I was on Amazon recently, looking at the launch page for my latest co-written project with Joe Loughlin, Shots Fired: The Misunderstandings, Misconceptions, and Myths about police shootings. While I was there, I decided to take a look at our last co-written project, Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine. When a book is coming out, life is full of events, emails, and efforts to schedule readings, guest blogs, and interviews. It was interesting to go back and look at reader’s reviews of the book, and perhaps most surprising was finding all of the great media reviews. Probably I have some of these tucked away in a drawer somewhere, but they felt all fresh and new.
(Author’s note: most of the time I avoid reviews because I am so sensitive that a single negative word can send me cowering into the corner for hours.)
Anyway, here’s what reviewers had to say about the book:
“This one is a triumph and a joy — no showy-made for TV-ness — just the reality of the way crimes and those who do them should be taken to account. This one is the real thing.”–Courier Gazette, Rockland, Maine
“The tale is brimming with insights about police procedure, jurisdictional disputes, and politics. Over and over again, real life trumps fiction. For instance, after a five-hour standoff, the suspect surrenders one of his guns for a soda, the other for a cigarette. Put that in a novel and no one would believe it . . . The reader is never allowed to lose sight of the humanity of the victim, a young girl who accepted a ride from the wrong guy, then had the temerity to say no and mean it.”–Boston Globe
“Few true crime books get behind the scenes and explain how homicide detectives do their jobs the way Finding Amy does.”–Bangor Daily News
“This is one of the best true crime stories to be published in recent years…This book should reaffirm the public’s faith in the police, prosecutors, and Maine’s judicial system.”–Brunswick Times Record
“Loughlin’s recorded entries about the case — his thoughts, emotions and reactions to the investigation — amplify Flora’s straightforward but potent narrative as detectives search for the grave, find it (about halfway through the book) and build a case against a leading suspect. This is a feast for proceduralists, giving countless small details of the work-a-day slogging involved, an effort that leads the department to make good on the mystery, catching Amy’s murderer, and making the case stick.”–Publishers Weekly
“Readers of true crime will find this chronological tale of the search for Amy and her killer especially compelling because of the personal account of Loughlin, who was lieutenant of the Criminal Investigation Department when Amy disappeared. Loughlin’s journal, woven into Flora’s painstaking recreation of the work of the detectives, highlights the intense discussions that took place among the key players and gives readers a look at the slow, steady progress of real detectives on a real case. There are no ‘CSI solutions’ that wrap up the case in a conveniently short time. There are no magic findings of DNA. What takes place in this true story is the passionate belief that they will find Amy, bring her killer to justice, and give closure to her family and to the people of Maine.” –Foreword
Thank you, reviewers! Even a decade later, these lift my heart.