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Salt of the Earth

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  300 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Joe Gere said he died on the afternoon his twelve-year-old daughter Brenda disappeared. It was left to Brenda's mother Elaine to sustain her stricken family, search for her missing child, and pressure the authorities for justice. From the first minutes of the investigation, suspicion fell on Michael Kay Green, a steroid-abusing "Mr. Universe" hopeful, but there was no proo ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 15th 1997 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

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Jim Thomsen
The late Jack Olsen had a long career of sustained excellence, but it was not until he was well into his eight and final decade that he emerged with his masterpiece in "Salt Of The Earth" — a rich character study and profound exploration of loss wrapped up seamlessly in a first-rate crime story rendered in exquisite and tender prose.

It is a daring achievement, a deeply personal odyssey, that cuts not just across but over the top of the grain of the true-crime genre. One suspects that Olsen used
My favorite Olsen book. It's almost shameful to call this "true crime," because that genre has been cheapened by too many so-called authors. It's a portrait of the struggles, including a horrific crime, of one famliy in the modern American West.
Jack Olsen was a master at his craft. He knew how to put the pieces of a long story together, fitting them tightly like a jigsaw puzzle. This book is like that, he put the edge pcs around the puzzle then worked toward the center. Masterful! The life of the Gere family during the 80's and early 90's was one of so much sorrow and pain. When 12 yr. old Brenda Gere went missing in 1986, her mother Elaine held the family together. Her husband, who she loved with a loyalty rarely found, fell apart. Th ...more
Eva Leger
Jul 19, 2008 Eva Leger rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: library find
Recommended to Eva by: Olsen fans
Shelves: b-true-crime
A great Olsen book! So, so, so, happy I read this. He never fails to teach me something!
May 22, 2013 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes true crime
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
One day in September of 1985, 12-year-old Brenda Sue Gere was abducted from her family's home in Clearview, Washington. Her parents, Joe and Elaine Gere, were understandably devastated by the little girl's disappearance, and Joe said he effectively died on the day that Brenda was taken. It was left to Brenda's mother, Elaine to sustain her stricken family, search for her missing child, and pressure the authorities for justice.

From the first minutes of the investigation, suspicion fell on Michael
You don't read much about the Hungarians and even less about the Slovenes-but this story captures the hard working spirit of a family that suffers the worst experience: the murder of their child.

Written by Jack Olsen, a journalist. Olsen's exhaustive research, clarity,and quotes make the reader know these people and suffer with them.

Other books by this author are worth a read. Olsen does his own research. He is a masterful writer and storyteller.
Typos Galore

This true crime story was extremely well researched and written. I found it captivating from start to finish.

However, it has the most typographical errors that I have ever encountered in a book, in the neighborhood of a hundred or more. The victim's family name Gere was misspelled around 20 times as Cere. On one location page it was written Cere, then Gere and then Cere again. I suspect that this somehow is the product of faulty editing when the transition from the original paper ve
Caren Nelson
TOO long! The editor really missed it...there were many details and characters that didn't need to be included and at times it seemed disjointed and repetitive. I was interested in the true crime story aspect though.
I am not sure what I thought this book was when I picked it up, but I didn't realize it was true-crime at first.
I like reading books set in places that I have lived and I spent a lot of my life living in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding desert areas. Although I was never in Fontana that I know of, I was certainly in San Bernandino, Upland and other areas close to Fontana. I remember seeing the Hell's Angels on the freeways and roads in the area when I was a child and I recall the drinkin
Salt of the Earth is just one of Jack Olsen's many true crime books, and an excellent one at that! Salt of the Earth is a perfect qualifier for the category well-known in the reading world as "Nonfiction That Reads Like a Novel", because it definitely does!

Salt of the Earth is a true story about the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl named Brenda Gere, and the effect it has on her family, especially her mother, Elaine.

From the time Brenda went missing, authorities believed that she was abducted
A Determined Mother

This is a very interesting book, it shows how a loving mother fights for years to have justice for her daughter. Thru many long years she kept her daughter's story alive and finally saw the killer lose his freedom. Any true crime fan will appreciate this well written saga.
Diana Meisler
Great read! I loved the way this was put together.It pulled me in.

I hadn't really intended to read this straight through, but I could not put it down. I will be reading more of Olsen's books.
Deborah L. Cutter
Good True Crime

The story flows nicely, However the misspelled words and names are distracting. I wouldn't recommend anyone pay for this book until it has been proofread and corrected.
Cheryl Castillo

I have been reading non-fiction books for 40 years and I can't remember ever getting as emotional as I did with this story. The reason being is simple, it was very well written.
Susan Hughes
Too much detail

It was an interesting story but mired in excessive detail. I was anxious to get to the end. I wouldn't want to read another book by this author.
The book was well researched and presented. It was a very sad story and I have enormous respect for the family who remains, their determination to bring the killer to justice was a long hard road.
Cynthia Snellgrove
Great book.

I really enjoyed it! Couldn't put it down until I finished it. I highly recommend this book to anyone the loves murder mysteries.
Story of the short life of Brenda Gere, before she was kidnapped and murdered.
Leandra Withers
I'd give this book 5 stars if it weren't for the poor job done of proofreading and editing. Very interesting story about a real event.
Helene Slowik
chilling story - well told
Barbi Carson
Great writing

Jack Olsen has a way of writing that keeps you reading. Couldn't put it down. Highly recommended if you enjoy true crime novels.

Betty R. Stewart
Wonderful book!!

Jack Olsen was a genius!! Arguably, his best work ever!!!! He will be greatly missed by his legions of fans!!
Karen Belom
This was an awesome book, a sad story, but a good book.
Paula Rae Anderson
good book, easy to follow. i think ill remember this one for a long time.
real good.
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Joe Gere 7 3 Apr 23, 2015 04:48PM  
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