Customer Reviews for

A Death in Belmont

Average Rating 3.5
( 28 )
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  • Posted October 29, 2011

    A story you can only wish wasn't true.

    What would you do if the carpenter who had worked in your house for months, who you ate lunch with, and talked to on a regular basis, turned out to be the Boston Strangler? And, years later, you found out that your own mother came close to being another one of his victims? From the gruesome crime scene descriptions to the suspenseful trials that resulted in convictions and an excruciating sentence of a presumably innocent man, A Death in Belmont , is a horrifying conglomeration of legal records and one man's recollection of his encounters with his carpenter, who confessed to being the real Boston Strangler. Junger digs deep into official records and court documents to help depict the trials of Roy Smith and Al DeSalvo, both convicted of killing women in the Boston Area. The most interesting parts of this story are the author's interviews with DeSalvo himself, which lead the audience deeper and deeper into the sociopathic psyche of a serial murderer and rapist. In the interview we learn more gruesome details about the horrifying murders of those thirteen women than we ever wanted to know. Not only is the concept of this novel compelling, but Junger's writing style keeps you coming back for more. Nearly every part of this story has some sort of twist or turn that is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats and the surprising conclusion will never disappoint. I would recommend this novel to anyone who would enjoy a surprisingly true story about the accounts of the alleged Boston Strangler.

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  • Posted April 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A fascinating, in-depth look at the Boston Strangler murders

    On March 11, 1963, a woman by the name of Bessie Goldberg was murdered in the surburban town of Belmont, outside Boston, Mass. "A Death in Belmont" examines her death, along with flashbacks and asides about the U.S. justice system, U.S. law, and related crimes. Sebastian Junger, the author, has a personal interest in the subject matter of this non-fiction book. He lived in the same neighborhood of Belmont as Bessie Goldberg when she was murdered and possibly even met the real Boston Strangler in his own house.

    Junger not only gives the reader an account of the Boston Strangler's grisly murders from police and newspaper reports, but he also draws from his personal life and times, having grown up during that time and area. He then mixes in U.S. and world history events such as the assassinations of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Vietnam War, giving us a sense of the pulse of the nation while the murders were occuring. He uses all of this information to weave together a story of sorts that jumps around piecing together "the big picture" for the reader.

    I enjoyed that the book wasn't just all about the Boston Strangler murders. Junger used the cases of the Boston Strangler as an outline, but then gave us a history of the city of Boston (and Belmont), included an education about legal terms and trial proceedings to help us understand what was going on with the investigations and trials, and let us peek into his childhood memories.

    Before reading "A Death in Belmont," I had heard of the Boston Strangler, but didn't really have much knowledge of the crimes and resulting trials because all of the murders occurred before I was born. Junger's book was an eye-opener, and the ongoing mystery of the crimes parallels those of Jack the Ripper.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2007

    It might make you think.

    I enjoyed this book because it didn't have a tidy ending. It seemed to be as unbiased as it could be, with the author having such a personal investment in the subject mater. It presented several options (as to whether Roy Smith was the killer and as to whether Al DeSalvo was in fact the Boston Strangler) and gave good arguments both pro and con for each of those options. It didn't change my mind, but it made me think.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2006

    Good Book

    This is a wonderful perspective on one fo the great serial murders of our time. It is deifnetly a page turner. Junger does a wonderful job of describing the people who were involved in this crime at this time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2006

    A great read

    What a fascinatingly detailed book. Junger seemed to do the necessary research to write a convincing book.... I'll say that this is a great work of fiction -and I say fiction intentionally. Much like Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, this book is a great story and an entertaining read, but should not be used to discern facts between folklore.

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    Posted April 5, 2011

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    Posted May 16, 2010

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    Posted November 18, 2010

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    Posted September 14, 2013

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    Posted May 18, 2011

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