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The story opens with somber drama: The body of a 2-year-old girl is removed from her grave and transported to a hospital for a second autopsy. In the small Gulf Coast town of Alvin, Texas, the bereaved mother, the child's grandmother, and the female detective who has risked so much to champion their cause, await the opinion of a visiting pathologist. Carlton Stowers, whoseCareless Whisperswon the 1987 Edgar Award for fact crime, brings all the right skills to this tale of a sullen, possessive man who liked to play cruel mind games on his loved ones and apparently killed his young daughter in a slow and deliberate fashion. Perhaps at the end, we don't really knowwhyhe did it, but we will have come to know and admire the three women who fought for justice.
Excellent book This is a story of a 2-year-old child who was murdered by her father after her parents had divorced. It is a gripping story by its own right, but it was so well written I felt like I knew just about everyone. The flaws of all the characters are included, making no one a true hero (which is reality). The almost non-existant investigation, the extreme shortcomings of certain investigators, the political wheeling and dealing that almost allowed Shane Goode to get away with murder, the over-involvement of the victim's grandmother, the personality shortcomings of the victim's mother, the personal problems of the prosecutorial/detective staff -- everything is bared in this book. Sure, it would have been nice to know more about the murderer, but he steadfastly maintained his innocence as did his parents. There was enough information from other sources to get the true flavor of this guy. Others have criticized the book because all questions weren't answered. But in real life they rarely are (i.e., how could Shane attract strong and weak women? What was his secret?). The book is a tear-jerker, and Renee Goode is lucky her story was told by Carlton Stowers, one of the best true-crime authors ever.
Poor Little Renee She had a sad sap moron for a mother, and a cold-blooded killer for a father. Luckily she had a granny with some brains who fought for justice for her.
It's impossible to have any sympathy for Annette, her mother, who stayed with this man, even though she knew he killed her cat, and had no qualms about getting pregnant by him a second time (the first time he "made" her have an abortion at 5 - 6 months), even though she could not support herself and the child she already had by her first husband and had to keep moving back in with mommy. Both she and Shane moved so many times: back together, apart, condos, apartments, rent houses, back with their respective parents - I could not keep up with all the moving. They were quite obviously immature and both expecting someone to come along and solve their problems for them.
Even though Annette told Detective Duckworth her suspicions at the scene, he claimed she didn't, and that he "knew nothing". So basically he did nothing, and luckily was reassigned to Narcotics. He couldn't even find out that Goode had taken out $50,000 life insurance policy on his kids - as far as he was concerned, this guy would have gotten away with murder, no skin off his nose, as long as didn't have to do any actual work. This book does not make the Houston and Alvin Police Depts look very good, but what is, is. They didn't do their jobs, the ME's didn't want to do their jobs, the wife-cheater DA didn't want to do his job either - luckily he resigned too! The only ones who wanted to work and cared about justice were the female Asst DA, the woman detective, and the grandma turned private investigator. She may have raised two kooky kids, but she got it together and took care of things for Renee - she paid for her funeral, tissue testing the city refused to pay for needed for evidence, and took copious notes. Thank goodness for them, or this guy would probably have murdered another of his kids.
This is an interesting story, but not well-written or organized. It may be necessary to tell, but there seemed to be too much about all the authorities infighting and personal problems. There was basically zilch about Shane Goode's childhood or background. So no explanation of his psychological state or what happened in his life to lead him to this point.
It could have been better.
Hint: In order to write a true crime story that will appeal to and hold the interest of DISCERNING true crime readers, it's best that the author spend her/his time getting the scoop on the MURDERER - not the lawyers.Shocking story, good book This was a very good book about a very touchy story. Left some things unanswered, but good nevertheless.