Change of Heart: Justice, Mercy, and Making Peace with My Sister’s Killer

Jeanne Bishop. Westminster John Knox, $16 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-0-664-25997-6

Bishop is the tenacious woman at the center of this true-life murder story and memoir. In 1990, her sister Nancy and brother-in-law Richard Langert were murdered at their home in an affluent Chicago suburb. Readers follow the unfolding investigation to discover that the murderer is David Biro, a local high school student who had stolen a gun from an attorney his mother hired to defend Biro on a separate charge. Proving once again that truth is stranger than fiction, Biro’s father was a coworker of Bishop’s father years earlier. “I have seen an image of Nancy’s killer: a little boy on a Christmas card” exchanged between the families, writes Bishop. Biro is sentenced as a juvenile to life in prison without possibility of parole. This should be the end. Bishop, however, is a committed Christian, dragged by God into an untidy and harshly honest pursuit of reconciliation. Two decades later she enters a maximum-security prison, where she’s asked a simple question: what is your relationship to the offender? Bishop captivates readers with her elongated, deliberate, painful, and utterly authentic story that answers that question. (Mar.)