Trace: Who Killed Maria James?

Rachael Brown. Scribe, $18 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-947534-58-2
Drawn from Brown’s true crime podcast, Trace, this vivid account of a cold case focuses on the 1980 murder of Maria James, a single mother who ran a bookshop in a Melbourne, Australia, suburb. Brown’s narrative offers flashbacks to the original investigation by police detective Ron Iddles, along with a chronicle of her own investigative work, which includes discussions with James’s grown sons, Mark and Adam. Both painfully reflect on the events of their mother’s murder, with Adam discussing his sexual molestation before the murder at the hands of a parish priest, Father Bongiorno, a suspect previously cleared in the case. The author revisits the possibility that the now-deceased priest’s fear of discovery might have been a motive for murder. Brown skillfully balances an impartial, investigative tone with a more personal perspective, notably addressing her own fears of reopening old wounds and becoming overly consumed by the case. The primary audience will likely be readers eager to pick up where the podcast left off. Those seeking concrete answers may not be satisfied—but as true crime enthusiasts know, the thrill is in the investigation. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/22/2019
Release date: 06/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-6556-1271-1
MP3 CD - 978-0-6556-1296-4
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