Andy Shuping's Reviews > The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime that Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars

The Murder of the Century by Paul  Collins
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's review
Oct 23, 2011

liked it

This is a well researched book and I can only imagine the amount of time Paul Collins spent at the libraries and talking to the librarians to find this stuff. He makes judicious use of the other newspapers of the time and even gives us some of the front pages from the time. He gives such great information on the late 1800's and the newspaper wars between Hearst and Pulitzer and the way they reported (and investigated) the Guldensuppe murder. Collins makes the reader feel like they are actually part of that time period and helps us soak in the feelings from that era where so much was changing and so quickly.

Where this book faltered a bit for me is that the pacing isn't always the most even in the first half of the book. He bounces around from following reporters from the World and then back to the Journal or following the trail of a detective and at times its a struggle to figure out whose who. I think part of the problem is that there are so many different players that we never get a sense of who they really are, such as Detective Carey. He's introduced early on, mentioned once or twice more...and then seemingly fades, even though he seems to have been a major person within the investigation. There are also a couple of places where he starts a story and then never finishes it. Such as the case with the experienced diver that indicated he found something, it's never revealed what he found. Maybe Collins doesn't know, but why mention it then?

All in all an interesting read on the first great murder trial of the modern time, but not one I would purchase for myself.
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