Death of a Stranger

William C. Barrett, Author, Will Barrett, Author Bookmakers Guild Inc $9.94 (267p) ISBN 978-0-917665-30-1
Though this fictionalized true crime story lacks a distinctive narrative style, the brutally dramatic murder committed and the subsequent harrowing trial gift the book with swift momentum. The author, a former Colorado state senator, opens with a graphic enactment of a slaying, and, with legalistic precision, systematically details how Les Carson, respectable suburban Colorado businessman and ostensibly devoted husband, came to psychologically and physically torment Joan, his wife, who then killed him after more than 20 years of marriage. Barrett skillfully ``humanizes'' the legal issues and questions involved--domestic violence, murder in self-defense, the right to due process, and what eventually becomes the crux of the trial: the fundamental differences in survival tactics adopted by men and women. Though Barrett is at times too thorough--he relentlessly reports the boring specifics of various courtroom procedures--his juridical knowledge tinges the novel with authenticity. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Genre: Fiction
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