by James W. Marquart, Ph.D.
Genre: Nonfiction / True Crime
Print Length: 200 pages
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Reviewed by Tomi Alo
Play witness to a true horrifying story that you won’t believe until you see.
On July 18, 2014, a precious soul was snatched away from the world, leaving a gaping hole in the hearts of those who knew her.
Mildred Harrington, known to many as “Dodie,” was a kind and loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was known to many as a giver and was loved by so many. But on one fateful night, someone slipped quietly into her bedroom and slit her throat, watching as she bled to death in less than a minute. Who had gone to such lengths to kill her? Why would anyone commit such a horrifying and hateful crime?
Unthinkable: Who kills their grandmother? is an analytical account of the underlying circumstances surrounding a murder case that was solved through meticulous investigation and the careful picking apart of circumstantial evidence. In addition to fulfilling our true crime curiosity, the book educates its readers on the criminal justice system. It breaks down the process of how real-life murder cases are solved and how detectives piece together a series of different events and evidence to come upon the truth. This is done by a careful study of the crime scene, the compiling of evidence, and a sixth sense of detecting inconsistencies in the midst of it all.
Author James W. Marquart does a remarkable job of distilling such a lengthy, intricate investigative process into a short and captivating story. The book is told in a highly engrossing narrative style that makes it easy to follow along while being entranced by the potential of the case.
Unthinkable is filled with facts and details that make it clear how much research has gone into it. I loved the specificity Marquart uses in sharing them. He provides links to external sites so that readers can gain more information on the case, and he provides helpful details on various criminology terms. Photographs accompany the story, providing ever-developing layers, like a picture of Dodie’s house and a photo of the convict during his trial. It’s one thing to know it’s true crime; it’s another to see it.
Unthinkable: Who Kills Their Grandmother? is a well-executed true crime story that I’d be happy to recommend to anyone captivated by the unbelievable, the unconscionable, the unthinkable.
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