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Invisible Eden: A Story of Love and Murder on Cape Cod Hardcover – June 24, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway; 1 edition (June 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767913744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767913744
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,542,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In January 2002, 46-year-old fashion writer Crista Worthington was found stabbed to death on the floor of her cottage in Truro, Mass. Her curly-haired toddler, Ava, was nestled by her side. The murder traumatized Worthington's idyllic Cape Cod community and captured the attention of the national media. Here, Truro resident Flook (My Sister Life: The Story of My Sister's Disappearance) attempts to make literary sense of the tragic, downward spiral of Worthington. An attractive former Vassar girl and scion of a prominent local family, she left a glamorous career in New York (she also worked for WWD in Paris) to have an affair with a ruggedly handsome but very married fisherman and have his child. Flook, despite her lively writing, cannot solve the crime. "No one can understand the arc of the victim's life until her killer is ID'ed," writes Flook herself. Flook turns to terse Michael O'Keefe, the assistant district attorney responsible for the Worthington case, for insight and what can only be called local macho resonance. But his noncommittal investigative shop talk can't take the place of the truth. Most disappointing, the victim herself emerges as neither sympathetic nor compelling, a spoiled little rich girl who seems to care little for anyone except her daughter and herself. "The more we look at her, the uglier she gets," O'Keefe says of Worthington. Although Flook fleshes out various suspects, including Tony Jackett, the father of Worthington's child, and Tim Arnold, the spurned-lover-turned-friend who found Worthington's body. Flook seems to favor Arnold as the murderer, but who knows? This work will leave most readers with a sense of sadness and not much else.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* When Christa Worthington, an accomplished fashion writer and single mother, was found murdered in a remote Cape Cod town, national media became fascinated with the life and tragic end of a woman who appeared to have everything. Flook, a newer resident to the same small town, follows the investigation into the still unsolved murder of a woman who drifted from a life of high fashion and old WASP money to chasing a local fisherman heartthrob, the father of her child, in the hopes that he would divorce his wife. Drawing on interviews with family, friends, and former lovers, as well as investigators and murder suspects, Flook brings Worthington to life, detailing her vibrancy, character flaws, and obsessions. The Vassar graduate, disappointed with her career, found herself in her 40s, back home in Cape Cod, nursing a dying mother, expecting a child, and reviving a hatred for her philandering father, who had taken up with a much younger woman who was addicted to heroin. Flook also offers a searing look at the seaside town peopled with the rich, famous, and quirky, as well as the blue-collar, obscure, and edgy, in this intimate look at the allure of secrets, sex, and murder. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

And then they arrest someone who is not even in the book and you think, why did I waste my time reading this?
E. Thomas
It seems that Ms. Flook identifies greatly with the murder victim, Christa Worthington, to the point that she was compelled to write a book about her.
denise belizar
Flook's writing is tedious and includes so many trivial details that I found myself wishing the book would end around page 50.
C. C. Sanchez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jazzer on December 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm only several chapters into this book, and though the story is interesting, I can't believe the poor level of writing. Does this author write cheap romances? A few examples speak for themselves:

"...he captained her onto the pillowy pier of her Posturpedic."

(I was ready to drop the book after reading that one)

"Casanovia college boys, their surfboards strapped onto their cars like fiberglass codpieces..."

(this allusion makes no sense at all, you do not strap a codpiece on a roof, it would more resemble the "bras" on sportscars. Now if she had said fiberglass phaluses it would be bad, but at least closer)

Only 375 pages to go.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Same person here from Europe. I finished the book, thought it was so poorly written, researched, everything, that I wanted to give it NO stars but then found I couldn't post without at least one! There are so many spelling errors of well-known names and places that it drove me nuts. Other readers are correct when they point out that the author pretends to know what Christa was thinking and feeling during major events in her life when she knew her as well as I did which is not at all. The author repeats the same things over and over and over, ad nauseum. Great way to pad out a book so one can charge for more pages. And some of the things that she wrote about the people in her community were so insulting and appalling, she should probably think about relocating because I bet she's not on anybody's guest lists this season.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. C. Sanchez on September 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
While I am an avid reader and enjoy non-fiction, I found this book to be extremely difficult to get through. Flook's writing is tedious and includes so many trivial details that I found myself wishing the book would end around page 50. Christa Worthington's story could be a compelling read, but any excitement is lost in the minutiae. If you are looking for a true-crime book that will grab you at the beginning, entwine you in the story, and keep you interested throughout, this is not it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By duluoz on December 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
While there were some bits of wonderful folklore and history about the towns of Truro and Provincetown--both favorites of mine--I agree with a number of readers who were turned off by the poor quality of the writing and its overwrought tone. I also found that the author's repeated attempts to draw the reader to parallels between herself and Christa Worthington rang false and forced, it's lazy writing. Additionally, and adding to the poor quality was the numerous occasions of repeated information, either by using the same exact sentence, same quote, or turn of phrase. It was so prevalent, I can't believe the editor or author didn't realize this was the case, and it's too sloppy to have been done intentionally, there would be no purpose served in having the bits repeated. I held a morbid interest in this story due to my attachment to the place it discussed, I'm not a huge fan of the genre, but I've read enough of this ilk to know that this was hardly a stellar example of true crime reporting. Really a shame, as there is an abundance of wonderful history to be told, and so many colorful characters, that, on top of the intrinsic human nature to be interested in unsolved murders of the rich and even marginally famous, left me surprised at how the author failed each time to take advantage and create any interest. She seemed more obsessed with mimicking Christa Worthington's flowery writing style, again, failing miserably and often completely distracting the reader from the story with an inappropriately used adjective or metaphor. I actually skipped whole paragraphs and sections because I couldn't bear to read their content.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I, too, was looking forward to this book. Truro, as a town, is a wonderful character. But, there is something to be said about shoe-leather reporting, knocking on doors, talking to the principals in any case, that makes a true crime book readable. I realize the author is not a journalist, but maybe that's the problem. It was appalling how the author gave up her sources - going as far as getting the prosecutor booted off the case. This nightmare should have gone straight to paperback.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ex-Cape Codder on May 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
I did not read this book until after a suspect was arrested for the murder of Christa Worthington. In retrospect Flook's book seems laughable now as the whole picture she painted of Christa Worthington had absolutely nothing to do with her death.

Flook goes way off on too many tangents here: the history of the Cape, the Pilgrims, the fishing industry, etc. I got the sense that she was just filling pages. The fact is that she had really nothing to contribute to the case herself. She was able to talk to the DA and to Tony Jackett and Tim Arnold, but they ultimately provided no useful information on Worthington's murder.

The other thing that bothers me is Flook's nearly complete negative portrayal of everyone in this story: Worthington especially, but also people who live and work on Cape Cod. No one is spared her indignation.

The sad part is that Flook contributed to the hysterical finger-pointing that occured on the Cape over the past 3 years. Everyone seemed to blame Worthington for her own murder. Reading Flook's book you start to believe that Worthington's "crime" of being a single mom who liked to fool around with married men contributed to her murder. The truth, apparently, is that it was a random act of violence. Flook needs to own up to her role in smearing Worthington's reputation.

If you must read this book, look for it in the library, don't buy it.
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