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Absolutely Exquisitely Written Mystery that I believe was tailored from the DOZIER REFORM SCHOOL in Florida where this also takes place.
I listened to this book enraptured by this story of a missing boy (Andy Cope) that disappeared 50 years ago from juvenile detention facility. The people involved in this child's disappearance are now men in their early 60s and up.
Sean O'Brien is hired by a man who was detained with Andy. He hires Sean through a letter and then proceeds to commit suicide. His suicide relates directly to the reform school and his is not the only one over the years.
The townspeople living where this facility was located would like to forget it. The guards would like for Sean O'Brien to forget it. The children who had been sent to this reform school were never the same. They suffered the worst kind of abuse grown men can perpetrate on children. Some of the children never left the "school" and it's up to Sean to find their graves but... the guard who was in charge is still alive and he wants Sean dead.
This book is so well written I hung on every word. I have listened to and enjoyed all of Tom Lowe's historical based mystery books. The narrator is Michael David Axtell. His performance is excellent and for me he is the voice of Sean O'Brien.
All of the books in this series are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
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17 of 19 people found this review helpful
This is a story that you must be "ready" to hear. It's about the brutality dished out to children (young teens) by the same people who "society" expects to protect children. It's about what really went on in the juvenile facility where teens are sent for minor infractions. It's been 50 years and, finally, a dying man wants answers.
Many boys went into the facility but never came out. The authorities at the facility reported them as "runaways." But did they really run away or did something more sinister happen to them.
Everything hits the fan when the long abandoned facility was offered for sale to the highest bidder and at the same time an old man dying of cancer does what should have been done years ago. He hires Sean O'Brien to investigate what happened to Andy Cope.
Many of the children who had returned home from the facility, were not the same. They suffered from PTSD among other disorders as a result of the abuse and brutality they suffered (repeatedly beaten and repeatedly raped was implied). A couple of the guards who were in charge at the time are still alive. It's up to Sean O'Brien to figure out what happened to the missing boys, but particularly what happened to Andy Cope. The relatives of Andy, and the other boys, believe they were murdered and buried on the grounds of the facility.
There were unexpected twists in the story but, for me, the "who did it" was evident early on. Nevertheless, the story was worth listening. It was entertaining to see how the investigation would be conducted and the ultimate surprise of who were working against the investigation from the inside. Narrator, Michael David Axtell, performed the story very well.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful