Caroline Harper still thinks of him every day.
For more than 50 years, not a day goes by when Caroline doesn't think of her brother, Andy. The last time she saw Andy was when he left home to spend 30 days at Florida's largest reform school. Caroline's family was told that Andy ran away in the middle of the night.
Fifty years later, Sean O'Brien receives a letter from a dead man. A year earlier the man had hired Sean O'Brien and chartered his boat for a fishing trip. Now the man is reaching from the grave to hire him again. But this time it's to find a killer.
Jackson County - the location of the old reform school - still carries smoldering baggage from the Civil War, and after a half century there are those who don't want to have a forensics investigation on the property, because to do so will reveal one of the nation's darkest secrets.
©2015 Tom Lowe (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
Absolutely Exquisitely Written Mystery that I believe was tailored from the DOZIER REFORM SCHOOL in Florida where this also takes place.
I listened to this book enraptured by this story of a missing boy (Andy Cope) that disappeared 50 years ago from juvenile detention facility. The people involved in this child's disappearance are now men in their early 60s and up.
Sean O'Brien is hired by a man who was detained with Andy. He hires Sean through a letter and then proceeds to commit suicide. His suicide relates directly to the reform school and his is not the only one over the years.
The townspeople living where this facility was located would like to forget it. The guards would like for Sean O'Brien to forget it. The children who had been sent to this reform school were never the same. They suffered the worst kind of abuse grown men can perpetrate on children. Some of the children never left the "school" and it's up to Sean to find their graves but... the guard who was in charge is still alive and he wants Sean dead.
This book is so well written I hung on every word. I have listened to and enjoyed all of Tom Lowe's historical based mystery books. The narrator is Michael David Axtell. His performance is excellent and for me he is the voice of Sean O'Brien.
All of the books in this series are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
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This is a story that you must be "ready" to hear. It's about the brutality dished out to children (young teens) by the same people who "society" expects to protect children. It's about what really went on in the juvenile facility where teens are sent for minor infractions. It's been 50 years and, finally, a dying man wants answers.
Many boys went into the facility but never came out. The authorities at the facility reported them as "runaways." But did they really run away or did something more sinister happen to them.
Everything hits the fan when the long abandoned facility was offered for sale to the highest bidder and at the same time an old man dying of cancer does what should have been done years ago. He hires Sean O'Brien to investigate what happened to Andy Cope.
Many of the children who had returned home from the facility, were not the same. They suffered from PTSD among other disorders as a result of the abuse and brutality they suffered (repeatedly beaten and repeatedly raped was implied). A couple of the guards who were in charge at the time are still alive. It's up to Sean O'Brien to figure out what happened to the missing boys, but particularly what happened to Andy Cope. The relatives of Andy, and the other boys, believe they were murdered and buried on the grounds of the facility.
There were unexpected twists in the story but, for me, the "who did it" was evident early on. Nevertheless, the story was worth listening. It was entertaining to see how the investigation would be conducted and the ultimate surprise of who were working against the investigation from the inside. Narrator, Michael David Axtell, performed the story very well.
Sycamore Row - a novel by John Grisham. Both books are about the "righting of wrongs" in the near distant memory and of greedy, self absorbed, or evil people trying to stop the secrets from being exposed.
I discovered this book by looking at the recommendation of a "Top Reviewer" who seems to have read and liked many of the books I like. So looking for something new and different, I settled on this book. Thanks SHELLEY in Raleigh, NC.... it was everything you said.In the sticks of South Florida, the "Dozier School for boys" was a 100 year old "reform school" when it was shut down in 2011 amid allegations of abuse and neglect. But, years after it was closed by the State, the facility remains abandon and unused, but primed for sale to the highest bidder. Coincidentally, an old man that spent time there in the early 1960's, decides to hire a former Miami homicide investigator to uncover the truth. The old man, dying of cancer, sends the former cop money and information, then kills himself before enduring the agony of cancer.
As all good mysterys require, there is a confluence of events, some call them coincident. Here I say confluence because the way things flow, it is plausible and logical that our Miami cop, Sean O'Brien would meet our other protagonist, Jessie Taylor. Taylor is a troubled man in his 60's that at age 13 was sent to the school where he was brutalized and one assumes raped repeatedly (although that is never said directly but implied multiple times). During his stay, he sees and hears things that he has never disclosed and has haunted him and ruined him. Having read of the suicide of his friend and former Dozier schoolmate (the same one that hired O'Brien), Jessie Taylor decides he has watched long enough and decides he is going to make someone pay for what he is sure is the murder of another boy, Andy Cope.Taylor and Sean O'Brien arrive in town at the same time and eventually "team up" to try and force light into the very dark 100-year-old history of the school and get justice for a little boy killed there 50 years ago.Twists and turns on every page, this is still an easy to follow story that just forces you to listen to the next chapter, and the next, and the next. There just never seems to be a "good place to quit for the night". Very possibly based on real events at a real school in South Florida, this is a great, if dark, story. Every bit as good as Sycamore Row.
I've read all of Tom Lowe's novels and enjoyed each one. The Sean O'Brian protagonist in all but one of them reminds me of Jack Reacher, Lee Childs' hero figure. Can't wait for Lowe's next one!
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