Author: Pete Earley
Publisher: Touchstone, Pgs 336
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
I do not know what direction to go in with this book. There were two main themes, traumatic brain injury and shock and awe of convicted serial killers looking for yet another 15 minutes of fame. The insight into the world of Tony Ciaglia, after he sustained a near fatal blow to the head by a Wave Runner while a 15-year-old teen at a summer camp was fascinating. How the brain compensates and rebels after an injury is what initially drew me into the book, but once the story fell into the black pit of yet another serial killer getting off on telling his story and justifying his actions I lost interest.
If you have read about one serial killer, you have pretty much read about them all. It is never their fault, society does not understand them, and if the victim were not in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing then they never would have been singled out. Yada Yada Yada.
Back to Tony, because this is what the real story should have been about. After the injury, Tony fell into a deep depression and was unable to fit into the life he had before, if he was going to mentally survive this new hand that was dealt to him he have to find a purpose . Turns out that the purpose was both obsessive and terrifying at the same time.
Becoming pen pals with death row inmates is not what a parent would want for a child, but with Tony’s injury, he had lost the usual shock and disgust that others feel towards killers. With this ability, he was able to correspond with them in a nonjudgmental way that allowed these men to both open up and confess to crimes that investigators needed answers to.
You will need a strong stomach to get through some of these letters. This is not a book for anyone that is sensitive to this subject matter. I am still not sure if Tony was being played, but I do hope, that somewhere down the road, additional crimes will be solved and families will finally be able to get the long awaited answers that they so desperately need.