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Publishers WeeklyIn 1997, the murder of ten-year-old Jeffrey Curley rocked the blue collar Boston suburb East Cambridge, , an idyllic but scrappy community where, in the crime's aftermath, neighbor quickly turned against neighbor. The murder sparked an intense movement in liberal Massachusetts to reinstate the death penalty; at the outset, one of the movement's most outspoken proponents was Jeffrey's father, Bob Curley. In this vivid account by Boston Globe reporter MacQuarrie, Bob Curley wrestles with the demons of grief, alcoholism and vengeance, as well as family conflict and outsiders' opportunistic political agendas, to emerge a staunch, courageous opponent of capital punishment. His saga will hold particular resonance for readers who struggle with their own opinions on the complex issue. While relating details of the horrific crime, MacQuarrie's style is visceral and haunting, but he loses some steam when focusing on Bob's journey-perhaps because MacQuarrie gives the rest of the Curley family such short shrift. Still, this is a gripping, unusual true crime tale, likely to move readers to tears and sure to inspire personal contemplation.
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