The Day After Christmas: JonBenet Ramsey
Pick The Day After Christmas! by Katharine Polenberg
In this first installment of their next trilogy (about the unprosecuted murder of JonBenet Ramsey) the authors have raised the bar for true crime. Like the difference between porn and erotica in art, the difference between sensationalist crime writing and this new book is in its effect on the consumer and genre: the higher art and written word must be seen as elevating and honoring its subject.
This is what I see: there is real literary prose here. There is autobiographical analogy from van der Leek that stands alone as haunting short story; there is anthropological and psychological foundation in the cited research for the sense they make of the sensational.
I like this team.
As I read this book I was reminded of the scene in the film “Infamous” in which Harper Lee and Truman Capote go over their notes and Lee corrects Capote’s recollection of a local’s description of Bonnie Clutter: “If you ever DID see her- not if you ever saw her.” “Good catch” he responds. Capote and Lee were hearing the home-grown vocabulary around the crime scene in the Clutter household. In this series of books we have the benefit of these authors’ equally sharp ears, and their ability to tell us what they think and why. Wilson and van der Leek share a thought process that is clear, instructive and humorously allergic to nonsense.
The Day After Christmas is available exclusively on Amazon