Friday, July 10, 2009

Book Review: A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger

"In the spring of 1963, the quiet suburb of Belmont, Massachusetts, is rocked by a socking murder that fits the pattern of the infamous Boston Strangler, still at large. Hoping for a break in the case, the police arrest Roy Smith, a black ex-con whom the victim hired to clean her house. Smith is hastily convicted of the murder, but the Strangler's terror continues. And though it all, one man escapes the scrutiny of the police: a carpenter working at the time at the Belmont home of young Sebastian Junger and his parents - a man named Albert DeSalvo, who would eventually confess to the Strangler's horrific crimes. (back cover)
A well told story. Junger does a great job of laying out the facts of not only the Spring 1963 murder of Bessie Goldberg but also the Boston Strangler case. No assumptions are made and when all is said and done, we, as readers, are left with the same questions we started with - Did Roy Smith kill Bessie Goldberg? Was Albert DeSalvo the Boston Strangler? And lastly, on a more personal note for the author - What if Junger's mother hadn't left their Belmont home that Spring day in 1963?
Recommended for True Crime non-fiction fans - 3 1/2 stars

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