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Death Ride at Euclid Beach: And More True Tales of Crime & Disaster from Cleveland's Past Paperback – March 31, 2004
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Has more than its fair share of violence, sex, debauchery and reversals of fortune . . . But what emerges between the lines are stories of human suffering, stories of class struggle, stories that speak as much to the criminal mind as to the crime itself . . . And Bellamy clearly relishes his criminals. Sometimes he pokes fun. Sometimes he wonders at the humanity of it all. But always he tells his tales with sympathy, compassion and a good old-fashioned, if not antiquated, flair for storytelling. (Jarrod Zickefoose Sun Press 2004-04-08)
As with all the books in his Cleveland crime series, Bellamy writes with razor-edged wit and his own particular brand of charm. (Sandra Fahning Medina County Gazette 2004-06-26)
To look at John Stark Bellamy, you wouldn’t think this that friendly-faced guy in a sportcoat and tie was the keeper of the Cleveland Crypt, as author of five volumes of what he likes to call “Cleveland dismalia.” But then, many a dark, roiling inner life is concealed behind a mild façade. (Mark Satola Free Times 2004-04-07)
Take the titles of his past books and you get the idea. “The Maniac in the Bushes,” “They Died Crawling” and “Corpse in the Cellar and Killer in the Attic” probably reside in half the residential book cases on northern Ohio. Certainly in mine. They are a guilty pleasure if your mind works that way . . . The best writer and historian to come out of Cleveland since George Condon, whose “Best Kept Secret” is a marvelous book on the city’s story. (Ron Simon News-Journal 2004-03-31)
Interesting how murder and mayhem can prod one’s historical curiosity. Bellamy even makes it fun by including many familiar places―no matter where you’re driving, you’ll take the occasional detour to check out some of the book’s ghoulish crime scenes. (Thomas Mulloy Call & Post 2004-12-09)
Bellamy tells these and other tales with his usual flamboyant yet sympathetic panache, once again creating a volume that just isn’t easy to put down, especially for local history or crime buffs. (S.T . S.T Maple Heights Press 2004-12-16)
About the Author
John Stark Bellamy II is the author of six books and two anthologies about Cleveland crime and disaster. The former history specialist for the Cuyahoga County Public Library, he comes by his taste for the sensational honestly, having grown up reading stories about Cleveland crime and disaster written by his grandfather, Paul, who was editor of the Plain Dealer, and his father, Peter, who wrote for the Cleveland News and the Plain Dealer.
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Bellamy puts forth his fifth (and, if his preface is to be believed, final) book of the darker side of Cleveland history, Death Ride at Euclid Beach. If you've read any of the others, you know how this works-- stories ranging from two to roughly twenty pages about some sort of nasty, mysterious, sordid, or otherwise interesting bit of Northeast Ohio's past.
While I'm pretty much the target audience for this sort of thing, I have to say I'm glad Bellamy's hanging it up; I'm not sure whether it's his writing style or the innately boring nature of North Coast life, but Bellamy's reflections in the preface ring quite true; any more and he'd simply be treading water. Face it, Clevelanders; we're just not all that interesting. But what Bellamy's managed to dredge up over the years has been illuminating. ***