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Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine
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Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  286 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Combining the drama of a true crime story, with the detail of a police procedural, Finding Amy chronicles the investigation into one of the most shocking murders in recent Maine history. Twenty-five-year-old Amy St. Laurent was attractive, intelligent, and responsible. One October evening, she went out to show a friend from Florida the exciting nightlife of Portland's Old ...more
Hardcover, 265 pages
Published June 30th 2006 by University Press of New England
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  286 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Nov 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
I bought this book after seeing a documentary on Amy's story and I wanted to know more. Since I love to read, I found this book on Amazon and decided it looked like a good read. I like the fact it's written by two people, from two perspectives. One perspective is by a Deputy Chief involved in the crime investigation, and the second is by former assistant attorney general. I enjoyed reading much of the book. I really enjoyed the parts describing facts about the case, the investigation, the victim ...more
J.H. Moncrieff
Oct 26, 2017 rated it liked it

While the foundation of this book was solid, it suffered from too much detail. The cop's recollections and impressions are presented in italics, and often repeated information that had already been given. I wish they'd just been incorporated into the story.

I feel for the victim and her family, but an almost too-good-to-be-true picture was painted of Amy, as if she were an angel who never did a thing wrong, and her shining spirt was leading the investigation and guiding the cops at all times.
Sandy Weston
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I bought the book, Finding Amy, by Joseph K. Loughlin, after hearing about the murder mystery of a missing 25 year old Amy St. Laurent, from the Old Port in Portland in October 2001, on a television show. I found the case quite intriguing and being from Maine, I follow many of these cases as I am a member of "Trial and Error" and we are a group of individuals who have been working for the release of another man here in Maine, Dennis Dechaine, who has spent 22 year incarcerated for a murder he di ...more
Laurie Tomchak
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Good example of the true murder genre, a little hard to follow at times because of the insertion of Loughlin's first person reactions in italics, which often made the story of the prosecution of Amy's murderer go backwards in time. But otherwise a good hearted narrative that focuses on the impact of a murder on the victim's family.
Jenn Kovacs
Mar 11, 2008 rated it did not like it
Maybe one of the worst books I have read to date. Feel horrible for the family and what they went through, but book was miserable.
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, true-crime, maine
Having just moved to Maine, the Amy St Laurent case particularly interested me. Before I go on, rating true crime books is very difficult. How can one rate an obituary? Some are written better than others but that most certainly doesn't detract from the tragic loss of life. Back to the review.
Portland is an enchanting city bordered by water on one side and filled with quaint shops alongside cobblestone roads. Twenty five year old Amy St Laurent knew the area and enjoyed the vibrant night life.
Jun 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
The tragic tale of a local young woman, Finding Amy hits close to home. I remember seeing the fliers posted all over town when Amy St. Laurent went missing. Her face was everywhere ... on the sign posts in the Old Port and on our local news. But it's been several years now since her murder and I didn't recall the details. Unfortunately by opening this book to the photo spread in the center, I ruined the excitement of unraveling the mystery way too soon. I knew where Amy's body was found, who mur ...more
Angela Blanco
May 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is a true story about a girl from Maine who was murdered after a night out with friends. The book went into detail about the night she disappeared and the efforts the Maine State Police put forth in finding the missing girl. As a native of Maine and this girl having worked with my own dad, I found this book to be of great interest to me. It hit rather close to home as the story takes place very close to my own hometown. The author deatiled the entire story from the girl's personal life ...more
Carol Merrill
Sep 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book really got to me in that it took place in my "neighborhood" (Scarborough, Westbrook, Portland). I remember when this happened and it was so disturbing to see the posters everywhere, for so long. I was so taken by the police for becoming emotionally involved when they were trained not to. If not for there dedication and the cooperation of the Maine Warden Service, she may never have found.
Ana Menendez-tuckman
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
This true crime story was intriguing and would have earned a higher rating if the copious, melodramatic, repetitious paragraphs in italics had been left out. These were the confusing and histrionic first person comments of one of the authors. The rest of the book was concise and logically provided the facts in finding the victim and convicting the murderer.
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Having studied under some of the law enforcement who investigated this case, I had to buy this book. It's a great inside view on how frustrating an investigation can be. Well-written (co-written with Kate Flora) by one of the detectives on the case. An intense murder investigation!
Jenny Mandeville
Sep 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an incredible true story about what they went through to Find Amy and bring her family closure. Reminds you that things like this happen everywhere. This story will surely stick with me for awhile. So very sad.
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a true crime buff - this one was co-written by one of the actual dectectives one the case - his actual notes are included and make it a chilling read
May 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
True story of the investigation of the murder of a young women in Maine. I found it compelling and a touching tribute to Amy.
Jan 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
This was a good one, about the disappearance and search for Amy St. Laurent.
Jan 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Excellent work done by the detectives, forest rangers, and regular people desperate to find Amy.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a good true crime novel about a murder in Maine. It’s one of those murders that has stuck with me over the years because it happened a few minutes away from my house, and I was eighteen at the time so old enough to know what was going on.

