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Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America Hardcover – March 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; First Edition edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006198390X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061983900
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This is the ultimate cold case�tragic, high-profile, and, finally, successfully solved. Six-year-old Adam Walsh was abducted from a crowded Sears store in Hollywood, Florida, in 1981. Later, he was murdered and decapitated. Identifying Adam�s killer took 25 years. His parents turned into tireless advocates for missing and abused children; Adam�s father, John Walsh, moved from a sales job to being the executive producer and host of America�s Most Wanted. This forceful account, written with Matthews, former sergeant with the Miami Beach Police Department, who worked the case for years, gives readers the ultimate insider�s account of the grueling search for Adam�s killer and for the evidence to convict him. While many true-crime books claim to shine a light on society by examining one particular case, this account actually does. No reader can come away from this without appreciating what it takes to keep pursuing an investigation, against the obstacles of police politics and bureaucracy. Wrenching and riveting. --Connie Fletcher

Review

“[A] page turner…hopeful and heartbreaking, Bringing Adam Home is tough to forget.” (People)

“A riveting, harrowing, tautly suspenseful book that reads like a crime novel…but is all the more chilling for being fact, not fiction.” (St. Petersburg Times)

“Intertwined with this true-crime chronicle is the important story of how Adam’s abduction turned his parents into powerful advocates for crime victims and how law enforcement agencies across the country changed their response to missing children cases.” (Orlando Home and Leisure)

“An essential read for those interested in forensic science and true crime.” (Library Journal)

“[M]ystery writer Les Standiford, in collaboration with Detective Sgt. Joe Matthews, has written a riveting and page-turning account of this heart-wrenching story.” (BookReporter.com)

“Les Standiford’s account of the decades-long attempt to solve the murder of Adam Walsh is chilling, heartbreaking, hopeful, and as relentlessly suspenseful as anything I’ve ever read. A triumph in every way.” (Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent)

“Les Standiford’s account of the decades-long attempt to solve the murder of Adam Walsh is chilling, heartbreaking, hopeful, and as relentlessly suspenseful as anything I’ve ever read. A triumph in every way.” (Dennis Lehane, author of MYSTIC RIVER and SHUTTER ISLAND)

“I didn’t live far from the mall where Adam Walsh was kidnapped. I remember that story as if it were yesterday. It terrified me as a kid. But it’s the details that Les Standiford has found that terrify me as an adult. Insightful, horrifying, and just beautifully written.” (Brad Meltzer, New York Times bestselling author of THE BOOK OF FATE)

“BRINGING ADAM HOME is a maddening, terrifying and ultimately triumphant book. Les Standiford explores the injustice and finally justice surrounding the murder of Adam Walsh. You will cry and rage but you will not be able to put this book down until you finish it. My God! What a book!” (Ann Hood, author of THE RED THREAD and THE KNITTING CIRCLE)

“BRINGING ADAM HOME is a riveting account of a child abduction and murder that goes unsolved for twenty-seven years—both an unsettling expose of police incompetence and a portrait of an extraordinary and dedicated detective.” (Joyce Carol Oates)

“Not since IN COLD BLOOD has the story of a terrible crime been told with such elegance and power....Heartbreaking and hypnotically suspenseful.” (Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of VANISHED)

“Charts with devastating precision the decades-long search for the killer and the evolution of Revé and John Walsh... from grieving parents into powerful advocates for missing children...Standiford’s account is riveting, heartbreaking, and supports John Walsh’s statement: “it’s not about closure; it’s about justice.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“While many true-crime books claim to shine a light on society by examining one particular case, this account actually does. No reader can come away from this without appreciating what it takes to keep pursuing an investigation, against the obstacles of police politics and bureaucracy. Wrenching and riveting.” (Booklist)

“Compelling, bittersweet… ably fleshes out the difficult yet familiar story with style, pathos and relevant historical detail.” (Miami Herald)

“Bringing Adam Home is one of the finest true-crime books since Thomas Thompson’s Blood and Money…This remarkable story will bring readers to tears of grief - and rage.” (Associated Press)

“[A] heartbreaking story of incompetent police and determined parents… Novelist and nonfiction author Les Standiford does a masterful job of re-creation, reporting and research… readers will be haunted by the maladroit investigation and the added anguish this caused the Walshes.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Standiford and Matthews relate Matthews’ quest skillfully.” (Dallas Morning News)

