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The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir [NOOK Book]

Overview


When Cylin Busby was nine years old, she was obsessed with Izod clothing, the Muppets, and a box turtle she kept in a shoebox. Then everything changed overnight. Her police officer father, John, was driving to his shift when someone leveled a shotgun at his window. The blasts that followed left John's jaw on the passenger seat of his car-literally. While clinging to life, he managed to write down the name of the only person he thought could have pulled the trigger. The suspect? A local ex-con with rumored mob ...
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The Year We Disappeared: A Father-Daughter Memoir

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Overview


When Cylin Busby was nine years old, she was obsessed with Izod clothing, the Muppets, and a box turtle she kept in a shoebox. Then everything changed overnight. Her police officer father, John, was driving to his shift when someone leveled a shotgun at his window. The blasts that followed left John's jaw on the passenger seat of his car-literally. While clinging to life, he managed to write down the name of the only person he thought could have pulled the trigger. The suspect? A local ex-con with rumored mob connections. The motive? Officer Busby was scheduled to testify against the suspect's family in an upcoming trial. Overnight, the Busbys went from being the "family next door" to one under 24-hour armed guard, with police escorts to school, and no contact with friends. Worse, the shooter was still on the loose, and it seemed only a matter of time before he'd come after John-or someone else in the family-again. With few choices left to them, the Busby family went into hiding, severing all ties to the only life they had known.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

No one with even a marginal interest in true crime writing should miss this page-turner, by turns shocking and almost unbearably sad. In 1979, in an underworld-style hit, a gunman shot John Busby, a policeman in Cape Cod; a fluke saved John's life, but he was permanently disfigured and disabled, and the family placed under 24-hour protection. Eventually the family went into hiding in Tennessee, but arguably their "disappearance" takes place long before they move-as John and his daughter, Cylin, alternately narrate, readers can see how the shooting erased the family's sense of themselves. John is consumed with anger at the police's refusal to pursue the likeliest suspects ("and [I] planned to stay angry until I got back at the bastards who did this to me"); Cylin, then nine, is baffled as she and her two older brothers attract unwelcome attention ("Everyone thinks your dad is going to die," a cousin tells her. "But you're lucky-you don't have to go to school") and are later forsaken as classmates' parents deem friendship with them too risky. Where John's chapters provide the grim facts, it is Cylin's authentically childlike perspective that, in revealing the cost to her innocence, renders the tragic experience most searingly. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ilene S. Goldman
The Year We Disappeared is a compelling tale: The fact that it is true only adds to its breathtaking appeal. When Cylin Busby was nine years old, her father John Busby was a police officer in Falmouth, Massachusetts, a seemingly quiet community on Cape Cod. In one night, the Busby family's life turned inside out: John was shot in the face, the victim of retaliation by a gangster whom he had sent to jail. The assassination attempt failed, but John was left horribly disfigured and the family was no longer safe on Cape Cod. The Year We Disappeared recounts the story of the Busby family's dissolution and reconstruction (as well as that of John's face), narrated in alternating chapters by father and daughter. Writing as a teenager, Cylin recalls the feelings of her pre-pubescent self as her quiet world of Izod shorts, the Muppets, and her pet turtle changes into a world of round-the-clock security, a guard dog, and ostracization at school. John recalls his physical and emotional struggles, the damage done to his family, and his slow realization that he had been betrayed by a member of his own police force. Ultimately, the Busby family disappeared from Falmouth, and from themselves, long before they were relocated into the witness protection program. Their new home and the joys it returned to their life end the book with the sense that the family has reappeared. When so many stories are about families falling apart, The Year We Disappeared is a refreshing tale of a real family faced with unimaginable difficulties sticking it out and growing stronger. Reviewer: Ilene S. Goldman
VOYA - Jenny Ingram
Cylin Busby was nine in 1979, the year her police officer father, John, was shot in their Massachusetts resort town. He spent several months in a Boston hospital, where he was stabilized, and began a long course of reconstructive surgeries on his face. Cylin and her two brothers stayed with relatives in Boston for awhile, not privy to the extent of their father's injuries and seeing their mother only occasionally, during the rare times when she left their father's bedside for short breaks. Eventually the family returned home, living with round-the-clock guards, police escorts to school, a guard dog, and a barricade surrounding their house. City politics interfered with the investigation of John's shooting, and realizing that their miserable lifestyle was not going to change, the family relocated to the South, carefully covering their tracks. The book alternates between the perspectives of Cylin and John, providing great insight into the difficulties they faced individually and as a family. John is angry, frustrated with his physical condition, and concerned for his family's safety. Cylin becomes a social outcast at school and is frightened for her father. Confined to their house and limited to the company of each other, the family members become irritable. Throughout Cylin's mother tends to her father, takes care of the household duties, and most amazingly, finishes nursing school, graduating at the top of her class. This true-crime story manages to be suspenseful and reflective at the same time, and it will draw both leisure and reluctant readers. Reviewer: Jenny Ingram
VOYA - Kristen Moreland
Cylin's colorful descriptions and John's emotional struggle will capture readers as they delve into the compelling story of the Busby family. Cylin finds a strong voice in her narration of the life-changing event through the eyes of her nine-year-old self. The book flows seamlessly back and forth from father's to daughter's perspective, each jump between narrators providing further explanation and insight and pulling readers deeper into the story. Older teens will be able to more fully understand and appreciate this book, but younger teens may be equally drawn to the gripping story line. Reviewer: Kristen Moreland, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

