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In Plain Sight: The Startling Truth Behind the Elizabeth Smart Investigation Hardcover – April 18, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
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"A fascinating look at...riveting case which shows how the police, media, and society interact in a high-profile crime case." -- Dr. Henry C. Lee, author, Cracking More Cases, and leading forensic scientist in the O.J. Simpson, JonBenet Ramsey, and Elizabeth Smart investigations
"An important book that does far more than just chronicle the facts of [this] electrifying, terrifying child abduction case..." -- Ernie Allen, president and CEO, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
"An insightful and harrowing memoir This book of behind-the-scene dramas reads like a true crime novel." -- Terry Tempest Williams, author, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
"Provides the only new information about the case in months." -- The Salt Lake Tribune
"Through the eyes of Tom Smart, we are finally inside a story that none of us will ever forget. Amazing." -- Nancy Grace, anchor of Court TV
Top Customer Reviews
"In Plain Sight" (380 pages) is written by and from Tom Smart's perspective, the oldest brother of Ed Smart (Elizabeth's dad). It doesn't necessarily make for an easy read. Tom Smart comes across as a heavy-bearing guy with an healthy ego, even if all he has in mind is the best for everyone and wants nothing more than the safe return of Elizabeth. The first half of the book covers the first 10 days or so of Elizabeth's abduction, and is not compelling, as much as we all feel for the family. The book really takes of in the second half, when the weeks and months fly by. Even though the author makes clear he has not interviewed Elizabeth for the book, we do get a good sense of what her captors and Elizabeth were doing, drifting in Salt Lake and near San Diego.
The Salt Lake City Police Department does not come across well in this account, being referred to at one point as the "Keystone Cops", as it eventually steadfastly focuses on Richard Ricci, who is arrested and eventually dies while in prison of a ruptured aneurysm, while all along the true abductors remain shockingly "in plain sight" around SLC and later in San Diego. "America's Most Wanted" John Walsh, instead, gets very positive write-up, and for good reason.
The latter part of the book is most riveting, up to the eventual confrontation with the abductors and Elizabeth in suburban SLC. Even then it looked like things might go wrong, but when the author describes Ed Smart being reunited with Elizabeth at the police station, I admit I had tears running down my face. My prayers are with Elizabeth, that she can find a "normal" life as she grows older, after having suffered such a terrible ordeal.
This book is riveting, shocking, and highly recommended.