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Customer Reviews

This book will scare you & make you very angry.
Amy 835
The co-author of the book Joe Matthews is the detective that finally pieced together all of the evidence to prove that Ottis Toole was the murderer.
C. Stephans
The third part of the story is about all the laws that have now been put into place through the hard work and perseverance of Adam Walsh's parents.
Loribee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By L. Moskowitz on March 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Les Standiford writes at the end of "Bringing Adam Home", "Perhaps, once upon a time, parents only worried about their kids when they took them to the beach or to the pool or hiking along some steep path. Now vigilance begins at birth, if not before, and for most the worry never ends." Such is the legacy of the abduction of Adam Walsh from a Broward County Mall the summer of 1981. I was a 12-year-old living in Miami that summer and, for me and my peers, his kidnapping and murder has lingered in our memories and left us wondering about his tragic fate.

Standiford dutifully tells the story of what happened that day and in the almost thirty years since. Aided by the police detective who finally pieced the puzzle together, the author meticulously details what happened to Adam and all of the players involved, including scores of incompetent cops interested more in their egos than solving the murder of an innocent child. There are times that I was so angered by the tales of these egomaniacal officers, I had to put the book away to calm down.

The book isn't perfect. The writing is often as dry as the police reports the author quotes from and some information is repeated seemingly ad nauseam. After finishing the book, however, I can better appreciate its tone. Since 1981, there has been much speculation and needless doubt about the man who murdered Adam Walsh, and Standiford clearly wants to ensure that the reader is left with no doubt about the perpetrator of the crime. He may overstate his case to the average reader, but he wants everyone, including any person still holding out doubt, to know that the evidence is very clear.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By William D. Curnutt TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the true story of the kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh and the agony that it brought to his parents John and Reve Walsh. It is testimony to the work of distraught parents to take up the cause of missing children and bring it to the public's notice and over twenty-five years develop a program to help the nation deal with the exploitation of missing children.

In this riveting case regarding the loss of their on son we are brought to grips with the tireless efforts of some law enforcement personnel who want to find Adam and get him home. We are also brought face to face with some law enforcement personnel who do not handle the case well, do not document interviews well, do not handle interrogation of suspects well and who do not follow up each and every lead and often stop just short of asking questions that would have served the case well.

It is frustrating that within two years of the disappearance of Adam that they have a suspect in custody who on at least seven occasions to different detectives confesses to killing Adam Walsh. But for a series of terrible blunders he is never charged with that murder. There are some detectives who think he is lying. Others who mishandled files and paperwork doesn't get put together properly.

Also there turns out to be a small issue. The State Attorney General of Florida was proof beyond a shadow of belief before they will issue an arrest warrant. They want hard evidence, not just verbal testimonies. That person is Janet Reno. She was notorious for not wanting to prosecute any case that wasn't considered a slam dunk.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sylviastel VINE VOICE on January 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Adam Walsh was cut short by his abduction and murder from a Sears department store in Hollywood, Florida. His parents, John Walsh and Reve Walsh became advocates for children's rights all over the country. Their son's abduction and murder began a movement of protecting children.

Still, the loss of their firstborn son, Adam Walsh, in a brutal, horrible crime is still painful and understandable so. John Walsh has made his life's work by bringing justice to those who are victims of brutal crimes. His wife, Reve, although the quiet reserved spouse, has maintained an active part in pursuing justice.

This book is about finding the truth about Adam Walsh's abduction and murder and the botched police investigation. At the time, the local police department in Hollywood, Florida was not equipped to handle the abduction and the murder.

The Hollywood Police Department in Florida couldn't handle his abduction and murder. They brought in the co-author Detective Sargent Joe Matthews from Miami Beach, Florida to help investigate the case. But despite the obvious murderer, Ottis Toole, the case was still not solved.

The case would have been solved a long time ago if the police department had investigated Ottis Toole. Instead, police departments sometimes let their egotism and their pride before justice could take place.

John and Reve Walsh had every right to be angry with their son's murderer but also with the local police department who failed to provide justice and closure while the killer was alive and confessing frequently.

You might wonder why Adam Walsh is so important. The safety of children everywhere may have been because of the Walshes who became advocates for protecting children and innocent victims.
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