Saturday, June 23, 2012

Book Review: EDGE Publications

"This book is not only jam packed with information and facts about the case it is a fascinating read for those unfamiliar with the case."

— Lukas Akerley, EDGE Publications
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  1. "The book is well researched using a variety of sources such as newspaper articles, police and investigator reports, public records including the trial proceedings, and even online blogs."

    This reviewer seems unaware that the book contains quite a bit of original material from sources cultivated by the authors, with many new interviews and statements from the principals that have never been seen anywhere else. I think his mistake is mainly due to the over-reliance on footnotes, which is my one real criticism regarding how the book was put together. A case in point is Joe's "confession" letter on pages 100-101. That little bombshell, the only time he's ever talked publicly about planning the murder -- and wherein he self-servingly shifts the blame for its inception onto Harlow, Sean and Grant, just as I predicted he would -- is given no context or explanation of where and when he said it. It stopped me cold when I first read it --- where the hell did THIS come from? -- and I was already aware that Andrew had received letters from Joe because he'd told us on this blog. So I imagine it's much more confusing for the general reader. (I also think it appears too early in the book, ruining some of the suspense, but that's another matter.)

    It would help promote the book to highlight the fact that there's much in it that's new and original, or that at least has never been published before, such as the trial transcripts. I think that should have been explicitly stated somewhere on the back cover, or even on the front cover, and it should have been made clearer in the text. Then we wouldn't have reviews like this one giving the false impression that it's all recycled material.

    That caveat aside, I FINALLY finished reading it this morning and overall I think you both did a superb job.

  2. Will G - Thank you for the thoughtful comments and review. I think you raise a lot of good points. As a writer, I confess I'm probably not much of a marketer in many senses of the word. Peter is much stronger at that than I am. But then again, the publisher has a role to market the product aggressively. There is still time to recast this book - in terms of exclusive content. I have a handful of letters from Joe K. (until he started demanding payment for continued correspondence, which I was unwilling to pay) and I interviewed him in person at the prison. Combined with the other interviews Peter and I did, and the trial transcripts, I very much appreciate your acknowledgement that we tackled a big mountain of information, and boiled it down into a readable book. Regards, Andrew Stoner

  3. I read the Kindle version before the book was in the hands of the sellers. Will's comment about the trial transcripts in the hardcover edition has me wondering if the on-line version is a duplicate of the hardcover. I recall that excerpts of the transcripts and narratives about them were in the on-line. Just wondered...