loaded with details and other paths to follow.
There's nothing more compelling than the truth. This story is true and scary. I was very impressed with the amount of research and personal exploration the author undertook.
I enjoyed the interview of Sebastian Junger and his description of the depth and breadth of research into the book.
I was moved by the link to the civil rights and criminal justice issues to the murder of Bessie Goldberg. The descriptions of the Southern home town of Roy Smith gave a good backdrop for his personal history and a glimpse into the post WWII Jim Crow South.
The book started out OK. It was interesting to see if the Boston Strangler was responsible for this murder and not Roy Smith. But it didn't take too long to see the liberal bias this author has against the courts, police and corrections. The usual senario, Smith was abused as a child, uneducated, dicsriminated against, took drugs, got arrested every other week, went to prison, got a college degree, became respectable, etc. Add all that to the fact that he claimed he didn't do it, and somehow he automatically becomes the victim of society. Could have been a good book.
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