On August 31, 1979, tough cop John Busby was shot at close range while driving to work on Cape Cod. Bleeding profusely with the lower half of his face blown off, he realized that somebody wanted him dead, and identified a brazen local bully as the culprit, an arsonist with whose family Busby had clashed on the job. John and his daughter, Cylin, who was nine at the time of the shooting, recount the year that followed in alternating chapters, incorporating candid commentary and sometimes-disturbing detail about a crime that never resulted in arrests. With the entire Busby family under 24-hour police protection, John began the reconstructive surgeries that would stretch for years, while Cylin and her two brothers tried to cope with guards accompanying them to school and the resulting social isolation. John Busby is frank about the corruption in the local police department that let his attacker intimidate anyone he chose, and bluntly describes his frustration and need for revenge in the months following the attack. Cylin speaks with a voice of innocence shattered as she struggles to comprehend what happened to her family and why her friends have abandoned her. When the town balked at the continuing expense of providing personal protection and the constant fear brought the family to the breaking point, the Busbys went into hiding, seeking a return to some semblance of normalcy. The page-turner pace is frequently interrupted by awkwardly placed flashbacks to moments in John's police work, but, ultimately, this is a story of survival and triumph.-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS

Kirkus Reviews
In 1979, John Busby, a Falmouth, Mass., cop was shot in the face while driving to work. This alternating father-daughter memoir provides a graphic account of the event and its yearlong aftermath-both directly attributable to a corruption-riddled municipal government. Readers should know that the book depicts Busby's shooting, injuries and reconstructive surgeries in unrelenting detail. Until the family was secretly relocated, Cylin, nine, and her brothers struggled to manage an intolerable burden of fear, even under 24-hour police protection. The account ends before readers learn how (or if) they made it to adulthood in one piece. Beyond recounting a fascinating, if lurid, tabloid story, neither author offers any analysis or reflection that would allow readers to place the events in a larger context. At once competitive, stubborn and aggressive, Busby's personality seems to have both prompted the shooting and helped him survive it. The implications of governmental corruption go unnoted, including the official response to the shooting itself-protecting the family with taxpayer-funded firearms and police surveillance, rather than institutional reform. (Memoir. 14 & up)
From the Publisher
“No one with even a marginal interest in true crime writing should miss this page-turner, by turns shocking and almost unbearably sad.” –Publisher’s Weekly (starred review)

“A fascinating tale, making the costs of violence unequivocally clear. …John's hard-won conclusion about vengeance—violence needn't be perpetuated because it would only damage his family more—holds a striking lesson for everyone, not just teens.” –Chicago Sun Times

“This riveting story will stay with readers, particularly its message that John's anger and desire for revenge were the hardest wounds to heal." – Booklist

“The book flows seamlessly back and forth from father's to daughter's perspective, each jump between narrators providing further explanation and insight and pulling readers deeper into the story.” — VOYA (Teen Reviewer)

“This true-crime story manages to be suspenseful and reflective at the same time, and it will draw both leisure and reluctant readers.” – VOYA

“A page-turner… Ultimately, a story of survival and triumph.” –SLJ

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599908076
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 4/10/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 30,498
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Cylin Busby is the author of several teen books and non-fiction articles as well as the acclaimed young adult memoir, The Year We Disappeared. A former editor with Teen magazine, she now lives in Los Angeles, USA, with her family.

John Busby lives in an undisclosed location.

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Read an Excerpt

the year we disappeared
a father-daughter memoir

By CYLIN BUSBY JOHN BUSBY
BLOOMSBURY
Copyright © 2008

Busby Ross, Inc.
All right reserved.


