The Officer’s Daughter: A Memoir of Family and Forgiveness

Elle Johnson. Harper, $27.99 (224p) ISBN SBN 978-0-06-301132-8
Screen writer Johnson debuts with a beautiful and emotional memoir of a family tragedy. In 1981, her cousin and best friend, 16-year-old Karen Marsh, was killed in a botched Burger King robbery in the Bronx. In 2014, Karen’s brother asked her to write a letter to the parole board asking to keep the convicted killer in prison, which prompted Johnson to revisit the incident and the devastating effects it had on her family. At the time of the crime, Johnson’s father was an NYPD parole officer and her uncle was an NYPD homicide detective, and before the suspects were caught she overheard them talking about finding and killing them. Her relationship with her father, a controlling man who beat her mother, was already strained, and overhearing this made it more so. Eventually, two teenage boys involved in the robbery turned themselves in, and the shooter was tracked to California and returned for trial. All received lengthy prison sentences and were denied parole multiple times, but they were eventually released. Johnson never did write the letter, because she waited until it was too late. By researching the case and revisiting her past, though, she finally found forgiveness, for the robbers and her own father. Assured prose bolsters the personal insights. This searing story deserves a wide readership. Agent: Eric Simonoff, WME. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/20/2020
Release date: 00/00/0000
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-06-301134-2
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