IN PLAIN SIGHT: The Startling Truth Behind the Elizabeth Smart Investigation

Tom Smart, Author, Lee Benson, Author . Chicago Review $24.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-55652-579-7

Despite the sensational subtitle, readers who have followed the kidnapping and eventual safe return of Utah teenager Elizabeth Smart won't glean any "startling" truths from this account, coauthored by one of the drama's prime players. But most will find the detailed account of police missteps disturbing and saddening. Smart's traumatic imprisonment riveted much of the country for nine months, from her abduction from her bedroom until the discovery that she was the veiled young woman accompanying a bizarre street preacher named Brian David Mitchell. Tom Smart, an uncle who came unfairly under suspicion and who devoted countless hours to exploring every lead, and journalist Benson craft a coherent narrative interweaving the official investigation with a reconstruction of Mitchell's movements; the numerous missed opportunities to locate Elizabeth and her captors make for agonizing reading. Tom Smart settles some scores: Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and Marc Klaas, the father of a murdered child, come across as journalistically unscrupulous. But Smart is also forthright about his own mistakes. While this is an interesting alternate perspective to that provided by Elizabeth's parents in 2003's Bringing Elizabeth Home, the compelling story still awaits a definitive telling. 8 pages of color photos. Agent, Dystel/Goderich Literary Agency. (April 18)

Reviewed on: 04/18/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
Paperback - 408 pages - 978-1-55652-621-3
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-61374-210-5
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