ISBN: 978-1-59990-141-1



Chapter One CYLIN

ON August 31, 1979, we were supposed to go see The Muppet Movie. Dad had promised us that when he woke up, he'd take us to the movie before he went in to work the night shift. He was a police officer on Cape Cod, in Falmouth, Massachusetts. He worked the 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. shift, then slept during the day for a few hours.

Usually, he'd come home from work right around the time I was sitting down with a bowl of Cocoa Puffs. Sometimes he'd hang out with me and my brothers until it was time for us to catch the bus, eating a piece of toast with raspberry jam, his favorite breakfast, or telling Mom about his night. But other days he'd go straight into the bedroom and change into his good suit, the dark brown one with the big lapels. He'd wear a cream-colored print shirt underneath, and a tie, too. I thought he looked like a movie star in his suit, with his strawberry blond hair, green eyes, and broad shoulders-like Robert Redford or Clint Eastwood. But as good as he looked in it, that suit always meant Dad was going to court to testify in a case. It also meant that he wasn't going to get much sleep, so we should be sure to stay out of his way when we got home from school in the afternoon.

During the summers when we didn't have school, Mom made sure to have us out of the house by 8:30 or 9:00 a.m., rain or shine. We'd go to the beach and have swim lessons in the morning. Then we'd spend the rest of the day there, eating bologna sandwiches that were a little too warm from sitting out in the sun and begging Mom for quarters so we could cross the hot sand to the ice-cream stand for a Nutty Buddy or some chocolate chip cookies. Mom usually brought a big bottle of something to drink and a few Styrofoam cups to keep us from asking for soda money, too. But on days when she was feeling generous, we could get a real soda in a cold can from the ice-cream guy. I loved the feeling of a freshly opened Orange Crush, so cold and fizzy it hurt my mouth to drink it fast.

As the afternoon wore on and my skin started to feel tight and hot from the salt and the sun, I would take my favorite towel, a white one with a bright rainbow arching across it, and wrap it around me, even covering my head. Then I'd lie in the sand by Mom and watch the sunlight filter through the stitches in the towel, transformed into my own private rainbow. Sometimes I'd fall asleep cocooned like that until it was time to go home.

On days when it rained, we still went to the beach for our swim lessons, and we'd stay for as long as we could take it. If it was a light rain, Mom would bring an umbrella and tell us to get out in the water. "What difference does a little rain matter, since you'll be getting wet anyhow?" she'd reason. She'd plant the umbrella in the sand, take out whatever paperback she was reading, and plunk down in a beach chair.

My two older brothers and I would come out of the ocean hours later, lips blue and shaking, only to wrap up in towels that were wet from being left on the beach in the rain. It's not like my mom or my family loved the beach-we weren't trying to break any records for being the biggest sand bums on the Cape. But Dad had to sleep, and when we were stuck at home there was no way that could happen.

Snow days were Mom's worst nightmare. We'd be sent out to go sledding for hours at a time, just to keep the house quiet. We'd come back in, soaked to the skin, and shuck off our snow-covered coats and boots with Mom whispering, "Your dad is sleeping, so keep it down." But we'd always want to watch TV or play records. And then the fighting would inevitably start. Maybe Eric, who was thirteen that year and totally into sci-fi, wanted to watch Star Trek while I wanted Little House on the Prairie. We'd end up yelling and chasing each other around the house, throwing Atari game cassettes at each other, Mom reminding us that Dad was sleeping, only to see him appear, bleary-eyed, groggy, and in his underwear, at the bedroom door. "Keep it down to a dull roar," he'd growl in his heavy Boston accent. Then he'd disappear back into the bedroom, and we'd try to be good for at least a half hour or so.

That summer I was nine years old-just turned nine that May. I loved the Muppets. I adored Kermit and Miss Piggy especially. The whole family watched the show religiously on Sunday nights, with my parents on the couch and the three of us on the rug right in front of the television. So that day at the beach, all I had been thinking about was how we were going to the movies that night, finally seeing the Muppets on the big screen. Dad would sneak in a big bag of peanut M&M'S for us all to share, and we'd get a huge tub of popcorn. But when we came back that Friday afternoon and found Dad at home, still in his suit, I knew that he had just gotten home from spending the day in court after working all night, and he hadn't had any sleep yet. We weren't going to the movies. I was crushed. While Mom went to make dinner, I laid on the bunk bed in my room, still in my sandy blue bathing suit, and cried.

