SHATTERED BONDS: A True Story of Suspicious Death, Family Betrayal and a Daughter's Courage

Cindy Band, Author, Julie Malear, Joint Author . New Horizon $25.95 (324p) ISBN 978-0-88282-221-1

When 42-year-old Florence Band, a resident of Old Westbury, N.Y., died from an apparent fall down a basement staircase in her English Tudor mansion in 1980, the official cause of death was listed as "undetermined." Her husband, Howard, claimed she had been carrying leftovers to a freezer when she fell, yet Homicide Det. John Sharkey noted rope marks on her wrists and ankles and inconsistencies in Howard's account of events. Band's daughter, Cindy, then 16, had her own suspicions and helped Sharkey during his investigation. Remarried in 1981, Howard Band was living in Delray Beach, Fla., when he was arrested on murder charges in 1983. After a jury found Band guilty of asphyxiating his wife, he was given a sentence of 25 years to life and died in prison a decade later. Now an events manager for Florida's popular La Vieille Maison restaurant, Cindy Band teamed with crime journalist Malear (Medical Murderers; Murder and Mayhem) to document her emotional upheaval, her fears of her father and how her "privileged childhood" turned tragic and troubled. While the elements of a potentially engrossing true crime tale are all here, the soap-opera melodramatics generate little suspense. Strangely. Cindy's memories are not expressed in first person. A straightforward, factual account, following the familiar conventions of true-crime reporting, would have been preferable to this overcooked approach. (Sept. 28)

Reviewed on: 07/08/2002
Release date: 09/01/2002
Mass Market Paperbound - 379 pages - 978-1-933893-02-0
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