Journalist and seasoned true-crime writer Glatt (The Prince of Paradise: The True Story of a Hotel Heir, His Seductive Wife, and a Ruthless Murder, 2013, etc.) recounts the highly publicized story of three women kidnapped and held in captivity for a decade.
In May 2013, three women and one young child were rescued from captivity in a boarded and locked house in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. Of the three women, none had been held for less than nine years, and one had been there for more than a decade. The child was born in captivity and was the only one of the four to have seen the world outside the house and yard during their years of imprisonment. The women were victims of serial kidnapper and sexual predator Ariel Castro. Glatt has solid storytelling chops, and the result is a gripping, read-it-all-in-one-sitting kind of book. With such a well-covered crime, that kind of narrative push is all the more impressive since the ending certainly doesn’t come as a surprise. Savvy true-crime readers may wonder how Glatt came by his information, which seems to be mostly compiled from other public sources such as newspapers, TV specials and public statements by the freed women. That’s not to say it isn’t a worthy read. In fact, Glatt’s book is a page-turning, detailed overview of this remarkable story, and the author provides background on Castro and chronicles a number of alleged calls to Cleveland police by Castro’s neighbors, who noticed strange behavior. Still, all three women have written about their experiences, so those looking for more depth from the victims’ perspectives should seek out their accounts.
For a wide-angle view of the horrific string of crimes start to finish, Glatt constructs an absorbing winner.