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The Skeleton Crew

How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America's Coldest Cases
Narrated by: Laural Merlington
Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
4 out of 5 stars (78 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Skeleton Crew provides an entree into the gritty and tumultuous world of Sherlock Holmes-wannabes who race to beat out law enforcement - and one another - at matching missing persons with unidentified remains. In America today, upwards of 40 thousand people are dead and unaccounted for. These murder, suicide, and accident victims, separated from their names, are being adopted by the bizarre online world of amateur sleuths. The web sleuths pore over facial reconstructions and other online clues as they vie to solve cold cases and tally up personal scorecards of dead bodies. The Skeleton Crew delves into the macabre underside of the Internet, the fleeting nature of identity, and how even the most ordinary citizen with a laptop and a knack for puzzles can reinvent herself as a web sleuth.

©2014 Deborah Halber (P)2014 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A lively study that's part whodunit, part sociological study.... The result is eminently entertaining and will be devoured by armchair detectives." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

I Don't Understand

I'll admit that I had a hard time paying attention to this book. It skipped around between cases in a way that was difficult to follow over audio. I was also sort of put off by the way the author described her horror every time she was faced with a corpse. I personally have never been face to face with a severely damaged corpse, or a suicide or murder victim. I do understand a reasonable amount of apprehension when facing the body of a person who has died suddenly or violently, but they're not going to hurt the observer at all, and I don't understand the fear. Although she has the right to express her feelings and describe her discomfortI feel like that fear created a sort of undue campy spookiness where it wasn't needed.

4 people found this helpful

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Good ideas that don't quite flow

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was not very fluid and jumped around without warning. As someone from Boston, I also couldn't help but winced when the narrator said Whitey Bulger's last name incorrectly. If you like true crime it's good but you must pay close attention or risk confusion!

3 people found this helpful

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Murder has never been so dry

Narrator speaks very slowly, story drags in several places. Interesting overall! Listen at 1.5x speed

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Story was all over the place at the start

It is worth the read once you get past the start. It is all over the place and then finds its pacing.

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Amazingly written true tale!

If you could sum up The Skeleton Crew in three words, what would they be?

I loved this book! It was incredibly researched and well-written and it was all true! It makes you think why we ever listened to fiction because something like this exists where you are learning and enthralled. Great listen!

Any additional comments?

I loved this book! It was incredibly researched and well-written and it was all true! It makes you think why we ever listened to fiction because something like this exists where you are learning and enthralled. Great listen!