A Silence of Mockingbirds.

Author:Skalkos, Lia
Position:Book review

Karen Spears Zacharias (author); A SILENCE OF MOCKINGBIRDS; MacAdam/Cage (Nonfiction: True Crime) 25.00 ISBN: 9781596923751

Byline: Lia Skalkos

Sometime around 2 a.m. I finally put down Karen Spears Zacharias's A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder. Still, sleep would not come. My mind kept returning to the characters and the events, searching for understanding.

Part investigation, part memoir, A Silence of Mockingbirds tells the story of a recent high-profile Oregon murder case. Having once housed a young woman named Sarah during her college years, Karen Zacharias runs into her years later. When the author asks how her daughter, Karly, is, Sarah tells her she has passed away. Shocked, she looks up the toddler's death online and discovers that an ex-boyfriend of Sarah's has been found guilty of murdering Karly. Haunted by this news, she starts looking into the events leading up to Karly's death.

A former crime reporter, Zacharias has done an impressive amount of research. Like Capote's In Cold Blood, the book has been written in the tradition of new journalism, combining journalistic techniques with Zacharias's own perspective and a literary description of events. The writer's proximity to the people involved, along with her journalistic eye, make for incredible, fast-paced storytelling.

As the author recounts the community's failures to save Karly, the suspense...

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