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5.0 out of 5 starsAmazingly Detailed Page Turner
Reviewed in the United States on July 5, 2017
The Zodiac case has always interested me. I had intentions of starting this book years ago. I am glad to finally cross it off my list. The book is crammed full of detailed information. Circumstantial or not, there are too many coincidences. This book plainly paints Arthur Leigh Allen as the Zodiac in convincing fashion. It is a shame the police departments failed to cooperate adequately and failed to bring the killer to justice. Do yourself a favor, and slip back in time nearly a half century ago and read this great book.
Reviewed in the United States on December 28, 2019
I’m positive I’ve read work about Zodiac that has been based on Graysmith’s research. That contribution will no doubt cement his immortality, at least as long as there will be fascination with serial killers (again, immortality). Graysmith’s completion with details is superb.
But as a writer, Graysmith is nearly indecipherable. Reading this book is like having a sick case file plopped in your lap with an occasional pulp-esque sentence Added in here in there on a sticky note. The book quickly proved that it was going to be a bear to finish, and that struggle alone made its revelations obscure and lacking impact. I think I’ll look for a book that uses this as source material but proves much more palatable to read.
Graysmith's updated version is pretty good. If you read the various online Zodiac forums everyone has their favorite "flavor of the month" suspect. Ross Sullivan is hot right now. Forced to choose...with a gun to my head...I think ALA is the best of the lot. Not because I just finished the book, but most all Zodiac roads run past him. I understand...we have no DNA match , no handwriting determinations, no good prints and still no other absolutes that would totally put the stopper in the bottle for ALA. For that matter we have no conclusive evidence that fingers anyone.
This case happened in a crazy era for this country in a crazy area in the US. So many leads. So many strange things like the Chronicle classified...Zodiac your partner is in deep real estate...and the fatal auto accident the next day. Zodiac team? Who knows. Most everyone involved in the case is long dead.
was a bit unsure about getting this book, since ALA is Graysmith's pet suspect in the Zodiac case. However, there are tidbits about ALA I didn't know, and we also get to read what law enforcement thought of ALA as a suspect. Lots of the book quotes investigators and experts, which lends substance to Graysmith's ALA case, but regardless of the circumstantial evidence, I'm still not fully convinced it was ALA, mainly b/c it makes him the dumbest criminal ever, to announce everything to Don Cheney before he committed the crimes. Cheney had an axe to grind against ALA, as did Ralph Spinelli (facing federal prison time) so I have to keep that in mind while reading. That said, there are some cool tidbits in the book. Recommended if you're following the Zodiac case.
What a mess. This book could have been cut in half and still contain all the information Graysmith had to offer. It didn’t take me long to realize this book wasn’t written to inform, but rather to indoctrinate. And even though the author used the guise of a timeline, it was a thin device utilized as a means to repeat the same information randomly over and over again throughout the book. As I was reading, I kept saying to myself, “Yes, you said that two or more times before”, and “What again? How many times are you going to keep pointing this out?” It was like being hit with a fact and speculation hammer over and over again.
I can understand Graysmith padding this book to make it appear more substantial than it is. After all, he spent a good portion of his life researching this case and probably wanted to milk every penny he could squeeze out of it. But his use of persistent redundancy and repetitiveness as a means of persuasion wore thin very fast. Finishing this book became more of a challenge than a pleasure, and I came to regret ever starting it.
4.0 out of 5 starsVery authoritative, some polishing and copy editing needed
Reviewed in the United States on March 10, 2020
This book is the author's second on the subject. His first was bought in quantity by police forces working Zodiac cases. This volume is even more authoritative and complete.
It really needs some better copy editing and a bit of fact checking. Sometimes a year is given that clearly is not possible, and in some of those instances the reader can figure it out. There are other times when the chronology seems confused or impossible no matter how the reader might guess it.
The book's structure is completely chronological. Each chapter heading is a date. The chapter itself is usually short and goes into what events fell on that date. The event could be either what crime happened or what message was received from "the Zodiac" by the police and newspapers, but much more often is what the investigators learned on that date. There were many jurisdictions these murders occurred in, and even more detectives involved. So, there was plenty for the book to keep track of, and this direct, chronological approach is probably the most useful for the interested reader to follow.
These murders took place in the late 1960s and were so famous at the time and since then, that almost every American above a certain age has not only heard of them but could tell you a little bit about them. Including that they are unsolved. What probably most people do not know is that there were more murders, both before and after the famous ones, that investigators believe were committed by the same person.
The actual writing is more paraphrasing than prose. It seems that it all comes from newspaper articles and such. It takes a while to get used the the style. I'm wondering as I read it if the author even has any interest in the truth, or just wants to push a story through.
Reviewed in the United States on September 6, 2017
I wasn't that knowledgeable about the Zodiac killings when I started reading this book. I had heard of them, but didn't know the details. I believe that the author assumed the reader knew about the people involved, because I wasn't sure who some of the people were. Once I figured it out, it was very informative. But, I wish that I had more background information before I started.
3.0 out of 5 starsignoring evidence that contradicts his favoured suspect and making pretty tenuous interpretations of other evidence that
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 28, 2018
A follow-up to Graysmith's original book Zodiac which was the primary source for the 2007 movie. Graysmith is biased in a self-serving way, ignoring evidence that contradicts his favoured suspect and making pretty tenuous interpretations of other evidence that, after the leap of faith, appear to support his conclusions. A good author, I'm not too sure about his detective skills. But then he was a cartoonist, not a crime specialist.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 17, 2020
If you strongly don't like Arthur Leigh Allen as a suspect then you won't like this book. While Zodiac Unmasked is not as thrilling as Graysmith's first novel, I really enjoyed the level of detail, especially during interviews of Allen by Police. How much of the information is factual and how much is embellished, you'll have to research esearch yourself. If new to the case definitely grab the first book or audio book before this.
1.0 out of 5 starsDetailed record more that a structured story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 27, 2020
Thought it would be interesting...but felt like the incredibly detailed ramblings (tho’ not necessarily incorrect nor irrelevant) of an obsessive. Sure it will work for some people, but no me, not this time.
3.0 out of 5 starsFascinating story, but book dragged on at times
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 24, 2012
After watching a film about The Zodiac, I thought that I would purchase this book. It is a fascinating story and does seem to solve the mystery of who the Zodiac actually was. However, I did find the book dragged on at times, almost to the point where I gave up on it. I did stick with it though and found the evidence and the fact that a lot points to the main suspect very interesting.