My next book for the nonfiction challenge is from the "True Crime" genre. I never read True Crime. When this arrived at my library for me, I couldn’t think why I requested it, but finally remembered that recent reading about events in Massachusetts in the late 1800s had brought this particular criminal to my attention and I thought it would be a good book to show me more about political and social goings-on.
Fiend: The Shocking True Story of America’s Youngest Serial Killer by Harold Schechter introduces
Fiend is well researched and presented in a concise, journalistic style. It shows the horrific crimes of this sociopath in graphic detail that make parts of the book difficult to read. Schechter does a good job recounting the reaction of the public to the knowledge that there was a child-killer loose in Boston. It explains how Pomeroy was caught, tried, sentenced, and eventually punished. The author’s theme is how little has changed over the centuries: sociopaths and serial killers have always been with us. There have always been "evil" children. And there has always been societal confusion and controversy over how to deal with them.
I’m not going to become a devotee of true crime stories, but this was an interesting account of a notorious criminal, whose actions are placed within the historical context of the time between the Civil War and WWI.