The evening was a disaster in the making. Dad had to sleep, Mom was stuck in our two-bedroom house with three grouchy, hot, tired kids who couldn't face the disappointment of a canceled movie date. To cheer us up-and probably to get us out of the house for a few hours-Mom came up with a plan and pretended that it was something great. "We're painting Dad's car," she announced, and headed to the basement for paint and brushes.

Mom was really tired of Dad's car-a multicolored Frankenstein of a Volkswagen Beetle put together from spare parts. She was pretty tired of all Dad's other car "projects," too. We always had one or two VW Beetles sitting in our L-shaped driveway, either parked off to the side or up on blocks. Dad would buy them cheap and keep them around for spare parts for the one Bug that he actually kept running-most of the time. That summer, he had a white MG parked in the yard too. The body of the car still looked good, but it didn't run. He had plans to fix it up when he had the time. Meanwhile, it made a great place for my brothers and me to play-messing with the radio knobs and jerking the stick shift around like we were driving. We weren't allowed to touch the emergency brake, after my brother Shawn accidentally sent the MG rolling backward down the driveway one day. But even with that off-limits, the cars in the driveway were the best toys we could have asked for.

The VW Bug that Dad was using as his main car that summer had an okay engine and it ran, but it didn't look too pretty doing it. He had pieced together the body from three or four other VWs, so it had a red front fender and a blue front fender mismatched on either side of a faded red hood, along with a blue door on one side and a gray door on the other. The seats were split open in some spots, with rusty springs and tufts of coarse horsehair sticking out. This made riding in Dad's car a summer nightmare-sitting on the split seats, especially in the back, in shorts, or worse, a bathing suit, was torture unless you stuck a towel under you. Mom was on Dad's case about the car and how it looked. "It's embarrassing," she'd say. "Can't we at least paint it one color?" Dad would shrug. "Sure, knock yourself out."

I don't know why Mom picked that night to start in on her project, other than the need to get our butts out of the house for a few hours, but she did. She got out the only big paint can she could find in the basement-green paint-and a few extra paintbrushes. "We'll surprise your dad by painting his car while he's sleeping," she explained, and everyone joined in. It didn't take long to realize that painting a car with a paintbrush wasn't such a great idea. The brush left sticky lines on the car, and as the dusk rolled in, so did the gnats and mosquitoes, leaving streaks and spots where they landed in the gooey mess. Mom didn't want to give up, so she just kept on painting the door and one fender with the too-thick paint-paint that I think was actually for wood, not cars-until it grew too dark to see what she was doing.

I grew bored of the painting quickly, and opted to play with our new box turtle instead, while Mom and my brothers tackled the job. Dad had found the turtle on one of his runs up Hatchville Road-a sweet country street that wound its way around the corner from our house. Though it didn't run along the coast, Hatchville was one of the prettiest roads on the Cape; it cut through fields, past big houses, horse barns, and a famous organic farm. Sometimes, in the summer, Dad would take us running with him on the route, the three of us puffing behind him, trying to keep up. Shawn was the only one who had the steam to make it the full five miles, while Eric and I usually dropped out of the race around three. On evenings when I knew I couldn't keep up, I'd take my bike and race circles around Dad and my brothers. "Come on, slowpokes!" I'd shout, standing up on my pedals to push my bike faster than they could run.

With his better-than-20/20 vision and the instincts of a cop forever looking for clues, Dad always seemed to find stuff on the side of the road: a mangled pair of sunglasses or a beach hat. A piece of jewelry, cheap to start with and now run over a few times. A mangled baseball, rotted and brown. Usually the stuff Dad found was worthless, but one evening, he came home with a good-sized box turtle, about as big as my shoe. He didn't have any marks on him, except for a scuffed up shell; Dad thought he had probably been hit by a car since he couldn't seem to walk very well.

We put the turtle in a cardboard box and set him up against the house, in the shade. I brought him water in a little bowl, and some iceberg lettuce to eat. But he never even took a bite; the lettuce just turned brown and droopy. I tried flesh grass trimmings and leaves, too, but he just wasn't interested in eating. Late in the day, I would take him out of his box to give him some free time. If you waited a really long time, and you were very quiet, sometimes he would take a step or two in the driveway. But mostly he just sat there, blinking his big shutterbug eyelids and not doing much else.

