by Daniel Keyes ‧ RELEASE DATE: Aug. 1, 1986
Fascinating multimurder case as seen through the bizarre eyes of a schizophrenic woman, by the author of Flowers for Algernon and The Minds of Billy Milligan. One icy night in Columbus, Ohio, Mickey McCann, owner of a strip club, was shot to death, along with his mother and live-in go-go girl, in Mickey's house. The police had no leads until a month later when Claudia Yasko, a tall, beautiful, black-haired woman, told two off-duty cops that she had the answers to the triple slaying. At the station house, the cops found that they were taping the confession of a mentally unstable woman who could barely tie her thoughts into a sensible story. If anyone interrupted her with a question, she'd forget the subject. Nonetheless, so graphic was her tale, filled with actual detail from the crime scene, that the police were sure they had a valid confession. Her junky lover and his brother, also implicated, were quickly arrested but pleaded not guilty. Months pass toward the trial, but there's no end to the murders--and all done with the same .22-caliber German pistol. Finally charges were dropped, and then two brothers, Gary and Thaddeus Lewingdon, and Gary's wife Delaine, were arrested when Gary tried to use a victim's credit card. The murder weapon, plus an arsenal and other evidence, was found and all three confessed to the mass slayings. Claudia had been the subject of a Playboy article while in jail. Re. leased, she wanted her name cleared and agreed to give Keyes her true story. Unfortunately, Claudia didn't know her true story since she was too unstable to recall how or why she'd been in the murder house. Keyes interviewed her for two years as one fragment after another broke loose and rose to Claudia's mind, later--maddeningly--to be found to be pure, sometimes willful fantasy. Keyes' frustration in plumbing Claudia's schizoid recall is a large part of the story. At last, however, the real events emerge and the reader is plunged into the horror that Claudia has been hiding from. A spellbinding story, told in a clear but undistinguished style.
Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1986
Page Count: -
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1986
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