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Invisible Chains: Shawn Hornbeck and the Kidnapping Case that Shook the Nation
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Invisible Chains: Shawn Hornbeck and the Kidnapping Case that Shook the Nation

3.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  75 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The riveting story of the Shawn Hornbeck kidnapping case, which grabbed national headlines inJanuary 2007 when Shawn and another boy were found in the home of Michael J. Devlin. Hornbeck had been in captivity for four years, was gradually given more and more freedom, but never tried to escape. ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 15th 2008 by Lyons Press
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May 20, 2008 Mazola1 rated it did not like it
In 2002, 11 year old Shawn Hornbeck was kidnapped just half a mile from his home. For four and a half years, he was held captive by his kidnapper, who passed him off as his son and lived with him in an apartment within a hour's drive of Shawn's home. Shawn had internet access, and a cell phone. He had friends, went out, once even called the police about a stolen bike. A few times, people even told Shawn he looked like pictures of him they saw on television or posters, but he denied it. The kidna ...more
Jun 24, 2009 Awallens rated it it was ok
this book mainly reviews the case of Shawn Hornbeck, who was kidnapped and found 4 years later after another boy was kidnapped in Missouri by the same kidnapper. I remember when Shawn was found after four years and how excited everyone was so when I picked up this book I expected it to be more about his life, how he was doing, and to have personal interviews with him or something. Instead, it was cobbled-together accounts from newspapers, magazines and from people who knew Shawn and Ben, the oth ...more
Provides a lot of information about the case and the mentality behind kidnapping and kidnap victims. Felt that too often author went off track to discuss possibilities for why Shawn didn't try to escape with no real information about his case to back it up. Understandably there is a lot that is still unknown because he was a minor and many details weren't released to the public. It dragged on in a few places with the author attempting to add details or feelings that had no real basis behind them ...more
Jul 09, 2009 Sue rated it really liked it
I have to admit that my fascination with this story and my connection to the incidents and places portrayed in it stem from being a resident of Kirkwood, Missouri. The story of Shawn Hornbeck is gripping to anyone, but imagine driving your toddler to preschool every day for two years past the apartment where Shawn was held. Imagine eating at the Imo's pizza parlor that the abductor managed. Imagine knowing one of the police officers interviewed in the book.

I think this is a very good treatment o
Jun 24, 2009 Shane rated it liked it
As I spend quite a bit of time reading technical works and other non-fiction for work, this isn't generally the kind of book I read in my leisure time. However, I found this book to be well written and informed. I thought Kristina did a very good job of telling the story, including pertinent details regarding what happened, without invading the lives and privacy of the victims. She illustrated how crimes of this sort create a shockwave of victimization, starting with the boys who were kidnapped, ...more
Oct 23, 2014 Amber rated it it was ok
Not what I expected. This book was more of an observation rather than the story or details of what happened. It was filled with a lot of doctor's opinions and comparisons, etc. I don't REGRET reading it but I wouldn't recommend it. You can probably find a more detailed account of the story on Wikipedia.
Jan 29, 2015 Eileen rated it liked it
The author seemed to write the book based on newspaper stories and coverage. She did give background on various areas, but this was mostly a rehashing of the well known story.
Jun 24, 2009 Fran rated it liked it
Recommends it for: true crime readers
Recommended to Fran by: on display at my local library
This is the strange story of two kidnapped boys in Missouri, and why the first victim stayed in captivity for years, only a few miles from where his parents were desperately searching for him. I was a little afraid to read this, afraid it might be too graphic and disturbing for a grandmother of grandsons to read. But the author does a good job of telling the story without being too explicit. (I did have to skip two paragraphs, but that's not bad. . . . . ) Although she quotes various experts, it ...more
Why didn't he escape?
Oct 20, 2013 Samantha rated it really liked it
This was a hard book to read, as a parent. I live in MO and was familiar with both kidnappings and the arrest of Devlin and recovery of both boys.

It did take awhile to get going in the book. Some material seems to repeat multiple times unnecessarily. However, if you are interested in learning more about the kidnappings, its a good read.
Jul 04, 2009 Valerie rated it it was ok
Disturbing true story. Thankfully not salacious. Sort of a rehash of news articles. Creepy pizza guy abducts two boys. Yuck. I was hoping for more psychological profiling of the kidnapper/pedophile. Why did I read this? I guess because I have two boys...
Feb 27, 2011 Stefanie rated it did not like it
Very disappointing read. This book is poorly written and very little information was presented that was not published in the newspapers. I'm very glad the boys were found but this book was about twice as long as it needed to be for what was covered.
May 09, 2013 Frances rated it it was ok
The tale of this young man is very interesting, however this book is not well written or researched. The only information the author uses about the case is taken from newspaper articles and interviews. There is nothing from the victim or his family directly.
Feb 23, 2010 Benjamin rated it it was ok
Apart from an enlightening chapter on Stockhom Syndrome, there isn't much here other than events culled from newspapers. Sauerwein posits that Devlin is a criminal genius but can't back up her claim.
Aug 23, 2011 Diane rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult
If you know the story from tv or newspaper reports don't bother to read the book. There was nothing to it but a summary and supposition on the behavior of the characters involved.
Jun 24, 2009 Diane rated it liked it
Based on a true story, I found this book to be informative but perhaps a bit biased. It was difficult for me to decide if the author was telling the whole truth.
Jean Smith
Oct 29, 2011 Jean Smith rated it liked it
The book was well written and detailed, but for everything it said, it didn't actually _say_ much. Over-all though it was a quick and rather informed read.
Mr. Crusader
Dec 17, 2009 Mr. Crusader rated it really liked it
Excellent book about a very sad, yet fascinating story. Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby are true heroes!
Mar 04, 2010 Tracy rated it really liked it
Good book, sad story! I was glad they didn't reveal his whole story, we know what happened to him.....
Greer Thomas
Jan 28, 2011 Greer Thomas rated it really liked it
This was a compelling read. I actually learned some things about human behavior and psychology.
Jul 23, 2015 Holly rated it did not like it
Repeat repeat repeat that is all this book did. I DO NOT recommend it.
Oct 14, 2010 Brooke rated it really liked it
Book could have been better. But it was interesting. Interesting subject.
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