When Mom was ready to put down her paintbrush for the night, she was so proud of the gooey half-painted car, she went inside to get the camera to record it, so we have a couple of pictures from that evening. In one photo, Mom is posing by her paint job. She looks petite and trim in shorts and a summer top. Her skin is tanned a honey brown, her dark hair in a pixie cut; she's smiling big. Another picture shows me, sitting in the drive-way by the cardboard box with the turtle beside me. I'm painfully thin, all knees and elbows, and too shy to actually look into the camera, so I'm looking down instead, smiling a little. My long straight hair, parted in the middle, falls like curtains on either side of my freckled face.

There's one more picture, of my two brothers standing with their backs against our red-shingled house, squinting into the setting summer sun. Shawn, thin and darkly tanned like Mom, his brown hair cut in thick bangs over his eyes, his new braces crowding his mouth; Eric, big and broad like Dad, with the same strawberry blond hair and a splash of freckles over his nose. I'm glad we have this picture of them, taken on that night, before everything changed. I'm glad to have the picture of Mom, looking so happy and young. I'm even glad to have a picture of the turtle, though I don't know what happened to him-forgotten in his little cardboard box by our house while we were gone in Boston, where Dad was undergoing the emergency surgeries that would ultimately save his life.

But most of all, I'm happy to have the picture of Dad's car. Because the next time I saw that car, it was in a black-and-white photo on the front page of the Cape Cod Times, shot full of holes. The front window was shattered, the driver-side window completely knocked out. And the driver-side door, freshly painted green, was riddled with shotgun pellets.

Chapter Two JOHN

AUGUST 31, 1979, was a Friday, the start of Labor Day week-end on the Cape. I'd worked the previous 11:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. shift, and then spent until late afternoon in court. After sitting around all day I didn't even get to testify, having only a minor backup role in the case. It was a major waste of time. I got home around five in the afternoon with no sleep, exhausted, and was supposed to take the kids to the movie theater.

I thought about calling in sick, spending some time with the kids before school started back up in a few days. But this was Labor Day weekend, and on the Cape that meant parties, drunk drivers, tourists having their last hurrah before heading back to New York and Boston and wherever else they came from. We needed extra cops on duty to handle this weekend-more of the real guys on the force, not just the "rent-a-cops" as we year-rounders called the summer guys. It would be an asshole move not to show up for my shift. So I told Polly I had to hit the sack and to wake me at 9:45 for work.

The kids were disappointed about the movie, but I told them we'd go tomorrow night instead. Polly got me up, I showered and trimmed my beard and had some coffee. I'd been wearing a beard for several years at this point. Came about as a result of a week-long vacation and fast-growing whiskers. We were working five days on and three days off, so right before my vacation, I skipped the shave for my last shift. That gave me twelve days to grow a beard, and it looked pretty good. So I went to work with it, and since there wasn't any official policy about facial hair, my sergeant said he'd talk with the chief. Next morning, Sergeant and I met with the "Grand Fubar"-our private name for the chief, "Fubar" meaning "fucked up beyond all reality." The chief approved beards as long as they were neat and trim. Within a month, a dozen bearded cops were saving copious bucks on razor blades.

Polly told me shortly after she woke me up that-surprise!-she'd painted half the car green. I took a look. She'd used a four-inch paintbrush and, under the circumstances, had done a credible job. But I was grumpy, still tired from getting only three hours of sleep, so I didn't give her any compliments. Instead, I pointed out that now I'd have to get a new registration due to the color change, just nit-picking. It was looking like it was going to be a tough night on the public indeed.

At about twenty of eleven, I fired up the newly painted Bug and headed in to work. As I drove down Sandwich Road, I noticed another Bug, a white VW, facing into Pinecrest Beach Drive and a full-sized light blue sedan facing out. The people seemed to be talking to each other. About half a mile south, a vehicle closed on me rapidly from the rear, hit high beams, and pulled out to pass. The speed limit on this stretch of road was thirty-five, and we were already doing a bit more than that.

But the car didn't pass. Instead, I heard this incredible roar and felt this tremendous punch in my nose. My head and upper body were thrown down, across the passenger seat. There was a second booming roar, and I started to sit back up. I noticed in the light from the radio that there was a pool of blood, bone, teeth, and hair lying in the passenger seat. Somehow I knew it was parts of me lying there, and I thought quite calmly, Shit, now I'm going to bare to go to the dentist. I knew I'd been shot, that's what the booming sounds were. I'd probably been hit in the nose and mouth.

