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Cruel Doubt Paperback – June 1, 1992
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From Publishers Weekly
McGinniss's ( Fatal Vision ) forceful account of a 1988 murder plotted by avid players of the fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons spent two weeks on PW 's hardcover bestseller list and was a Literary Guild special selection.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Like Jerry Bledsoe's Blood Games ( LJ 9/15/91), McGinniss recounts the terrible events of July 25, 1988 when Lieth Von Stein was fatally stabbed and his wife Bonnie severely injured. Suspicion quickly focused on Chris, their son, and his friends, college students immersed in a world of drugs, alcohol, and the game Dungeons and Dragons. While Bledsoe's more straightforward account focuses on Chris and his friends, particularly James Upchurch III, who was found guilty of the actual murder, McGinnis tells the story from Bonnie's perspective, portraying a widow who relentlessly pursues the truth about the crime while acting also as a loving mother, unwilling to accept the truth about her son's involvement. In a book that's more a psychodrama than a detective story, McGinniss has drawn a riveting portrait of parental devotion that flies in the face of the truth. His reputation as a brutally honest storyteller ( Fatal Vision , LJ 9/1/83; Blind Faith , LJ 1/89) will attract many readers. Highly recommended.
-Sandra K. Lindheimer, Middlesex Law Lib., Cambridge, Mass.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I found it sickening that this poor woman, after losing her husband and almost losing her life, was then a pawn for lawyers - who, to their credit, felt bad about leaving her alone in a house with the boy who was being prosecuted for her attempted murder. More than a murder story, this was a shocking insight into the priorities of the justice system and perhaps McGinniss could have pursued this angle more vigorously. That would have been more characteristic of the Fatal Vision author!