No Sanctuary: The True Story of a Rabbi's Deadly Affair

Michele Samit, Author Carol Publishing Corporation $19.95 (341p) ISBN 978-1-55972-182-0
One of the defects in this unimpressive tale is the subtitle, which puts more emphasis on the role of the rabbi in question than is merited. Freelancer Samit's story mostly concerns the ill-fated marriage of southern California accountant Melvin Green and his wife Anita, who was fatally shot in the parking lot of her husband's office on October 25, 1990; Melvin is now serving a life sentence for the murder. The author, who knew the Greens and their fellow congregants at Temple Shir Chadash, begins badly with an apologia for those who will be hurt by her book. Her diction is at times inflated: on hearing of the shooting, Melvin ``journeyed'' into the parking lot; periodically he would ``raze'' the house looking for incriminating evidence. But Samit does convey well a dilemma that true-crime buffs will savor: while Melvin, concludes the author, probably masterminded the killing, no evidence directly involved him, so that the jury's guilty verdict seems incomprehensible. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!