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Monday, January 25, 2016

In the Middle of the Night: The Shocking True Story of a Family Killed in Cold Blood

Ah, yes, true crime. In the Middle of the Night: The Shocking True Story of a Family Killed in Cold Blood by Brian McDonald was a no-brainer.

In 2007, the murder of the Petit family in Cheshire, Connecticut rocked the nation. The beautiful family, made up of a father, a mother, and two young daughters, were sleeping when two parolees broke into their home, beat the father, and tied up the women. A night of horror ensued, ending in the early morning hours with the three women dead, the father close to incapacitated, and the house burnt to the ground.

This book was published in 2009, and quite a bit has happened in the way of justice since then. Both perpetrators were found guilty and sentenced to death, and the town has honored the victims. But it's the story of that night that kicks me in the gut every time I hear it.

Overall McDonald's book is a comprehensive look at the events of that July night, and a good chunk of the book is spent exploring Joshua Komisarjevsky's past as a way to try to understand what took over a man to move from a life of petty break-ins to cold-blooded murder. It's an interesting angle on the case, but I have to say that it was just a little too detailed to hold my attention for long. I wanted to hear the victims' story most of all; when McDonald wrote about the family I was the most intrigued.

McDonald did a very good job of telling the story of the events of that night in a clear narrative that kept me focused. I think that if I had picked up this book when it was first published I might have been more captivated; in the past three years more information has come out and more story has been told. McDonald's writing is clear and easy to follow, and I would absolutely recommend this book if you are looking for background on the case or you would just like a good true crime read.

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