I sat up and stomped on the brakes, bringing the car to a screeching halt. A third boom went off and the passenger side of the front windshield filled with half-inch round holes. I could see the light blue sedan now, stopped about fifty feet in front of me, and I was thinking how easy it would be to shoot back through the windshield at it-the thing was already full of holes; it wouldn't do any more damage. But since I had kids at home, my stainless steel (to resist rusting in the salty Cape air) .357 revolver with its six-inch barrel was hanging in my locker and not in the shoulder harness that fellow officer Pauly Gonsalves had advised me to start wearing years earlier.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from the year we disappeared by CYLIN BUSBY JOHN BUSBY
Copyright © 2008 by Busby Ross, Inc.. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 116 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 116 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2008

    Tip of the ice burg

    I'm a lifelong resident and knew /know a majority of these 'characters' and aliases mention in this book. I drove by the shooting scene just as they were loading Officer Busby into the ambulance and saw him sitting upright holding large amounts of gauze to what I thought was his jaws. Seeing the car in the front yard I assumed it was just a car accident¿ if I had left my girl friend¿s house 10 minutes earlier? Currently I live less than ¼ mile from they¿re old house adjacent to the cranberry bogs they often mention in this book. (Better or worse yet I lived one street from the Monterios house and often saw Monty when I played basketball with his kids¿ little did I know) After reading the book cover to cover in 3.5 hours it only sickened me to learn how the detectives, police, and selectman ruined this family¿s life. It was also very up lifting to know this family somehow persevered though this travesty brought on by the intentional ole boys club mentality that likely to be found in many small towns. Yes¿ Melvin Reine (Meyers) pulled the trigger on Office Busy and others but the guilty parties involved in this and the other disappearances / murders still hold positions of authority in Falmouth so I understand why Busby still doesn¿t feel safe to return to Falmouth. Melvin¿s brother John should be brought in for more questioning regarding the other disappearance / murders to find out who provided inside information regarding the ferry departure time for one key witness (Won¿t spoil the book) and other potential incrimination information. I bet there are a few current and retired police officers and selectman who are now not sleeping well with the release of this book and I only hope it gets at least ½ as bad as what they put the Busby¿s through. There¿s so much more corruption, entitlement and nepotism throughout Falmouth¿s government that this is only the tip of the ice berg of what¿s been festering in this town for years. I not only hope that John gets the statute of limitation passed but this book helps to bring a 3rd party non-bias investigation from the state or federal government!

    31 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2008

    I hope this becomes a national best seller!

    I was 29 years old in 1979 when John Busby was shot and had lived in Falmouth for just four years. When I moved here from Boston in 1975, one of the first stories I heard from neighbors was about the undiscovered body of Melvin Reine's first wife. My neighbor said, 'some people think it's buried in the concrete slab foundation down the street.' Welcome to Falmouth. This is a wonderful town but the corruption in the police department that existed until recently has spread beyond the lack of justice for Busby. My abused neighbor couldn't get help from the police because her husband was 'in tight' with the police. This book is extremely well written. It was a thrill to see Cylin, John and Polly when they came to Falmouth in August to do a book signing. This was the first time they'd been back to Falmouth in almost 30 years. I can see why. I well remember Melvin Reine driving past me one day in his monster garbage truck. I happened to look up and he gave me the most evil smile I've ever seen in my life. I'll never forget it - it was bone chilling. God bless John Busby and his entire family.

    25 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2008

    The Best Memoir I've Ever Read

    I am truly grateful that I've had the chance to read this book. I literally did not want to put it down. What happened to John Busby, and the rest of the Busby family is very tragic. It reminded me of how important it is to have faith, patience and a supportive family. God truly protected the Busby¿s. I¿ve been recommending this memoir to everyone I know! What an honor and privilege it was to read 'The Year We Disappeared' All the best to the Busby family. -KT

    15 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

    Incredible

    Having lived in Falmouth for many years, I am very familiar with the characters in this book and loved every page. I may be biased, since I personally knew many of the Falmouth police officers depicted in this book, but I couldn't put this book down. I knew the main culprit in this novel (disguised under the name of Raymodn Meyer) was evil, but I had no idea of the depths of his depravity in dealing with people who crossed him. With each chapter going between Office Busby and his daughter, Cylin, and their perspective of the very same events, it kept me riveted and in awe of their courage at a time when the entire family could have thrown in the towel and let Mr. Meyer win. Thankfully, he never did. A must read for any Cape Codder - and beyond!

    13 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2009

    Had us both in tears

    Both my wife and I read this book, and I had the great honor to meet John Busby on Cape Cod last summer. I went to his signing before I read the book, I wish I had known then what I know now. The world needs more men like him. I am surprised that he is such a good writer as well, the book is one of the best I've ever read and my wife agrees. We could not put it down and are looking forward to the paperback to read it again at the beach. Thank you to the Busby family for sharing their inspiring story with all of us.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    An expertly crafted book. Five stars.

