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Posted September 23, 2012
When I first read the story of the 1933 Chesterton crash several years ago I was intrigued; I even went as far to do some research in old news files to learn more. When I recently learned Mr. Alaspa had written a book about it and gained access to old FBI records in doing so, I immediately sought out and bought the e-book version. Sadly, I was disappointed with the end product and felt it could have been way better than it was.
The writer spends a great deal of time talking about the development of air flight from the Wright Brothers to the 1930s and the formation of the airline industry. He does the same talking about FBI agent Melvin Purvis, who lead the investigation. He tells us in detail about Mr. Purvis’ career, hunt for John Dillinger, Dillinger’s life, the failed Little Bohemia raid to catch the criminal, and his problems with J. Edgar Hoover. As to the crash and the actual nuts and bolts of the investigation, that part is interesting, but very limited. In reading the book I got the impression of someone trying to take a small amount of data and stretch it into a book with a lot of filler. I also noted, rather annoyingly, the writer’s habit of frequently repeating the same wording, phrasing, or facts throughout the book. In one case I noted him repeating the same thing at least four times. This is something an editor should have noted. One disappointment was that he provided information on only a few of those aboard the plane and seemed to ignore the rest.
Although I applaud the writer’s efforts, the book could have been better. I feel he should have remained more focused on the main subject and if he had limited data, then the book would have been smaller. I would have to give this book a C-.