06 June 2022

The best true crime book I have read in a few years. Bone Deep by Charles Bosworth JR. and Joel Schwartz

 I will admit, I had never heard of the Betsy Faria murder case until a reading cohort of mine suggested we get the book from Netgalley and read it. Being a person who is intrigued by true crime books, I readily agreed,  Then another true crime afficionado friend of mine told me about the 6 episode miniseries on Peacock called The Thing About Pam.  I am really glad that both of these friend brought this case, and Charles Bosworth's book to my attention. 

As soon as I began reading the book, the murder of Betsy Faria fascinated me.  There were several reasons for this.   case was fascinating to me for several reasons.  First, I grew up in Florissant, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis that is close to Tray and O'Fallen.  It was interesting to read a book set in an area that I am so familiar with, even if it is a book about crime.  And the crimes in this book were horrendous.  The murder of Betsy Faria was bad enough, but the behavior and actions of the police, prosecuting attorney, and judge in the original trial were just as much a crime, and just as fascinating at the murder;   Charles Bosworth Jr. does a marvelous job of chronicling the case in the book. His writing is stellar and his ability to highlight the ups and downs of the case kept me riveted to the story. I couldn't wait to see what the major players in the story were going to do next and how it was going to play out. This was a top notch thriller, complete numerous surprising twists and turns, only these were real. In fact, I became so immersed in the story that I am currently looking for a way to get the original Dateline programs that were referenced in the book to see how their coverage compares.

Another positive I will point out regarding Bone Deep is that the story was well enough written that I felt a number of emotions as I continued to read it.  Anger at the police and prosecutor who originally handled the case.  I couldn't decide if they were inept, or just disregarding the information that was  apparent to me reading the book.  It certainly didn't make the law enforcement agencies in the area look good to begin with. I also felt extreme sorrow for Russ Faria and his family for what they had to go through, and for Betsy's family who were the real victims of the shell game played by Pam Hupp and the Lincoln County police force.  And lastly, there was the feeling of incredulity that someone could get away with such a bungled crime for so long.

When I finished reading the book, I saw that the author has several other true crime books that I am looking forward to checking out. Also interested in getting the old Dateline episodes referred to in the book if possible. I am very glad that I was granted a copy of this book from Netgalley and Kensington books. As far as true crime books go, I am giving this one a 5 out of 5 stars.

NOTE:  I understand that they changed a lot in the Peacock show.  I have only watched the first episode, and I have to agree, there are a lot of differences  from the account in the book.  It is still fascinating, but I am glad to have read the book so that I can compare the entertainment from the facts.