    An expertly crafted book. Five stars.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2009

    Awsome true story to read!

    On the edge of your seat & tearjerker the whole book and being from Falmouth, MA knowing the stories,I was 6yrs old, my Dad a summer cop 6yrs before this took place so we knew most of the Police Officers that helped Officer Busby, my mother always telling us to stay away from the "Meyer Family" if we knew what was good for us, I remembered always seeing a Police officer standing outside a classroom in my school that year never really knowing why he was there & to finally know what ever happened to them! All this made me even more interested to read it!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    Honest and heart rending

    This book is an honest memoir of a terrible event with heartwrenching consequences. I appreciate the gut level honesty of human emotion in the face of horrendous injustice. The family's will to overcome and survive intact amazed me. Truly worth reading!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Like Nothing Before

    Cylin Busby and her father John Busby tell the story of their heartwrenching lives. The hardships and the disappointments keep adding up in this autobiography. Imagining what happened to John Busby is completely mind blowing, and I could never see myself coping with what he has gone through. Shot in the line of duty, stalked by the enemy, and living a life in fear while trying to handle a family has to be tough. Reading their life events from two people's views was different at first, but as the story went on, it kept me interested in what each was thinking. It's truly a great read for both genders and mature readers.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2009

    A Family's Loss that is shared by tons!

    The person who wrote this: (AnonymousI hope this becomes a national best seller!
    Reader Rating See Detailed Ratings
    Posted September 6, 2008, 5:51 PM EST: I was 29 years old in 1979 when John Busby was shot and had lived in Falmouth for just four years. When I moved here from Boston in 1975, one of the first stories I heard from neighbors was about the undiscovered body of Melvin Reine's first wife. My neighbor said, 'some people think it's buried in the concrete slab foundation down the street.' Welcome to Falmouth. This is a wonderful town but the corruption in the police department that existed until recently has spread beyond the lack of justice for Busby. My abused neighbor couldn't get help from the police because her husband was 'in tight' with the police. This book is extremely well written. It was a thrill to see Cylin, John and Polly when they came to Falmouth in August to do a book signing. This was the first time they'd been back to Falmouth in almost 30 years. I can see why. I well remember Melvin Reine driving past me one day in his monster garbage truck. I happened to look up and he gave me the most evil smile I've ever seen in my life. I'll never forget it - it was bone chilling. God bless John Busby and his entire family.")

    Should have not used the antagonists real name or brought the antagonist's first wife into the review. I know the Busbys are only trying to heal from their experiences from 1979 but all they did was tear open a can of worms that all families involved wanted kept closed. Being from Falmouth I know about this family. But I find it hard that a thirty-nine to forty year old woman can cleary remember what happened to her that vividly thirty years later. She wrote it from an adults perspective not a child's perspective. She used terms that a nine year old hasn't even learned in their elementary school vocabulary lessons yet. As much as I wanted to read their story at the same time I lost interest in chapter ten. My family all read the book in three hours max and a huge discussion about discrepencies about characters and facts ensued.

    I feel sorry for the Busbys. No one should had to go through their loss and pain but I feel sorry for every other family who was effect by a sociopath's actions and the sociopath's first wife's family who are still trying to find answers to the questions they have about her disappearance.

    7 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    A Book that leaves an impression

    I could not put this book down! The true story of the pain a daughter and her father went through is amazing! It's heart wrenching to see two sides of a life altering event, one from the nine year old daughter and the other from her police father. I highly recommend this book! It's thrilling and overwhelmingly honest!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2012

    The Year We Disappeared is an amazing book written by the fathe


    The Year We Disappeared is an amazing book written by the father and daughter in the story. The father, John, a cop, was on his way to his work when he was shot in the jaw. He was left in the hospital unable to communicate to people who his shooter was. The nine year old daughter, Cylin, was left confused and lost about what happen to her father. It tells the story of them both struggling to overcome this new challenge in their life. The main theme throughout the book was forgiveness. John had to learn to just forgive the shooter, through it was very hard. Another theme prominent, shown mainly through Cylin’s writing, was coming of age. She had to see the way horrific things that happen in the world, and had to learn that nothing will ever be the same with her father. The overall message of the story was to never give up. John wanted to live, and never give up trying to save his life, and also his family. Cylin had to never give up on her father, when everyone else around her doubted the fact that her father would live. I would recommend the book to teenagers and adults. It can be a little graphic at parts, but it is an overall great story. The book is suspenseful, and always keeps you on your toes. I think my favorite part of the book would have to be the writing style. I loved how they both were writing the book because you saw two different sides of the story. I loved that fact that John was writing the story too. It shows how much courage he has, and how he has overcome this obstacle in his life. The only part I disliked was that there were quite a few slow parts in the book. The suspense and the great story definitely over powered that dislike though.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2012

