Thursday, September 10, 2015

True Crime Thursday: Mystery on the Isles of Shoals by J. Dennis Robinson

On Smuttynose Island, in 1873, two women were brutally murdered. The third woman, Maren, escaped, spending a harrowing night hiding on the island from the man she would identify as Louis Wagner.

It seems a straightforward tragedy. But ever since the crime, despite all the evidence against Wagner, there have always been theories floating around that Maren herself did the killing. Anita Shreve's The Weight of Water, while highly fictionalized, has been used by some theorists as proof that Wagner was innocent and Maren guilty.

Robinson makes it very clear from the beginning of his book that he firmly believes Wagner was the killer. Robinson carefully and clearly lays out the evidence against Wagner, building the story, through the murders, the trial, the public execution, and the way modern society continues to view the case.

Robinson has clearly done his research, and this book reads as the definitive account of a murder that still fascinates us to this day.

4/5 stars

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