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The Last Stone

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  376 ratings  ·  127 reviews
On March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyons, age 10 and 12, vanished from a shopping mall in suburban Washington, D.C. As shock spread, then grief, a massive police effort found nothing. The investigation was shelved, and mystery endured. Then, in 2013, a cold case squad detective found something he and a generation of detectives had missed. It pointed them towar ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Atlantic Monthly Press
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  376 ratings  ·  127 reviews


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marilyn
In 1974, I was 18 years old, living at home with my parents, in Fort Worth, Texas, when three teenage girls disappeared from a mall in that city. Those girls have never been found. Then on March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyons, age 10 and 12, disappeared from a mall in Washington, D.C. As a journalism student in both high school and college, despite not having the easy access to news that we have nowadays with the internet, I followed both stories closely, over the years. So when I ...more
Emma
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

It’s 1975 and two sisters aged 10 and 12 go missing from a mall never to be seen or heard from again. A teenage boy comes to the police with a story: he’d seen them get into a car with a stranger. But despite the manhunt, nothing is found. The case goes cold. Forty years later, in an attempt to find out what else the teen might have seen, detectives track him down. Instead of a witness, they find a man in prison for inappropriate sexual relations with an underage girl. And they start t
...more
Valerity (Val)
This book is a true crime story about the disappearance of two sisters from a Wheaton, Maryland mall way back in March of 1975. Katherine and Sheila Lyons, 10 and 12 were seen with a man and then vanished. It became a cold case that journalist Mark Bowden became interested in and sank his teeth into. It’s a different kind of true crime book, as it pits five bulldog detectives against one of the most determined liars they’ve ever run into, after sifting through other possible leads. It becomes al ...more
Kemper
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though I’m a huge fan of mystery/crime fiction I’ve long known that I never could have been a cop. One of the main reasons is that if I were faced with a suspect I knew was lying to me that I lack the patience to work the truth out of them with long interrogations. Instead I’d immediately shine a bright light in their eyes and grab the nearest phone book. That was never clearer to me then while reading this book when I found myself gritting my teeth and wishing I could reach through the pag ...more
Theresa Alan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lou
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book touts itself as "a masterpiece of criminal interrogation," and boy is this right on the money. The police investigators featured are truly dedicated to their job, however, it's the cold case team who reopened and pored over the case files from the abduction in 1975 and eventually solved the case; this true crime work follows the journey from the decade it happened right through to justice finally being served. I have heard that it's actually, unbelievably normal for some criminals to i ...more
Dave
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Most true crime books take the reader through the background of the perpetrator and the victims, tracing their lives to that fateful day that changed some lives forever. The Last Stone starts from a far different point. It’s been forty years since the most shocking crime to hit a suburban Maryland county. Two little girls - little as in not even teenagers disappeared from a shopping mall and the trail went cold almost immediately. Forty years later a team of detectives are picking up the dusty f ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
4 stars - Thank you to NetGalley and Atlantic Monthly Press for allowing me to read and review this book. Published on April 2, 2019.

This is the nonfiction story of a gruesomely violent crime. A crime committed over 3 separate states, 41 years ago. Evidence was lost, eyewitnesses died, time erased memories, family remained silent and it was often only speculation that bound the story together.

This was a kidnapping, a sex crime, and the murder of two little girls - known and sanctioned by a who
...more
Eric
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Last Stone by Mark Bowden is the true crime story of two missing young girls from 1975.

On March 25, 1975, ten-year-old Katherine Lyon and twelve-year-old Shelia Lyon went missing from a Wheaton, Maryland shopping mall. Through the intervening decades, numbers of police officers and others continued to attempt to solve this disappearance, with the case being set aside, re-opened and examined again and again.

In reviewing the case file, an overlooked interview of a man named Lloyd Welch is re-e
...more
Dawn Michelle
Nonfiction is really my jam. I enjoy learning about things I don't know and learning why people do the things they do. True Crime is a relatively new addition to the nonfiction love [I read "Helter Skelter" in school and it scared me so much that it was years before I picked up another true crime book] and for the most part, it has been interesting to delve into a world I [thankfully] know nothing about. So when I saw this book at NetGalley and realized I didn't know the story, I jumped at the c ...more
Eric
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Last Stone by Mark Bowden is the true crime story of two missing young girls from 1975.

On March 25, 1975, ten-year-old Katherine Lyon and twelve-year-old Shelia Lyon went missing from a Wheaton, Maryland shopping mall. Through the intervening decades, numbers of police officers and others continued to attempt to solve this disappearance, with the case being set aside, re-opened and examined again and again.

In reviewing the case file, an overlooked interview of a man named Lloyd Welch is re-e
...more
Cool_Moms_Read
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A cold case come to life nearly thirty years later that will take you through the grueling saga of interrogation. I can't imagine being a journalist covering a media frenzied case of two missing girls. Then again, I also couldn't imagine coming back decades later to write a book detailing what lead to the stories end.

Do not look at this five star rating and think its just something you browsed by and want to check out. While I think this book is page turning and investigative, it is true crime
...more
Jill Meyer
On Easter weekend in 1975, two young sisters - ages 10 and 12 -vanished from a suburban Washington DC-area shopping mall. The girls were never seen again and their bodies were never found. The crimes against them were never solved and the case, which shocked the area, was never closed. It turned into a cold case. Thirty-five years later, the case was dusted off and given new life in the police department.

