Written by Richard Firstman and Jamie Talan
Available for purchase at Amazon.
This is an incredible story of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and the medical research that went into the classification of SIDS indelibly intertwined with the alleged murder of five young children, the oldest of which was two years and four months old. The two stories are interwoven with such skill that it is hard to determine where one leaves off and the other begins.
The New York Times writes, The Death of Innocents “…seamlessly weaves the tales of the earlier and later murder cases, separated by two decades, with the complicated scientific and social issues, the many disparate personalities, documents, interviews and dramatic moments. The book is paced like a thriller, and it will be read like one.” And it does. Mostly.
The middle third of the book does get bogged down in the exquisite detail that the authors give about the research portion of the story. There is a lot of infighting in the medical community and there is a bunch of back and forth. There is a ton of interesting information if you can get through it all. This section frequently feels like a textbook, and I caught myself wondering if I would be tested on the information at one point. It reads like a required reading for a class. But it isn’t for very long and isn’t the majority of the book.
The opening third and the closing third of the book are written with suspense and a general feel of whodunit. The characters are well portrayed and evocative. Each one pulls feelings from the reader that she may not want to give out. Sometimes it’s anger. Sometimes it’s pride. Sometimes it’s despair. Sometimes it’s elation. The emotions run deep in this story.
I enjoyed this book tremendously and I was hooked from the beginning. If medical mysteries and true crime are genres you enjoy, please pick up a copy of this book ASAP. You won’t be sorry.