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Finding Bethany Paperback – May 28, 2014
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An additional theme that comes through in the book is the fact that the Anchorage police department's homicide unit does fantastic work. APD's homicide solve rate is in the ball park of 90-94 percent, and this book gives a nice snap shot as to why the APD has such a high rate (national average is about 64 percent). So, this book is a great read for anyone interested in the criminal justice field. The reader gets a strong sense of the sacrifice, dedication, sleep deprivation, and strain on family life that police work involves. Interestingly, Klinkhart skillfully and subtly lets the reader in on his personal life, and this in turn humanizes him. I really liked this quality about his writing because often police work shuts a person down, and it's hard for an officer to share what's on their mind. It's thus a very rare gift that Klinkhart is able to share with the reader in the way that he does.
The story is based on true events, although- according to the acknowledgements from the author Glen himself, some names have been changed (as is to be expected with a true story). Glen's sister Dawn was murdered when he was quite young- and an eerily similar case regarding a woman named Bethany is what this tale is about. Bethany goes missing, and Glen makes it his responsibility to find her- or, find out what happened to her. This is not a tale for the faint of heart. The unfortunate truths of mankind can be found on so many pages in this book. The terrifying, real, and horrific aspects of humanity. And yet, amidst all of that- is the light that is Glen and the rest of the officers and volunteers who dedicate themselves to bettering and saving the human race (or, at least, bringing justice to their deaths).
Find Bethany is a compelling tale. A long read, but one that you won't easily be able to put down. From the start the characters reach out from the page, and grab your attention. Even weeks after you finish this book you'll be recounting all of Glen's memories- analyzing every bit of his story as much as he has. His tale is deeply moving, inspiring, and impossible to forget. I planned on reading this book slowly, in increments, as I got time. Turns out, I ended up making time to read this- and read the entire book within a few days of straight tucked-away-on-the-couch reading. The story was so compelling, and the fact that it was based on truth makes it even harder to simply quit reading. Glen is an exquisite writer and brought every event to life in chilling detail. It is very hard for me take an interest in, and finish, a crime novel- but Finding Bethany is my one exception. This book has earned a permanent spot on my bookshelf. Perhaps it hits closer to home because I live in Alaska- the home of the author, Glen. But deep down I know it's more than that. This tale, it's truths, and the beautiful way in which it was written- jumps out from the pages and engrains itself in your memory. A compelling read worth every minute you spend tucked away on your couch finishing it.