Top critical review
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Fascinating true story
on January 7, 2013
I'll put the bottom line right at the top - If you enjoy reading true crime, In Broad Daylight will not disappoint you.
Now, if you're interested, I'll tell you my opinion of the book. Harry N. MacLean put together an obviously well-researched account of the events leading up to, and surrounding the death of Ken McElroy.
I have to say, I have the e-book which is riddled with typos and major formatting errors. It honestly looks like it was type-set by a beginning publishing student. But that's the publisher's fault, and not the writer's. I wanted the e-version because it has an epilogue to the epilogue which updates the story after 25 years. For me, it was worth wading through the horrendous formatting for that update, because my voyeuristic tendencies make me wonder about the long-term aftermath of something like this.
For the most part, MacLean's narrative reads factually, but at times does feel a little like gossip passed over the neighbor's fence. He's an attorney, so I'll leave it to you to decide if that lends more or less credibility to his style. There are places where he breaks into long detailed description of the weather, land, wild life and crops. The exposition is lovely and evocative, but completely extraneous. When you see a weather or crop report coming on, you can scan until you see the name of a person or place and pick up reading from there without missing anything relevant.
The case itself is a fascinating one. It's a very interesting study of the psychology of a bully and his victims. You don't have to be a true crime fan to see the significance of the story or to appreciate the book.