cover image The Blooding: A True Story of the Narborough Village Murders

The Blooding: A True Story of the Narborough Village Murders

Joseph Wambaugh. William Morrow & Company, $4.98 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08617-6

In this latest venture into true crime, Wambaugh ( The Onion Field ; Echoes in the Darkness ) triumphs again. Here he turns to Leicestershire, England, and the slayings of two teenagers, Lynda Mann in 1983, and Dawn Ashworth three years later, killings that were eventually solved through scientist Alec Jeffreys's discovery of ``genetic fingerprinting.'' This discovery was made, ironically, at Leicester University, close to the scene of the crimes, and the technique may revolutionize detection. Wambaugh, ever a master of plotting, first leads readers into suspecting the wrong man and then switches to the actual murderer and the taking of thousands of blood samples in one of the more bizarre investigations ever conducted. Genetic fingerprinting was determined to be foolproof, and the real culprit, Colin Pitchfork, was identified without question. As Wambaugh's fans have come to expect, this is an eminently readable and most impressive book. 250,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection; author tour. (Feb.)