Long Mile Home: Boston Under Attack, the City's Courageous Recovery, and the Epic Hunt for Justi ce

Long Mile Home: Boston Under Attack, the City's Courageous Recovery, and the Epic Hunt for Justi ce

3.5 4
by Scott Helman, Jenna Russell
     
 

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In the tradition of 102 Minutes and Columbine, the definitive book on the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers, written by reporters from The Boston Globe and published to coincide with the first anniversary of the tragedy

Long Mile Home will tell the gripping story of the

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Overview

In the tradition of 102 Minutes and Columbine, the definitive book on the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent manhunt for the Tsarnaev brothers, written by reporters from The Boston Globe and published to coincide with the first anniversary of the tragedy

Long Mile Home will tell the gripping story of the tragic, surreal, and ultimately inspiring week of April 15, 2013: the preparations of the bombers; the glory of the race; the extraordinary emergency response to the explosions; the massive deployment of city, state, and federal law enforcement personnel; and the nation’s and the world’s emotional and humanitarian response before, during, and after the apprehension of the suspects.

The authors, both journalists at The Boston Globe, are backed by that paper’s deep, relentless, and widely praised coverage of the event. Through the eyes of seven principal characters including the bombers, the wounded, a victim, a cop, and a doctor, Helman and Russell will trace the distinct paths that brought them together. With an unprecedented level of detail and insight, the book will offer revelations, insights, and powerful stories of heroism and humanity.

Long Mile Home will also highlight the bravery, resourcefulness, and resiliency of the Boston community. It will portray the city on its worst day but also at its best.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/24/2014
On one of the most picture perfect race days in recent memory, two homemade bombsrocked the finished line of the Boston Marathon and plunged New England's largest city into shock as local, state and federal law enforcement officers fanned out to track down Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Chechen immigrant brothers whose disillusionment with the U.S. allegedly led to one of the country's most deadly terrorist attacks. The account by two award-winning Boston Globe reporters mirrors newspaper's original coverage. They get inside the heads of dozens of the participants, including a doctor who ran the race and tended to bombing victims, a Boston police officer, a marathon official, one of the injured spectators, and intermingle those riveting tales with stories about the four people who died in the tragedy. As the manhunt unfolds, the tactical moves by local law enforcement officials and political leaders take center stage. With a tone that owes more to breathless storytelling than dispassionate newsgathering, the book sometimes skirts the edge of melodrama. But the authors succeed in communicating an authentic sense of the anxiety and claustrophobia that gripped the region and the resilience that emerged from the ordeal. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-24
In a remarkable work of narrative journalism, Boston Globe journalists Helman (co-author: The Real Romney, 2012) and Russell (co-author: Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy, 2009), with support from their comrades at the Globe's news department, map out the heartbreaks, dogged pursuits and courageous acts of defiance that resulted from one of America's most foolhardy and cowardly acts of terrorism. Most readers will remember the shock and awe that emerged when two improvised explosive devices—pressure cookers outfitted with nails and other fierce forms of shrapnel—ripped apart the crowds at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. The authors could have chosen to focus on the single-minded manhunt by the FBI and the Boston police department, which ultimately killed Tamerlan Tsarnaev and arrested his younger brother Dzhokhar with grievous gunshot wounds, and their story is told here with fine reportage. But instead of closing the book with the arrest, the authors tell the story of the event through very human eyes. They include the stories of marathon organizer Dave McGillivray, who was helpless to maintain control, Shana Cottone, a Boston police officer who questions her response to the emergency; and Heather Abbott, one of more than a dozen people to lose limbs in the bombing. There were three people killed during the bombing, here represented by the family of Krystle Campbell, a young woman whose case of mistaken identity worsened one family's awful grief. Many of the scenes are heart-wrenching, but it's worth getting through, as the book portrays a defiant Boston, resilient victims, and the determination of a community that two naïve, dimwitted youths will never strike enough fear into a city that it won't rise again. Journalism that demonstrates all the arguments why we need professionals to tell the stories that mark our generations and a valentine to the people that proved Boston Strong.
From the Publisher
“[A] gripping account.”—New York Daily News
 
“A riveting piece of journalism and an exceptional tribute to a great American city that manages to avoid being sentimental or syrupy.”—USA Today

“Succeeds in every way. It is a harrowing narrative of the events and a behind-the-scenes look at the public officials and everyday people forever changed by the attack. It is also a portrait of a major American city, its psyche, and the distance runners who consider the race a sacred rite.”—The Washington Post
 
“This is a stunning, mesmerizing and fascinating book. We get to see the horror close up, its beginnings, enactment, and its terrible legacies. This is a remarkable achievement of a still stupefying act.”—The Providence Journal

