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Bad Blood: Freedom and Death in the White Mountains Hardcover – September 8, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of New England (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584656794
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584656791
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,378,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In this riveting true crime tale, rural Franconia, N.H. becomes a major character alongside "wild child" Liko Kenney, authoritarian police officer Bruce McKay, foul-mouthed Vietnam vet Greg Floyd, and a host of polarized townfolk. After a long feud, hippie-ish Kenny and officer McKay finalize their relationship with a standoff that leaves them both dead, thanks in part to the interference of troubled ex-Marine Greg Floyd (who shot Kenney). Boston-based journalist Sherman (A Rose for Mary: The Hunt for the Real Boston Strangler) dissects the case with painstaking care, documenting a number of Franconia voices, each with its own version of events, to figure out why a typical small-town conflict between "the hard-nosed cop and the rebellious kid" turned unexpectedly murderous. Characters are not just colorful but complete, making Floyd's confession, at a village store two days later, all the more shocking and bizarre: with a "breezy demeanor," Floyd announced, "I'm the guy that shot that kid." As daunting facts come to light, the townspeople form two opposing camps-those for Floyd and those against-making it all but impossible for them to discern anything important from the shooting. Focusing the testimony of witnesses, loved ones and officials, Sherman provides that missing sense of perspective with skill.

Review

“In this riveting true crime tale …Characters are not just colorful but complete…As daunting facts come to light, the townspeople form two opposing camps—those for Floyd and those against—making it all but impossible for them to discern anything important from the shooting. Focusing the testimony of witnesses, loved ones and officials, Sherman provides that missing sense of perspective with skill.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Bad Blood is a story about the different worlds coexisting in that isolated piece of the New Hampshire mountains, and how easily that coexistence can twist into conflict or disaster. It also reminds us that there’s more to every story than meets the eye.”—Foster’s Daily Democrat

“Sherman’s telling of the McKay-Kenney story is fluid, crisp and accurate.”—Nashua Telegraph

More About the Author

Casey Sherman was born in Hyannis, Massachusetts in 1969.
Sherman is a graduate of Fryeburg Academy (Fryeburg, Me.) and Boston University.
Sherman is the national bestselling author of eight books including The Finest Hours (now filming as a major motion picture for Walt Disney Pictures starring Chris Pine, Casey Affleck & Eric Bana), A Rose for Mary (aka) Search for the Strangler (now in development as a television miniseries for FOX Television), Animal: The Bloody Rise and Fall of the Mob's Most Feared Assassin, Bad Blood, Black Irish, Black Dragon and the upcoming Boston Strong (now in development as a major motion picture)
Sherman has appeared on dozens of television programs including The Today Show, Dateline NBC, CBS 48 Hours Mysteries, America's Most Wanted, and The View.

Customer Reviews

This book is riveting, well written and fair.
Barry Goldstein
Dates are flat out wrong and we seem to jump from before the shooting to after and you're not sure if this is supposed to happen or not.
R. C Sheehy
Casey Sherman did an incredible job on this story!
Bonnie J., Wheatley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. C Sheehy on January 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Bad Blood does a very good job of showing how in a small town, bad seeds can cause a tremendous amount of harm and destruction. I had read Casey Sherman's previous book (his aunt had been one of the victims of the Boston Strangler) and he has a very strong bias against police officers. In reading this, and recalling the story when it came out I will give Sherman his due for doing the research and avoiding editorializing to a large degree. But having vacationed in the notch the summer after the shooting and talking about it with a local she was convinced that Lilo Kenny was a bad seed who had grudges against so many people and would snap sooner or later.

While his editorializing isn't as obvious here, Sherman does want to bring in Officer McKay's actions under close scrutiny which is understandable. The man may have made some mistakes leading to his result but his greatest mistake was to be at the business end of the gun of someone who felt the law applied only when he chose it too. Sherman also does a great job analyzing the role of the shooter and how me may be one of the real villains of the story as we see later on by his violent and threatening behavior.

Sherman's odd sense that the law is at fault often clouds his writing. I think if he could draw a more unbiased conclusion we would have a much stronger work. I also have to call out the terrible job his editors did in editing this book. Dates are flat out wrong and we seem to jump from before the shooting to after and you're not sure if this is supposed to happen or not. There are obvious errors in the book and hopefully they will be corrected for the paperback version.
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Patrick W. Collins on December 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Having attended some of the police funerals mentioned in this book (Colebrook, Epsom, and Manchester) and sharing the communities disdain for the killers, I was curious as to why this dynamic was not as apparent in the Mckay case and why there were so many apologists for Liko Kenney (full disclosure upfront: I am a retired Boston area police officer and current attorney). I picked up this book hoping it would go beyond the surface of earlier news accounts and explain why Liko should have been portrayed as anything other than a rogue cop killer. It did not. All this book achieved was to reiterate the differing opinions of Franconia residents regarding the incident. Nowhere in this book did I find any reason why Bruce Mckay should not be treated similar to the other police officers killed in the line of duty or why Kenney is looked at as a sympathetic figure. This book can by broken down into three major parts: 1. The grudge between Liko Kenney and Bruce Mckay 2. The actual police stop of Kenney by Mckay 3. Greg Floyd's actions. I have some issues with all three.

THE GRUDGE: There was alot of smoke regarding the personal grudge between Mckay and Kenney, but no fire. Where was the evidence that Mckay was improperly targeting or harrassing Kenney? Where was the evidence that Mckay posed a real or perceived threat to Kenney? If anything, the only person who could have perceived a threat from the other was Mckay. The sum total of the interactions between the two before the fatal incident happened when Mckay lawfully arrested him in 2003 while showing great restraint. Just listen to Kenney in the 2003 incident. He was irrational and claiming Mckay was targeting him then (although it was their first and only interaction).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lisa J. Steele on June 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The author notes at the end of the book claims that is the result of those people "that recognized the need for an unbaised historical account of May 11, 2007" (p. 223) Such may be needed, but this book is not it.

Others have written of the lack of research into police tactics and why Officer McKay acted as he did." The author does include a Rhode Island trooper's assessment of the stop (p. 169-71), but offers no research or discussion about police tactics to put that assessment into context.

Worse, there is no similar assessment by anyone familiar with New Hampshire law on third-party self-defense, or in general about self-defense by citizens to discuss Greg Floyd's actions. Instead, the author presents his personal theory that Floyd murdered Liko Kennedy and was hallucinating due to abusing his medication at the time (see e.g. p. 153, 212-13, etc.)

And the author seems convinced that because the statements of Greg Floyd, his son, and Caleb Macaulay differ differ "at least one of them was not telling the full truth" (p. 215). This reader is astonished that an experienced reporter is not familiar with the frailities of eyewitness memory in the aftermath of a highly stressful incident -- which this certainly was. Nor familiar with good-faith memory errors. It is quite plausible that all three honestly described the situation as they recalled it, and were all to some extent wrong.

For a good general introduction to why the eye is not a video camera and memory is not a DVD, see:
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