Met Her on the Mountain: A Forty-Year Quest to Solve the Appalachian Cold-Case Murder of Nancy Morgan

Mark I. Pinsky. John F. Blair, $24.95 (278p) ISBN 978-0895876119
This compulsively page-turning true crime narrative has it all: smart prose, a now-obscure unsolved murder that was notorious at the time, and an investigative journalist trying to pick up the trail. In 1970, the nude and hog-tied body of Nancy Morgan was found in a car in a Madison County, N.C., forest after she’d gone missing. Morgan had been working for Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) in the area for under a year, in an idealistic attempt to help people in the impoverished area. The initial police investigation was “a study in confusion and barely controlled jurisdictional chaos,” and local corruption (the county’s Democratic boss was said to have made Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley look like Bambi) only made matters worse. Fourteen years passed before an arrest was made, but the prime evidence came from a career criminal and notorious liar. Regarding the victim as a kindred spirit, former Los Angeles Times staff writer Pinsky followed the story from the start (he was a college student in the area at the time of the murder), and many readers will be convinced that his dogged investigation has at last uncovered the truth. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 06/24/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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