• At Any Cost

  • A Father's Betrayal, a Wife's Murder, and a Ten-Year War for Justice
  • By: Rebecca Rosenberg, Selim Algar
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (178 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At Any Cost unravels the twisted story of Rod Covlin, whose unrepentant greed drove him to an unspeakable act of murder and betrayal that rocked New York City.

Wealthy, beautiful, and brilliant, Shele Danishefsky had fulfillment at her fingertips. Having conquered Wall Street, she was eager to build a family with her much younger husband, promising Ivy League graduate Rod Covlin. But when his hidden vices surfaced, marital harmony gave way to a merciless divorce. Rod had long depended on Shele's income to fund his tastes for high stakes backgammon and infidelity - and she finally vowed to sever him from her will. In late December 2009, Shele made an appointment with her lawyer to block him from her millions. She would never make it to that meeting. 

Two days later, on New Year’s Eve, Shele was found dead in the bathtub of her Upper West Side apartment. Police ruled it an accident, and Shele’s deeply Orthodox Jewish family quickly buried her without an autopsy on religious grounds. Rod had a clear path to his ex-wife's fortune, but suspicions about her death lingered. As the two families warred over custody of Shele’s children - and their inheritance - Rod concocted a series of increasingly demented schemes, even plotting to kill his own parents, to secure the treasure. And as investigators closed in, Rod committed a final, desperate act to frame his own daughter for her mother’s death. 

Journalists Rebecca Rosenberg and Selim Algar reconstruct the 10 years that passed between the day Shele was found dead and the day her killer faced justice in this riveting account of how one man’s irrepressible greed devolved into obsession, manipulation, and murder. 

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press

©2021 Rebecca Rosenberg and Selim Algar (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about At Any Cost

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Tightly-written true crime; excellent narration.

This true-crime story is a sad one, as it describes the murder of a devoted mother of two young children. The story itself, however, is told well: the author sticks to a logical, linear storyline, easy to follow. The story is comprehensive. The characters are well fleshed-out.

Too many true-crime stories leave me a bit frustrated, wondering about choices made and not made -- for example, in this story, I might well have wondered why the victim's sister didn't press for an autopsy. (That is explained to my satisfaction.) But this author ties up all of those loose ends -- including plausibly accounting for very odd behavior on the part of the murderer's girlfriend -- a woman who tolerates and almost-but-not-quite abets some truly bizarre and pathological plans/behavior on his part. I was not left thinking, as is too often the case for true-crime books: "Wait! That one part just doesn't make sense. Why did that person not do (or do) such-and-such?" Or "Wait! Surely a normal person would have reacted in THIS way, not the way he or she reacted...?"

There is just enough repetition to remind the reader/listener of who the characters are. And if you are like me, you will sympathize with the victim and her grieving family, and even (to an extent) with the murderer's dysfunctional and obnoxious family. You will shake your head at the vile, narcissistic, and often obtuse husband. The police and medical examiner's office are a mixed bag, and their mixed efforts are described in a straightforward manner. Same goes for the attorneys involved.

This is a sad and compelling story, told well. Too bad it needs to be told at all.

6 people found this helpful

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Entertaining but maddening...

The creep Rod, is just too evil to even comprehend. The guy is a sociopath that got away with being one for too long. It’s hard to listen to at times. Too much about this idiot Rod, and his evil ways. I know it ends well but still, hard to hear about his kids having to live with him and his parents. Hard to listen to how naive people were during this crazy story.

6 people found this helpful

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Missing parts

Was really enjoying this book until almost all of chapter 5 is missing there’s no audio for a good portion of it.

5 people found this helpful

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thrilling!

A mental page turner right from the beginning, excellent narration, and thorough storytelling. Great listen!

4 people found this helpful

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Recent True Crime

Interesting story that didn't happen in the 80s or 90s. Well written. Narrator okay, but not Kevin Pierce. I am always amazed by the depths of manipulation by some humans.

4 people found this helpful

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True Crime At It's Best

This book was not only a well written crime story, but a heartbreaking account of the effect of the victims' life and death on so many. Narration was excellent.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CT
  • 01-16-22

Paid for books I have enjoyed way less than this

I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and how writer delivered. Reader does a quality job as well.

1 person found this helpful

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Well-Written, Direct Telling of a Diabolical Crime.

Compelling. The authors honor the victim and reveal the damage resulting from needless, violence and prolonged family conflict.

1 person found this helpful

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Compelling story, uneven narration

The story is compelling and tragic, often very difficult to listen to just because the details are so horrible and sad. I agree with others who found the narrator’s shifting tone, often mid-sentence, distracting. It’s as though she often couldn’t make up her mind whether she should use a character voice or a narrator voice, and so just randomly switches between the two.

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Well Done!

So full of details and we’ll thought out. I highly recommend. Sad as heck though.