Deadly and deep-seated political conspiracies are nothing new to Jack Flynn, the popular lead reporter of the Boston Record. But in Strangled, he finds himself in the middle of a case that everyone thought had closed forty years ago -- the Boston Strangler. From the summer of 1962 to the winter of 1964, eleven women were strangled to death in their homes. The city had been panic-stricken. Dog pounds were cleaned out. Locksmiths worked twenty-hour days. The streets emptied after dark. Single women set up phone trees to check on each other's safety. Then, a year after the eleventh murder, the city breathed a heavy sigh of relief when convicted sex offender Albert DeSalvo confessed to the killings. Eight years later, he was stabbed to death in prison, forever ridding the world of the man who had terrorized a city. Or so everyone thought.
Boston, present-day. A series of murders has occurred in which all the victims, all female, have been strangled and left with markers eerily reminiscent of those once left by the "Phantom Fiend" -- garish bows tied around their necks and their bodies ghoulishly positioned to greet investigators as they entered the crime scene.
In typical fashion, the police and local politicians have turned on their publicity machine full-throttle in an attempt to cool any rumors about the possible return of the Strangler. Little do they know that Flynn is receiving letters from the killer himself, thrusting the newsman between the threats of a madman and several secretive, uncooperative officials, who are tied to the original case. With the lives of innocent women on the line, he must use his keen journalistic skills to determine whether or not this is a copycat on the loose, or if Albert DeSalvo was, in fact, not quite the fiend everyone so easily believed him to be. Is it possible that the Boston Strangler was never captured and that he's been lurking in the shadows, waiting to kill again?
Using fiction to examine the horrifying details of the Boston Strangler case and the possible outcomes of its investigation, McGrory has written an intelligent thriller crackling with newsroom energy and chilling suspense.
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Forty years ago, someone killed Albert DeSalvo, the self-confessed ¿Boston Strangler¿, in prison case closed. Until now that is. Boston Record reporter Jack Flynn, on the verge of marrying his beloved Maggie Kane, ignores his upcoming nuptials to investigate a new string of homicides that eerily parallel that of the Strangler. The press dubs the new killer the ¿Phantom Fiend¿. --- Jack begins his investigation by scanning the 1960s record to determine whether he agrees with officialdom that DeSalvo was the original killer. However, not surprisingly at least to Jack who used to work the DC beat (see THE INNOCENT), several Massachusetts¿ prominent citizens especially those in law enforcement today and in the 60s want him to leave the past buried with DeSalvo. His first police contact FOJ (friend of Jack) Leo Goldsmith tells him for his own good to back off from that approach. Pressure to cease and desist comes especially from supporters of Stu Callahan, the State senior Senator who prosecuted the DeSalvo conviction. Ignoring everyone including his fiancée, Jack receives correspondence from the apparent killer who forces him into a contest in which not playing or failure means women will be STRANGLED. --- Though an exciting journalistic investigative thriller, STRANGLED is one of those tales that could have been a classic, but chooses the modern day cat and mouse action over the more fascinating look back at the DeSalvo confession. The story line is fast-paced as Jack knows he cannot ignore the deadly contest even if every politico law enforcement type demands he does as he believes the serial killer must be stopped and he has the insider track though the cost on his personal life might prove expensive. Reader will enjoy this murder mystery, but once done wonder about DeSalvo. --- Harriet Klausner