American author Mark Bowden, who had been a reporter on a local paper at the time, remained
...more
Brandon Forsyth
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best true crime books I’ve ever read! Bowden is, of course, a master of narrative non-fiction, but I think it’s safe to say he’s surpassed himself here. The story he’s telling here is remarkably focused and controlled, and there’s a sense of urgency in the writing that manages to be both personal and remarkably balanced. When the detectives use questionable tactics in these interrogations, you understand where they’re coming from in a primal sense - but Bowden still flags it. I haven’ ...more
Sharon May
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to NetGalley, Atlantic Monthly Press, and Mark Bowden for the opportunity to read this true crime story. 3.5 stars rounded up.

This is the story of the kidnapping deaths of two young sisters from a shopping mall in Maryland in 1975. But it's really the story of Lloyd Welch - the backwoods product of an incestuous, abusive family, who was eventually charged with these crimes and the detectives who spent years interviewing him. It was almost 40 years after the crimes before Lloyd was ever re
...more
Tony Snyder
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borowitz
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The writing style seemed hectic and flooded with detail but I think this was intentional to convey Lloyd’s mindset through so many interviews as the police tried unsuccessfully to pin him down as to what happened to two missing girls who had disappeared in 1975 when they began interviewing him in 2013 after the police had initially dismissed him as nothing but a compulsive liar who wanted the spotlight. Utterly fascinating!
Sarah
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 out of 5 might be a bit generous, but I did like it even if it made me angry. https://greatmorrisonmigration.wordpr...
Jen
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Darcia Helle
Books that offer a view into a disturbed mind usually fascinate me. While The Last Stone has its moments of intrigue, overall I was disappointed in the content.

The author focuses almost solely on the interrogation of Lloyd Welch. The problem with this tactic is the constant repetition. Welch is a pathological liar who plays games with the detectives. During each session, Welch offers a slightly altered version of the story he'd previously told, and so we're reading a lot of the same things, over
...more
Toni Duder
This book covers a horrific crime, and how it is solved through the tenacity of three investigators. Mostly, it focuses on how they develop a relationship over a year with their lead suspect and draw the truth out from him. Pretty disturbing and an interesting look at how someone can detach themselves so convincingly from the truth.
Lynn
Apr 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
True crime! I really liked this book, most especially because it includes lots of details and excerpts from actual transcripts from the herculean efforts made by detectives to entice from their witness-turned-suspect information that would draw this cold case to a close.
Jennifer
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I'm a huge fan of true crime so was interested in this right away.
I thought it was poorly written and became so redundant with the interviews.
Dawn
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engrossing read.
Lindsay
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Killing Pablo and Black Hawk Down, but I didn't care for the way this book was written. I love a true crime book and although this case is interesting (and bizarre), the format of this book is very slow. As an audiobook, this is basically like listening to over 12 hours of an interrogation. I did like certain parts and I admire the detectives' determination and patience in this case, but in my opinion this book needed to be much shorter.
Leah
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-books
"Masterpiece of criminal interrogation." Read: How to extract a false confession.
Donna Hines
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Powerful, dynamic, riveting!
If you've ever wanted to be on the front line of a criminal case from start to finish this is your must go to book.
The time frame was 1975 in suburban DC involving two young ladies Katherine and Sheila Lyons just 10 and 12 years old.
They vanished without a trace from a DC Mall never to be found.
The case haunted many who worked on it and was eventually shut down until 2013 when it came back alive from the cold case files with new evidence pointing directly to Lloyd Wel
...more
Meag McKeron
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

I can't even imagine the research that went into writing this book - just combing through the interview transcripts alone must've taken forever. I was surprised how much of this book was direct quotations from the police interviews with Lloyd Welch, but it was fitting. This story is all about a pathological liar, and hearing his lies straight from his mouth drove home just how insane he was. This also made the book feel incredibly exhausting and repetitive, but again, I think this gave
...more
Kathleen Gray
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Those of us who live in the DC area are familiar with the case of the Lyons sisters, who tragically disappeared in 1975. Every year around the time they vanished, at the age of 10 and 12, local media would revisit the case. No one here forgot them-especially not the detectives who worked so hard to resolve this for their parents. Bowden has done an excellent job of detailing what happened when one of them discovered a long forgotten interview of a real creep named Lloyd Welch. There is unusual i ...more
Shannon A
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of Law & Order, so I was intrigued by the case documented in great deal here. What happened and who really made the two sisters disappear? At times, I wanted to have this case all wrapped up like they do on my favorite show; but as I read what the detectives went through to pull the truth out of someone who made a living of lying to everyone, (including himself) I gained a new perspective on what it really takes to solve a crime.
Don Gorman
(1 1/2). I think this is my third venture into the true crime genre and this is the weakest effort yet. The research Bowden must have done to prepare this book is amazing, as he had to have listened to hundreds of hours of interview tapes and read thousands of pages of transcripts, but the presentation is pretty flat and gets kind of deathly boring many times. You also wonder as you are reading whether or not the authorities are mentally abusing the suspect. Yes, they mostly cleared this one ver ...more
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Mark Robert Bowden (born July 17, 1951) is an American writer who is currently a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, and a 1973 graduate of Loyola College in Maryland, Bowden was a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1979-2003, and has won numerous awards. He has written for Men's Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, Sports Illustrated, and Rolling Stone over the ...more
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