Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine

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Overview

Combining the drama of a true crime story with the detail of a police procedural, Finding Amy chronicles the investigation into one of the most shocking murders in recent Maine history. Twenty-five-year-old Amy St. Laurent was attractive, intelligent, and responsible. One October evening, she went out to show a friend from Florida the exciting nightlife of Portland’s Old Port section. She played pool. She danced. And then she disappeared. The police investigation into her murder riveted the state of Maine for months.

This inside account of the investigation alternates between Kate Clark Flora’s objective tale of dedicated police work and the dramatic recollections of then-Lieutenant Joseph K. Loughlin, who oversaw the case. From the first call to a Portland detective about a missing woman to the police’s growing certainty that she had been murdered, from the heroic efforts to locate the body to the flight from Maine of their chief suspect, and from the painstaking work of collecting evidence and building a case to the struggles over jurisdictional questions to the twists and turns of the eventual trial, Finding Amy is a dramatic story of brutal murder and exemplary police work.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Loughlin's recorded entries about the case — his thoughts, emotions and reactions to the investigation — amplify Flora's straightforward but potent narrative as detectives search for the grave, find it (about halfway through the book) and build a case against a leading suspect. This is a feast for proceduralists, giving countless small details of the work-a-day slogging involved, an effort that leads the department to make good on the mystery, catching Amy's murderer, and making the case stick."—Publishers Weekly

"The tale is brimming with insights about police procedure, jurisdictional disputes, and politics. Over and over again, real life trumps fiction. For instance, after a five-hour standoff, the suspect surrenders one of his guns for a soda, the other for a cigarette. Put that in a novel and no one would believe it . . . The reader is never allowed to lose sight of the humanity of the victim, a young girl who accepted a ride from the wrong guy, then had the temerity to say no and mean it."—Boston Globe

"Readers of true crime will find this chronological tale of the search for Amy and her killer especially compelling because of the personal account of Loughlin, who was lieutenant of the Criminal Investigation Department when Amy disappeared. Loughlin's journal, woven into Flora's painstaking recreation of the work of the detectives, highlights the intense discussions that took place among the key players and gives readers a look at the slow, steady progress of real detectives on a real case. There are no ‘CSI solutions’ that wrap up the case in a conveniently short time. There are no magic findings of DNA. What takes place in this true story is the passionate belief that they will find Amy, bring her killer to justice, and give closure to her family and to the people of Maine." —Foreword

"This is one of the best true crime stories to be published in recent years...This book should reaffirm the public's faith in the police, prosecutors, and Maine's judicial system."—Brunswick Times Record

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584655336
  • Publisher: University Press of New England
  • Publication date: 6/30/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 284
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

CAPTAIN JOSEPH K. LOUGHLIN is a twenty-four-year veteran of the Portland (Maine) Police Department. KATE CLARK FLORA is a former assistant attorney general for the state of Maine and the author of seven mystery novels. She is a past international president of the mystery writer's organization, Sisters in Crime.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Prologue: Welcome to the Cop’s Life
Chapters 1 through 20
Epilogue: Amy’s Legacy
Notes
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

4 Star

(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2010

    Excellent Read

    Once I started reading this book, it was hard to put down. I must confess the reason I first became interested in this book was because I personally know one of the detectives involved in solving this case. I'm usually not into reading murder/mysteries, but this book was really well put together. It really was interesting to see how the police and detectives put it all together, and how it affects their personal lives as well. It was heartwarming to see the respect they had for the victim and her family. I would definitely recommend this book. I have already given a copy to my daughter, and I am giving another copy to my best friend who is coming to visit soon from out of state.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2009

    Every Parents' Worst Nightmare

    A beautiful young woman vanishes into thin air and two suspects are investigated, but no body is found. This is interesting because it shows how detectives piece together an investigation where no body exists, witnesses are either transients or young people who were drinking or doing drugs at the time of the victim's disappearance. What is different about this story is the fact that the MPD employs unorthodox methods to locate the burial site and bring the narcissistic killer to justice.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2006

    A must read crime story!

    This is a wonderful collaboration by the authors. The description of the police process during the case and the emotions of those involved are skillfully interwoven (it sure kept me interested in the story). If you have ever had a lost child, even for just a short time, you have some inkling of what Amy's family went through. The story shows not just the strength and courage of Amy's family in dealing with this tragedy, but the cooperation of several different law enforcement agencies (I did not know they were territorial until I read this book). This is definitely a thought provoking book. I found myself wondering what I could do to ensure my children's safety outside of the house. Amy was a very special young lady who touched so many lives and will probably continue to do so. Read the book and discover why the detectives who worked the case refer to Amy as 'Our Amy'.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2006

    Finding Amy was enthralling. I couldn't put it down.

    I finished Finding Amy book in just 2 days - I couldn't put it down. The authors did a superb job with the story - it was factual but also caring and emotional at the same time. My college age daughter is reading it next and my visiting college age niece is in line to read it when my daughter is done. Congrats to Captain Loughlin and Kate Clark Flora for a job well done!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2012

    Heartbreaking

    This was a heartbreaking true story of an innocent life taken way too soon, and the determined, dedicated law enforcement officers who sought justice for her. I thought this book was very interesting and different from most true crime books I've read, in that you actually heard from the point of view of a Lieutenant who worked on the case. I recommend it to any true crime fan. RIP Amy...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    5 star

    Well written book, so sad a beautiful life was taken..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    Excellent Book

    This book is for a great cause as well. I felt the storytelling followed by the actual detective/prosecuter was redundant, one or the other would have been good.

    Overall, this book was written well, and defitely a eorthwhile read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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