Jaimie’s True Crime Summer Reading Program continues with a break from the Third Reich.

This book is a good overview of the D.B. Cooper case. In 1971 a man going by the name Dan Cooper hijacked a plane and actually got away with it.

The book adds some new characters, and when I say characters I mean it. (Everyone in this book is awesomely crazy.) The author does a really good job of making these people very human and interesting. (read: crazy.) And even though he writes about these very dedicated/obsessed people he still manages to keep the tone respectful. Mr. Gray breaks the story down into three parts: The Jump, The Hunt, and The Curse. What a great idea, because he often jumps around to different characters as well as points in time, so this way the sections of the book gel together better. At first, all the jumping from person to person was really confusing and kind of maddening (mostly because of the jumps in time, he’d go from 1971 to something in 1980 to 2008 back to ’71. It was annoying at first.) but if you stick with the book, you learn the characters and it gets easier to follow.

My favorite part of the book was The Curse because it shows how the people who get involved in the mystery really get swept up in it. They all obsess over it, and in most cases it really takes over their lives; even the author succumbs.  Which, I don’t know. The author is a reporter, a journalist, and he gets involved and writes about himself? And to me that’s kind of no good. Again, my opinion, but if you’re a reporting on a mystery, and you’re not part of the mystery (a suspect in it/solving it) then why are you in the story? In this particular book the author writes himself in, I think, to show that he too goes a bit bonkers when he gets sucked into the mystery. I’m not saying it’s bad, it’s just a gray area is all.

The writing is good, the story moves along, there are a million characters, but they are all so unique so you’re not bogged down all, “Who?” The only thing wrong here is that there is no ending. The mystery isn’t solved. The suspect the author favors at first is easily eliminated halfway through the story, kind of making the story not a story anymore. It then becomes about the curse of the mystery driving people crazy. When I finished the book I wasn’t satisfied. I was just sad thinking about all of these very unhappy people whose lives were ruined for seemingly nothing.

Will I read another book by this author? Yes.

Will I read another book about the D.B. Cooper case? Probably not. It’s way too messy and filled with way too many wacky people.  And by too many wachy people I’m talking about all the people who claim to have been Dan Cooper.

One more thing, the jacket cover for the book was excellent.

 

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