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Publisher's Summary

In the early 1870s, local children begin disappearing from the working-class neighborhoods of Boston. Several return home bloody and bruised after being tortured while others never come back. With the city on edge, authorities believe the abductions are the handiwork of a psychopath until they discover that their killer - 14-year-old Jesse Pomeroy - is barely older than his victims. The criminal investigation that follows sparks a debate among the world's most revered medical minds and will have a decades-long impact on the judicial system and medical consciousness.
The Wilderness of Ruin is a riveting tale of gruesome murder and depravity. At its heart is a great American city divided by class - a chasm that widens in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1872. Roseanne Montillo brings Gilded Age Boston to glorious life - from the genteel cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill to the squalid, overcrowded tenements of Southie.
©2015 Roseanne Montillo (P)2015 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"A chillingly drawn, expertly researched slice of grim Boston history." (Kirkus)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By William Snyder on 05-05-15

A jumbled, muddled mess

Too many irrelevant characters. Too much unnecessary detail. Poorly constructed chronology. There was simply no need for over half of the book. Why the author thought it necessary to tell Melville's lIfe story (or believed it was relevant to the main character) is beyond me. Presumably, it was to show a) Melville believed that whiteness could represent evil, and b) Melville struggled with mental illness. If that was the reason, though, surely it could have been accomplished in a briefer fashion? Regardless, the reliance on Melville turned this into an incoherent mess about a number of unconnected Bostonians rather than an interesting biography of a troubled, psychopathic youth.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Rachel Botting on 06-14-15

Not much about Jessie Pomeroy

Lots of historical information about Boston, the fire, current events and Herman Melville. Not really a true crime story. Disappointing.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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