Wednesday, February 26, 2014

CBR6 #6: The Murder Room by Michael Capuzzo

If you are expecting this to be an Ann Rule-style book that simply details a bunch of cases, you will be disappointed. However, if you're looking for crime-fighting combined with an excellent, multi-year character study of three very different men who come together to solve murders, then this is your story.

The Murder Room details the forming of the Vidocq Society, a group that brings together the best minds from a variety of crime-fighting disciplines (medical examiners, forensic artists, dentists, and anthropologists, police detectives, customs agents, profilers, psychologists, district attorneys, and others) to network and to put their considerable brain-power toward solving cold cases. The three dynamic men behind this endeavor were William Fleisher (former FBI agent and mensch), Frank Bender (eccentric and flamboyant forensic artist), and Richard Walter (equally eccentric and slightly grim profiler)and this book is just as much a tale of their ongoing friendship than it is stories of solved murders.

The book does tend to skip around a bit chronologically, and can occasionally be difficult to follow. There are also some story threads that simply disappear, and are left without any conclusion. However, these men are all fascinating in their own ways, and their interactions with each other are nearly as intriguing as the cases they work on.

I'd definitely recommend this to any true crime lovers who are also interested in well-written character studies.

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