An early Egan, but still excellent I love the way he weaves together time, place, and people to tell a great story Egan s writing is excellent he draws into the web of his story, hard to put down, but it s a frustrating read because of the arrogance of power that it reveals The powerful in this story ignore ethics and morality to keep their power The reality Egan reveals reminds me why I m a Libertarian. Remember, the police are your friends NOT At least not in 1930 s Spokane or even until the 1990 s according to this book This book is the true story of a murder committed in 1935 in the small NE Washington town of Newport by an off duty Spokane police detective and accomplices during a burglary of the local creamery The town night marshall happens upon the burglary, of butter no less, and is shot dead The Spokane police, most of whom are corrupt and on the take, closes ranks around one of their own and the murder investigation stalls for lack of evidence and effort.Fast forward nearly fifty years to when Anthony Bamonte, the 46 year old sheriff of Pend Oreille County, begins a graduate program at Gonzaga University and chooses to focus on the history of major crimes in his jurisdiction as his thesis project He becomes obsessed with finding out who committed what was at the time the longest unsolved murder case in the country.Bamonte is an interesting character himself and his life has not been easy It is amazing that he was able to stick with the investigation in spite of the many distractions that would have stopped most people in their tracks.Eventually, through sheer persistence and a bit of luck he is able to break through the blue wall and years of coverup to finally finger the perp and make him squirm a bit before his passing There is a a great deal of interesting history in this book about Depression era Spokane and the surrounding Northwest. On The Night Of September During A Season Of Unsolved Robberies, The Town Marshal Of Pend Oreille County In The State Of Washington Was Shot To Death Here Is The Story Of How One Man S Hunt Through A Half Century Of Police Cover Ups Unlocked The Secret Behind The Nation S Oldest Continuing Murder Investigation One of Timothy Egan s earlier books, Breaking Blue allows us to follow Anthony Bamonte, a sheriff of Lake Pend Oreille pond er AY , as he investigates the police cover up of a Depression era murder of a Newport WA sheriff who was shot dead by a Spokane detective The blue wall had protected the killer, Clyde Ralstin for over 50 years Egan s narrative style and ability to peel away the investigation layer by layer had me turning the pages Even though we know the eventual outcome, the story is un put downable Egan never disappoints. I read this book because the same author wrote Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher which I quite enjoyed Egan has a knack for telling history in a way that makes you feel like you are there as the subjects are speaking, acting, or being described This book looks at one specific person and his quest for justice To avoid a spoiler, I will only say it is engrossing, challenging, troubling, redemptive, and surprising all at once The book reminds the reader that the past is never done and gone The past always effects the present and impacts our lives This book shows that in a small way, but one that is quite profound The book helps the reader look at both fact and the story that arises out of a desire to change what people perceive. One of the best nonfiction books I ve read It reads like a fictional story than nonfiction It s not dry and boring It might have some embellishment but it s amazing. This is a true story of a crime committed during the depression in Spokane WA, and a sheriff who was determined to solve the crime 50 yrs later This was a time when people killed each other over butter Also known as the butter wars Timothy Eagan is a master at telling a good story and reads like a thriller I have really enjoyed all of Eagan s books. Interesting story about the longest unsolved murder in the country. Very timely even though the case this book covers is in 1935 Not much has changed in law enforcement here in Spokane We just had the announcement today of the chief of police retiring and her second in command all when the Otto Zehm case is being looked at as being handled wrong It is sad the corruption still runs so deep in the police force here and that it has a long history as mentioned in this book. This book is about crooked cops in Spokane, Washington during the depression and the cop who uncovered a murder by a cop during that time while doing a college thesis in the 1980 s Most of the players have passed on but there is one still living.There were some interesting moments during this book but there were also some times that were slow going Worth a read to see how hopefully times have changed.
Timothy Egan is a Pulitzer Prize winning author of nine books, including THE WORST HARD TIME, which won the National Book Award His latest book, A PILGRIMAGE TO ETERNITY, is a personal story, a journey over an ancient trail, and a history of Christianity He also writes a biweekly opinion column for The New York Times HIs book on the photographer Edward Curtis, SHORT NIGHTS OF THE SHADOW CATCHER
- 268 pages
- Breaking Blue
- Timothy Egan
- 09 July 2017 Timothy Egan