This collection by a New York Times journalist gathers three horrifying true accounts of crimes of passion, ambition, and fear.
Author Joe Sharkey delivers three gripping accounts of betrayal and murder in this compelling American true crime collection.
Above Suspicion: Soon to be a major motion picture starring Emilia Clarke and Jack Huston, this true account tells the story of the only FBI agent to confess to murder. Assigned to Pikeville, Kentucky, rookie Mike Putnam cultivated paid informants and busted drug rings and bank robbers. But when one informant fell in love with the bureau’s rising star, their passionate affair ended with murder.
Deadly Greed: On October 23, 1989, Charles Stuart reported that he and his seven-months-pregnant wife, Carol, had been robbed and shot by a black male. By the time police arrived, Carol was dead, and soon the baby was lost as well. Stuart then identified a suspect: Willie Bennett. The attack incited a furor during a time of heightened racial tension in the community. But even more appalling, Stuart’s story was a hoax—he was the true killer.
Death Sentence: John List was working as the vice president of a Jersey City bank and had moved his mother, wife, and three teenage children into a nineteen-room mansion in Westfield, New Jersey when he lost his job and everything changed. Fearing financial ruin and the corruption of his children’s souls by the free-spirited 1970s, he came up with a terrifying solution: He would shoot his entire family and vanish, taking on a new life and a new identity.
Praise for Above Suspicion
“Harrowing . . . Taut and compelling . . . Unflinching.” —Newsday
“Bristling with vivid characters, knuckle-biting revelations, and psychological wallop: a true-crime standout.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Expertly told.” —Publishers Weekly
“The force of his story lies in the sharp characterizations, the human drama, and the tragic inevitability of its conclusion. For all popular true crime collections.” —Library Journal
“Sharkey does not sensationalize; he doesn’t need to. The facts are sad and sordid enough. This lucid presentation considers how such a sorry tragedy could occur and its impact upon Putnam’s family.” —Booklist
Praise for Deadly Greed
“This is a tale of a pathetically flawed man whose veneer of charm hid an emptiness that even his own family could not see and that at last drove him into moral eclipse. . . . Riveting.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[Sharkey] has also shown how other factors contributed to Stuart’s committing the almost perfect crime: the press, the district attorney’s office, and the increased racial tensions in Boston. . . . This should be well received. Recommended.” —Library Journal
Praise for Death Sentence
“[Joe Sharkey] gets the job done.” —The New York Times
Joe Sharkey was a weekly columnist for the New York Times for nineteen years. Previously, he was an assistant national editor at the Wall Street Journal and a reporter and columnist with the Philadelphia Inquirer. The author of four books of nonfiction and one novel, Sharkey is currently an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Arizona. He and his wife live in Tucson.