A very tough read – for lots of reasons – but a very good
one. I have to give you the forewarning I
wasn’t: this is an incredibly harrowing book, with graphic, detailed and
repeated accounts of the internal and external injuries of a murdered two-year-old. Written by an experienced crime scene
investigator of many years, and very clearly outlining a case which elicited
very intense emotions in him, Immunity for Murder describes the day-by-day,
true-life investigation into the particularly violent, brutal and highly
distressing murder of little Lyric Taft.
Worse still, then, follows the subsequent miscarriage of justice pursued
and carried out against his own mother, despite overwhelming evidence naming
her boyfriend as the killer. Whilst I don’t
wish to spoil the outcome for those who would prefer not to know it, this is a pretty
well publicized case, so I will say that the most disturbing aspect of this
whole case is that the real killer appears to have never faced justice – at least,
that aspect doesn’t appear in this book.
Even more shocking is that the powers that be, for reasons we never
really learn, chose to allow him to evade justice. Whilst I don’t want to really speculate, opine
or share any conjecture on the case itself, I will say that it seems very suspiciously
to me like the real killer may have been too important to some of the people in
charge, though I base that on nothing other than what I read in this book,
which is of course only one version of events.
David Beers is clearly an expert in his field, and more
than qualified to write this important book.
And he writes it well. That said,
I wouldn’t call it the perfect book.
David is an incredibly emotive author, and I do wonder if maybe he
presents his case with a little too much personal passion – don’t get me wrong,
of course this is a particularly passionate subject, and only the very hardest
heart would not be disturbed by working on this case. But this is also a reference book, a non-fiction
exposé which details the absolute minutiae of a murder investigation, and one
would think the presentation of its evidence to the court of public consumption
be delivered without subjectivity, and the opinionated approach David adopts. He openly shares his own viewpoint and anger throughout,
at potentially corrupt professionals and witnesses including the “loathsome
cry-ladies”, which for such a book perhaps doesn’t seem overly appropriate. However, I did not work on the case and David
did, but I do know how harrowing case evidence can be, so this can be forgiven. I also felt that much of the minutiae was revisited
and repeated, over and again, including very upsetting, graphic injury
detail. The book is long, and it felt
like many of these details (such as time of death, stomach contents, etc.) were
Otherwise, though, a well written and presented case study,
by an author with very worthy credentials.
If you like real crime, and have a particular interest in miscarriages
of justice, this is undoubtedly a fantastic addition to your bookshelf.
In : Book Reviews