    Good Point-of-View Memoir/ Great non-fiction read for teenagers

    This non-fiction memoir was easy to follow and kept my interest throughout. Having the different points-of-view made the story more realistic and gave the characters depth. It is a great non-fiction book for teenagers.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    Wow!

    A heart wrenching story. You feel like a part of the family by the end. I had too google the names in the end, I really wanted to know what they looked like to complete the experience.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    AMAZING BOOK!!!!!!

    This will be the best book you will ever read! It is so inspiring! COMPLETELY WORTH THE MONEY!!!!!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

    I would recommend this book and gave it the 5 stars it deserves.

    I would recommend this book and gave it the 5 stars it deserves. The book is very well written; it pulls you in right away; and I liked that the authors alternated chapters. I moved to Mashpee a year or two after this happened....I know the streets and businesses and yes, some of the people that were mentioned in this book......That this family survived is amazing. Good did triumph over evil in that John Buzby lived and has been able to tell his story. It is not right that "Ray Meyer" got away with the awful things he and his family did......There should NOT be a statute of limitations on attempted murder.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    The Year We Disappeared is a memoir told by a father and a daugh

    The Year We Disappeared is a memoir told by a father and a daughter. The two alternate between the father and daughter speaking, which makes this story more interesting, because you get to hear the view point from both a child (daughter) and an adult (father). The daughter makes the story seem real with her extra details; she gives the story a more innocent feel. While her father gives the facts and tells it as it was.

    John Busby is a police officer in a small town. While on duty John is cruelly shot by a car passing. The surgeons had to completely reconstruct his jaw, and he knew that this could not have possibly been an accident and could then only think about revenge. Throughout this novel John focuses on the town and his work, along with the surgery he went through in great detail.

    Cylin Busby is John Busby’s nine year old daughter (at the time). She takes a different approach on the situation, and talks more about how she and her family felt threatened, unsafe, and how they had to go into hiding.

    This story was very attention-grabbing. I really liked how there was two points of view; it seemed to make the novel more real. In the ending they thanked everyone for all that they had done, and I felt that was a nice gesture they did.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    A Saddening Page-Turner about a Family’s Strength and One&

    A Saddening Page-Turner about a Family’s Strength and One’s Will to Live

    In this exciting memoir written by a woman and her father they remember the events of 1979, when their family went from being your average middle class American family to being the targets of killer’s plans. John, a police officer in Falmouth, Massachusetts, is shot by a local mobster on his way to work. By some chance he survives but requires major medical attention including facial reconstruction surgery. But since the killer missed his mark the Busby family is now in serious danger, the man who wanted to kill their father wants to kill them too. They are guarded by police officers twenty-four hours of the day.
    I found this book intriguing, not only the story, but the format of the book with alternating perspectives between John and Cylin. Cylin is only nine when the events take place and she sees her life being turned upside-down and is confused by the whole thing, whereas John is angry and plans his way to exact revenge for most of the book, before finding peace in the situation. I liked Cylin’s writing better, it was more descriptive and flowed, where John’s was more straightforward, tell it like it is. A major theme in this memoir was John’s not only will to survive but his will to thrive. He couldn’t stand to be a burden on his family an invalid for the rest of his life. I would recommend this book to anyone above the age of thirteen (there are a couple f-bombs dropped here and there), and while the subject-matter is quite serious, the way it is executed proves for a very good read. Though categorized as a Children’s book it does not belong there. I would rate this book four stars overall.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    This book is a great read!

    I read this book for a school project where I have to do a report on it. I wanted to do it on a non-fiction book that was pretty emotional. I got what I wanted and then some! There were a few slow parts, but they are very emotional. I would recomend this to anyone- as long as they can handle the curseing. It does require a level of maturity...but other than that it is a great read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    Several sides to every story

    Excellent book and well-written.

    I too am familiar with the Falmouth/Portland area of southern Maine. IMO, It is one thing to cry "FOUL" in social media everywhere because you are the abuser in a complicated divorce.

    And quite another to write a book sharing real evidence and truthful experienes. The two authors of this book have done a fine job. I wish them the very best.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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