Library Journal
★ 04/15/2014
The Boston Globe's extensive coverage of the April 15, 2013, attack on the Boston Marathon forms the foundation of this work by Globe reporters Helman and Russell. A compelling and comprehensive narrative woven together from five different perspectives, the title includes a sixth: that of the bombers and their family. It tells the definitive story of the event, starting before the bombings and covering through to their aftermath. Despite the multitude of sources drawn upon, the writing is seamless and riveting; the authors expertly place the reader in the center of the action: on the sidewalk next to the bombers' backpacks, in a getaway car with the suspects, in a hospital elevator with President Barack Obama, and inside the minds of the responders and investigators. VERDICT This well-crafted tale is likely of most interest to readers similar to the people profiled: marathoners, hospital staff, emergency responders, police, investigators, and Bostonians. Sensitive in its treatment and thrilling in its pace and immediacy, the book will also appeal to those who enjoy reading about crime, disaster-response planning, and current events.—Ricardo Laskaris, York Univ. Lib., Toronto

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525954484
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/01/2014
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
861,791
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Reprinted by arrangement with Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Boston Globe Media Partners LLC, 2014.

LONG MILE HOME

Boston under Attack, The City’s Courageous Recovery, and the Epic Hunt for Justice

By Scott Helman and Jenna Russell

That’s not a cannon, Bostonfirefighter Sean O’Brien thought when he heardthe first explosion. Maybe a transformer? He was standing in front of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, a couple blocksbefore the finish line. “Obie, that’s a bomb,” the firefighter next to him said. Right then, a second explosion tore through the sidewalk across the street. The first blast had happened in front of Marathon Sports, at 671 Boylston Street. The second explosion, just twelve seconds later, detonated one block to the west, in front of Forum restaurant, at 755 Boylston. Both spots were packed with afternoon crowds. Those who could ran for their lives, away from whatever might happen next – a third bomb? A fourth? Many, like O’Brien, thought the first blast was some kind of accident. When the second echoed, they knew it was something much worse.

O’Brien’s thoughts raced first to his wife and his four daughters. In an instant, he sorted through hisrecent interactions with themand found them acceptable. No fights, no harsh words would stand among their final memories of him. Then he moved forward, over thebarricade toward the bomb scene, the wounded walking toward him in a daze. He could smell the burning. He looked back across the street, near the spot where he’djustbeen standing, and saw a little girl’s bag, pink with flowers, abandoned on the sidewalk. That one’s next, he thought. I know it. He waited for the pink bag to blow up.

*
• *

The firstexplosion hadrippled the surface of Jason Geremia’s drink as he stood near the bar inside Forum. Conversations around him stopped midsentence. Smiles faded, replaced by looks of confusion. “What was that?” the bartender asked. The sound was loud, but far enough away that it wasn’t clear what had caused it. Jason turned to look at the front entrance and saw his friends Michelle and Jess standing in the doorway. He didn’t see Heather Abbott, who was supposed to be with them. Justthen the second blast blew his friends into the bar. They were stumbling forward, falling, as he grabbed them and pulled them to the back, away from Boylston Street and whatever had just happened. Everyone else was stampeding the same way.

*
• *

Brighid Wall threw her six-year-old son onto the ground when the second bomb exploded some ten feet away to theirright. She lay across him on the sidewalk, her pregnant belly beneath her, and looked back over her left shoulder at the dazed people covered with black soot. She saw a man struggling to stand up; she realized he was struggling because he was missing a leg. The urge to flee seized her then, pushing away shock and fear, and she scanned the ground, looking for the bag that held her car keys. She stood up. Her husband grabbed their son and nephew. A stranger picked up her four-year-old daughter and they all ran into the Starbucks next door to Forum, blood and broken glass and spilled coffee under their feet. People were screaming but the children were silent – waiting, she realized, for someone to make them safe.

*
• *

Searching in the smoke for one of his friends, Mike Chase came across a man holding seven-year-old Jane Richard in his arms. “We gotta do something here,” said the man, an off-duty firefighter named Matt Patterson. Chase, a high school soccer coach who had been watching the race, grabbed the belt Patterson had wrapped around the child’s thigh and pulled it tight. Her leg was in bad shape. Jane’s father, Bill Richard, was nearby, holding tight to his oldest son, Henry, who was not badly hurt. Chase looked down and saw his missing friend, Dan Marshall, kneeling on the ground over another little boy. Others bent to join him, trying to help Martin. “My son, my son,” the stricken father said. There was nothing anyone could do.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“[A] gripping account.”—New York Daily News
 
“A riveting piece of journalism and an exceptional tribute to a great American city that manages to avoid being sentimental or syrupy.”—USA Today

“Succeeds in every way. It is a harrowing narrative of the events and a behind-the-scenes look at the public officials and everyday people forever changed by the attack. It is also a portrait of a major American city, its psyche, and the distance runners who consider the race a sacred rite.”—The Washington Post
 
“This is a stunning, mesmerizing and fascinating book. We get to see the horror close up, its beginnings, enactment, and its terrible legacies. This is a remarkable achievement of a still stupefying act.”—The Providence Journal

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