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Bronx D.A.: True Stories from the Sex Crimes and Domestic Violence Unit Hardcover – May 19, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Barricade Books (May 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569803056
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569803059
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,572,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

She succeeds at shocking readers with the bare facts of a true-life case, unembellished by literary prose or grizzled actors. -- Deanna Zammit, FORDHAM Magazine

Straus manages to find the human element in each case...the camaraderie and connections which arise from struggle and adversity. -- Midwest Book Review

About the Author

From 1995-2000, Sarena Straus was a prosecutor at the office of the District Attorney, Bronx County. In her last few years with the office, Sarena prosecuted felonies in the Domestic Violence/Sex Crimes unit, where she achieved an 80 percent conviction rate prosecuting homicides, sex crimes and child abuse cases. She appeared in the Discovery Channel documentary, Crime and Justice, The Bronx. She is currently in-house counsel for a corporation and writes a quarterly article for the magazine, The Docket. She lives with her husband in Putnam County, New York.

More About the Author

About the Author:From 1995-2000, Sarena Straus was a prosecutor at the Office of the District Attorney, Bronx County. Ms. Straus appeared in the Discovery Channel documentary, Crime and Justice, The Bronx. She is the author of several legal articles and writes a quarterly article for the magazine 'ACC Docket.' This is Ms. Straus' first full-length book. She lives with her husband in Putnam County, New York.

'Bronx DA is a well-guided tour of what it's like to do the worst kind of work in one of the roughest places in the country. Often harrowing, sometimes hopeful, it shows how hard it is to offer justice to those whose lives have ended or barely begun. And how essential it is that people like Sarena Straus continue to do it.' 'EdConlon, author of the critically acclaimed book Blue Blood

Gavin De Becker, author of the bestselling Gift of Fear describes Sarena Straus as 'a crusading prosecutor who defends women and children, reminding us to follow our intuition; she always leads the reader back to compassion for others.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
It's simply the best description of it that I've read.
Howard M. Sklar
You'd think that after what she saw, her view of the world would be much less optimistic...mine might be just reading about her cases.
Gilly
Ms. Straus takes us to a dark corner where children are brutalized but ultimately the story is humane and hopeful.
Brooklyn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Catherine on June 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I had mixed emotions regarding this book. The stories are very interesting to read, and they held my attention until the end of the book. Unfortunately, the writing style is often pretty pulpy, and the book would have been much better if Ms. Straus had spared the world her attempts at writing poetry. The poetry, along with a fair number of grammatical errors, gave the book a kind of vanity press feel that was very unfortunate given how interesting the vignettes were.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gilly on June 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Straus had quite an adventure at the Bronx DA's office and I'm glad that she shared it with us! Her work there was non-stop episodes of Law and Order, CSI and The Sheild all rolled up into one. It's hard to believe that one person could really experience all the types of cases that she did and that it's not fiction! Straus knows how to tell a story. She gave enough information that her cases were easy to follow, but the book is a very fast an interesting read. There was not a moment in the book that I found to be slow. What I liked most about the book was that, in spite of all of the horror that she experienced, the author still had a positive message to send. You'd think that after what she saw, her view of the world would be much less optimistic...mine might be just reading about her cases. But it's not a negative book. Rather, Ms. Straus really seems to have left the DA's office with her faith in the system intact, and that's good to know!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Prosecutor on March 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As a prosecutor, I was very interested in reading this book. I had seen an interview with the author and read several customer reviews. I am disappointed. I understand that the author apparently lived a fairly priveleged life prior to working as an Assistant D.A., and says as much early in the book. I would assume, however, that her $100,000 education would have helped develop a more grammatically correct writing style. The errors in grammar and spelling were distracting at times and made for a less than smooth read. Additionally, though I do not prosecute in the Bronx, and am sure there is a steep learning curve, five years as an Assistant D.A. hardly creates an expertise in any area. The "cop speak" throughout the book, and the drama with which the stories are told suggest a motive more in line with personal promotion than delivery of insight. This may explain the numerous T.V. appearances, etc. The author may be a good lawyer and may have been a good Assistant D.A., but the book does not convey that. Finally, the stories told are important ones to tell, and all should have some exposure to what man is willing to do to one another, especially the most vulnerable. I just wish the book's focus was more on them and less on the author's gallant fight for those unable to fight for themselves, at least for five years.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Cherie A. Rohn on October 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Don't laugh. That's exactly what Sarena Straus embodies in her unvarneshed war against the "mean streets" of the Bronx, one of the most crime-laden urban battlegrounds in this increasingly violent country of ours. We're "flys on the wall" witnessing the lives of battered women and children as Ms. Straus weaves through her complicated world as an assistant D.A. From gruesome homicides to child molesters and serial rapists. The stories are first-hand accounts, always real, never exagerated. And what does one come away with? The light at the end of the tunnel, reminding us there is always hope when people care. This graphic yet compassionate account is a must read for anyone who wants an insiders view of how violent crimes affect victims and, ultimately, how dealing with the victims transformed prosecutor, Sarena Straus, forever.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Book-A-Year Boy on January 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you're a CSI die-hard or a fan of other pulled-from-the-headlines shows, you still will not be prepared for the real-life drama that occurs in the Bronx. Sarena Straus has captured the life of a prosecutor and tells vivid stories that capture and haunt. I couldn't put the book down. My only question is: when's the next book?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This true crime memoir of author Sarena Straus, a young assistant D.A. working in the Bronx, isn't just another collection of vignettes but tackles the overall struggle against violence, considering the experiences of those living with violence on the streets and those who work against it fellow attorneys, physicians, social workers and others. From homicides to police actions and her own disturbing caseload of rapists, murderers, and batterers, Straus manages to find the human element and hope in each case, ultimately surveying the camaraderie and connections which arise from struggle and adversity.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Howard M. Sklar on August 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I worked with Sarena in the DA's office, although I wasn't in DVS. I can say that her descriptions of the office, the people, and the experience of being an ADA are right on the money. If you want a first-hand description of what life is like for a prosecutor, you must buy this book. It's simply the best description of it that I've read.

I thought the book was excellent.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robyn Giacoletti on May 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book took me thru every emotion possible, I was exhauseted after each chapter. I have given this to my daughter to read and have recommended it to everyone I know. I feel it is important to know what is out there and the good people who fight against this everyday. It is truly an important book. Thank you Sarena, I look forward to hearing from you in the future.
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