Based on the initial press release:
OUT OF THE GRAVE, VINTAGE DETECTIVE STORY TELLS ALL. DISCOVERY REVEALS LONG-HIDDEN DRAMA FROM 1910-1911.
THE MURDER AT ASBURY PARK is an illustrated PDF
ebook that visually incorporates the recently unearthed reports of one of the 20th Century's most remarkable murder cases and sting operations. It is true crime as you never have seen it before.
Basically stated: Ten-year-old Marie Smith is murdered. Small town officials, unable to find answers, contact Raymond C. Schindler, young New York manager of the illustrious William J. Burns National Detective Agency. It is his first murder case. The elaborate sting that he and his team pull off distinguishes this case as a shining "theatrical" achievement in the history of crime investigation. Since 1911, the story has been told only as series of anecdotes, in brief "amazing detective" articles in pulp magazines, Sunday supplements and publications like The Reader's Digest.
What was once a little parlor story is now a 400-page ebook that uses scans of the stirringly written case materials, an archive revealed for the first time in nearly 100 years.
Author and researcher Peter Lucia has assembled hundreds of narrative-style detective reports and other documents in a way that allows at least half of this unbelievable tale to be told in the worlds of the people involved in it.
The case has many exceptional characteristics; but its most compelling feature is the central ploy designed to maneuver the main suspect into revealing his guilt. The daily (often shocking) reports of the audacious operative involved in this fantastic operation make for a reading experience that may be unique in the history of true crime writing
. The author explains that it is the thrilling diary-like quality of the material that has made this work possible.
"The people involved in the case didn't know they we're writing a story," says Lucia, who quietly worked on the project for over six years. "The documents are an exhilarating piece of vintage Americana. It would have been a crime in itself to hide this material or even paraphrase it. I needed to assemble a totally accurate day-by-day account of the case in which these stunning narratives could be showcased... I know of nothing like this work. It's more than just a read
, it's a thing
-- an archive that grows legs, so to speak, and starts to walk."
Clearly, this is something more basic, closer to the truth, than literary nonfiction or "faction." The author likes to think of it as a documentation work, perhaps a "documentation novel", even though the word novel
tends to suggest fiction. "It's dead men talking," he quips.
In addition to the hundreds of case materials, THE MURDER AT ASBURY PARK contains 250 photographs and illustrations, many quite rare.