Portland, ME is, for the most part, a safe place to grow up. The fact of the matter is, though, that no place is 100% safe. There are always going to be people out there looking to take advantage of vulnerable women (and men too for that matter). And as
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finding Amy is a true story, told by those involved in the investigation. Knowing the people involved in this story made me reluctant to read it for years, but I'm glad I did. If you are a fan of true crime, this is an easy to read book that flows well. I did feel at times that unnecessary details were shared about those who aided in the investigation (such as real names of some who testified but were not involved at all in the crime), but the end result was a great story of partnership between ...more
Ruth Woodman York
A tale of the tragic disappearance and murder of a young woman in Maine's largest city. Unfortunately, it highlights the depravity in some people. It also shows an inside view into how long it can take for investigators to search for answers in a case, how they are bound by the law to follow a set of rules, and how a trial works, and the difficult parameters prosecutors must follow, that defense doesn't. The writing isn't the best, but the tale the writing tells is, while not "good" (how can a s ...more
Lisa Millett
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptional and heart breaking

This true crime book is different in that it is told partially from the viewpoint of a police officer who was a big part of the case. It is detailed, heart breaking and truly every emotional. It shows the true dedication of the investigating team, collaboration of multiple departments and true agony yet determination of the family of the victim. This is a must read for all true crime aficionados.
Ronnie Cramer
Jun 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
The solution to this tragic abduction/murder is pretty evident early on, which I suppose explains the padding and repetition. Also tiresome: the author's abrasive, defensive, territorial, and passive-aggressive personality.
Tabbitha Lindsley
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I generally enjoy true crime however this one was a bit of a tough read. It was a little dry. I enjoyed the investigation part tremendously but found myself getting bored through the trial part. It was an okay read.
April Mackay
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Although I think it's important to tell what happened to Amy, I found the book boring and hard to stay engaged in. I've heard the documentary is better so maybe that would be the better option.
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
True insight of a detective process of investigating a crime....
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
As I get older I'm a bigger and bigger fan of true crime. This was great, just seeing how all these disparate parts of law enforcement worked together to find this woman's body (which was the main thing they needed to do since they had the right suspect all along) was pretty cool. There was some cheesy supernatural stuff in there, which is not uncommon in these kinds of books (when detectives talk about forces directing them to do things), but overall really good.
Cassidy Smock
Nov 07, 2018 rated it liked it
If you are interested in true crime, this is an amazing book to read that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The book, "Finding Amy" is about a girl that goes missing and is murdered in Maine in 2001. Her name was Amy St. Laurent. Throughout the book, detectives work tirelessly to figure out who the killer is. When I was reading the book, I learned many terms of the law that I would not have learned on my own, which was one of the reasons I enjoyed the book. However, halfway through the boo ...more
Christine Whittington
Amy St. Laurent was abducted from the Old Port club area of Portland. Her body was found more than a month later buried near the home of the man who would eventually be convicted of murdering her. Detective Loughlin and Kate Flora alternate telling the story of her disappearance, discovery, and the prosecution of the murderer--Flora's text and Loughlin's journal at the time. Loughlin's adoration of the victim, Amy St. Laurent, gets a little cloying at times. She was no doubt a lovely, generous, ...more
A.J. Bauers
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the first "true crime" book I have ever read. As a result, the most interesting part of this novel were all the examples of how criminal and law television shows get it wrong. In real life, detective work is practically masochistic. These men and women put in hours of their lives and sometimes (like in the case of Amy St. Laurent) part of their soul into their work. They deal with bureaucracies, media outlets, and unpopular public opinion all in the course to find truth and serve justice ...more
Steve Bouthillette
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
Well written.

I find non-fiction, true crime books like this very easy to read as my interest in them is very high.

Writers did a fantastic job making me feel like I was inside the investigation and knew the impact that the crime was having on each of the subjects involved.

I found myself lost a bit a few times with the Joseph Loughlin style blog/diary within the book. Not sure that really worked for me, but didn't discourage me or deter my interest.

A sad story about a REAL innocent victim caught
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNF at 48%. I can't believe this boring book has almost 4 stars.

I understand the use of repetition. Books are not movies and we need an occasional reminder of details to help us pick up where we left off. This was excessive.

The author tries too hard to make me feel the victim was a good person. Don't do that. Nobody deserves to get hurt but in this case I think the victim could have been more careful around male company. It doesn't dishonor her to acknowledge that.

Throughout the book we are t
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JOSEPH K. LOUGHLIN is a twenty-four-year veteran of the Portland (Maine) Police Department.

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