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Safe Harbor: A Murder in Nantucket

3.22  ·  Rating Details ·  119 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Elizabeth Lochtefeld was a glowing, charismatic woman who'd built a million-dollar fortune in New York City before retiring to the fashionable island of Nantucket. At age forty-four, she had everything in life except the one thing she wanted most: true love. When she met thirty-seven year-old Thomas E. Toolan III, a handsome Wall Street ace, she thought she finally found M ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by St. Martin's True Crime (first published May 30th 2006)
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In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Best True Crime
151st out of 671 books — 982 voters
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Massachusetts Murders
14th out of 67 books — 6 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 238)
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Julie Cavasos
Sep 26, 2007 Julie Cavasos rated it it was ok
I finally got through this one. Kind of depressing. The only reason I finished it was because I started it. I hate putting a book down that I started.
Sally A.
Sep 04, 2010 Sally A. rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2015 Erika rated it it was ok
I couldn't tell what the point of the book was. It sounded like the author was smitten with the victim, but most of his information on her seemed to come from her memorial website. It seemed like most of the information on both the victim and murderer came from news stories, tabloids, and the memorial website. He had interviews with some of the friends and family of the two, but the book seemed to be a compilation of information gleaned from other written materials. Kind of a slow read.
Feb 21, 2016 Naomi rated it it was ok
I'm a fan of True Crime books, but I had to force myself through this one. Bogged down by chapters and chapters of boring and tedious minutiae.
This book was easy to get into and seemed like a fast read but it was lacking the fact of keeping my attention half way through.
Eileen Granfors
May 15, 2016 Eileen Granfors rated it liked it
Fascinating portrait of a lovely place, family , woman. Way too much filled, easily skipped.
Aug 02, 2015 barry rated it did not like it
horrible.......can't say anything good
May 19, 2015 Kim rated it liked it
I thought this was about a different murder.
Suzie Flohr
Apr 05, 2015 Suzie Flohr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I felt like I knew the people and family. I also like how it wasn't about the court case.
Feb 12, 2009 Sandy rated it liked it
This was such a sad story. I really wanted Beth to get away and find happiness in this life. It seemed such a tragedy that she worked so hard and was such a success just to have Tom Toolan take advantage of her and then take away her life. What a sad excuse of a haman being he was.
I believe this is the first time I had read one of Brian McDonald's books, but I found it an easy read.

I enjoyed the book and the description of Nantucket took me there.
Aug 25, 2016 Koren rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting True Crime book. The victim is a likable and interesting person. There is only one thing I didnt like about this book and that is the fact that it was written before the trial and verdict. I'm not sure why authors do that. Maybe to get the book out why the murder is still fresh in people's minds. I dont know. There is a lot of description and history about Nantucket in this book, which was interesting.
Apr 30, 2009 Christine rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everybody interested in nantucket and in murder cases
Recommended to Christine by: found it in our local library
Well, I was all life long a big Nantucket fan, so when I found this book at our local library about a murder case that happened on Nantucket in 2004, I had to read it.
I read mixed reviews about the book, but really enjoy reading it (am on page 100 now).
It's fascinating (and that's more than I can say about lots of books that i started reading lately and then skipped after 100 + pages).
Mar 07, 2016 Rita rated it it was amazing
This woman who worked so hard all her life and had everything took a chance on love. Unfortunately, she picked the wrong guy and what transpired from there was riveting and I couldn't read it fast enough. It is a must read story that has all the elements. I recommend this book.
May 31, 2012 Jeannie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
Frightening true crime story of a woman who had it all and then chose the wrong man. I really enjoyed reading about Beth's life growing up and learning more about Nantucket. The book concentrated more on that than the crime itself so that made it stand out for me. Most true crime books follow the same pattern and that gets old for me after awhile. This one didn't.
Aug 19, 2007 John rated it really liked it
Being roughly the same age as the murder victim, and familiar with Nantucket - although her path and mine never (directly) crossed - I found the book well-researched. Author stresses that the McMansion-strewn island of today does not represent Beth's Nantucket, which is an important point. Definitely recommended.
Allie rademacher
Jul 06, 2016 Allie rademacher rated it did not like it
It was hard to understand
Dennis Willingham
Sep 19, 2011 Dennis Willingham rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011, non-fiction
Not a bad book, just not what I look for in true crime. Very little on the detauks if tge crime and because of it's nature its solution, ok background on the killer, and a somewhat loving biography of the victim that I hope the family finds some comfort in.
Interesting true story about the life and tragic ending (murder) of Beth Lochtefelds (self made millionaire) life.

The story at times did not flow too well. Quite a bit of jumping around and going off on tangents. But overall a good read.

Jul 19, 2011 Michael rated it liked it
Had to read this to prep for Sins & Secrets: Nantucket. From the book, I found out that Nantucket isn't so safe. From being on the island, I found out that many of the people there are pretentious assholes. I rue them.
Nov 12, 2011 Abby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though a well written book, I could've done without the random history lessons. I liked reading Beth's story best. She was a true inspiration.
Seann Mulcahy
Sep 04, 2008 Seann Mulcahy rated it it was ok
It's not Nobel-prize winning, but it's a nice, quick vacation-time read, especially for anyone who's spent any time on the island.
Jun 13, 2007 Karen added it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a true-crime book. The alleged murderer is on trial right now! So I got the book from the library.
Jul 01, 2012 Gerry rated it liked it
Maure Briggs-Carrington
Jan 06, 2013 Maure Briggs-Carrington rated it it was amazing
Fascinating !
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 28, 2016
Cathie rated it really liked it
Sep 28, 2016
Georgine Pion
Georgine Pion rated it it was ok
Sep 24, 2016
De Ann
De Ann rated it liked it
Sep 16, 2016
Heather Scheels-sanborn
Heather Scheels-sanborn marked it as to-read
Sep 07, 2016
Claire rated it it was ok
Sep 04, 2016
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Along with writing books, I frequently freelance for magazines and newspapers including the New York Times Proof blog. I also teach journalism and memoir writing.

(From his website)

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