Ugh. This book was so boring. Considering the subject matter, you would think that Ricca would have an easy home run on his hands.
Considering everyone's current love of all things Sherlock Holmes and all of the YA books out there trying to show a different version of Sherlock Holmes, you would think a non-fiction book showcasing Mrs. Sherlock Holmes (Mrs. Grace Humiston) would have all kinds of intrigue in it. Instead you have flip flopping time lines, cases upon cases where you don't know what you are supposed to think, multiple people thrown in this book, and then a cause to question Grace herself for some of the things that she started to accuse the NYPD in not looking into with regards to missing girls cases.
I really think if Ricca had just straight up wrote a biography on Grace Humiston and making the case she got well known for (Ruth Cruger) another case she worked among many cases this book could have worked better.
Instead Ricca focuses on the Cruger case, and throws in some other ones, gets into Grace accusing the NYPD and others of covering up missing girls being sold into white slavery and then goes back and forth from the U.S. to Italy and I think backs away from showing that maybe Grace was led astray by many people claiming that some of this missing girls were sold into slavery. That is where the book lost me at this point. There is no real evidence based on what Ricca shows or what Grace says in this book that shows there was some mass cover-up going on with white girls being sold. It seems though that the police were definitely derelict on doing their due diligence in ensuring that missing girls cases were worked appropriately.
When Ricca focuses on the Cruger case the book shines better. You get to see that due to detectives questioning Ruth's morals and that she probably just eloped that they gave her killer (no spoilers people, this took place in 1917) time to get away and I felt sad that justice was not found for Ruth or her poor family who never believed she run away. I think that Ms. Humiston did a very good service in getting involved with the case and showing how preconceptions ruined the search for Ruth. But when Ms. Humiston gets into the whole hundreds of girls and other are being kidnapped and forced into sex trade I had a hard time with. There are no real facts there that I thought held water.
The writing was so-so in this book. I felt like Ricca needed to look up some better adjectives here and there when describing things. The book read as blah after a while. He seemed focused on what people were wearing at all times and what people's faces looked like. The sentence structure was confusing too a lot of times.
Also I would say that for those who think that this is just focusing on the Ruth Cruger case it is not. It jumps around a lot looking at most of Grace's cases and then circles back here and there to the Ruth Cruger case.
The ending of the book does a tidy up on what happened to everyone in the book that felt like there were a lot of details missing.
This book also made me think of the recent D.C. Missing Girls issue that came up a few weeks ago.
The DC police started tweeting out pictures of missing girls and many claimed that the law enforcement were not devoting their time in finding these girls and many claimed that these girls were being kidnapped and forced into prostitution. It took a while to come out, but the media finally found that for except a couple of cases, most of the missing girls returned home, and or had run away before and returned home after a period of time.
Is it good that so many in law enforcement and elsewhere did not seem concerned about these girls that they labeled a certain way? Absolutely not. But I also don't like people jumping into huge conspiracies with no basis in fact about what was going on with these girls as well.
Do the DC police need to do a better job broadcasting missing girls and making sure that they use as many resources as possible to find out where these girls are and make sure they ask the right questions such as why are these girls running from home? Absolutely.
Was I disappointed that so many people I follow on social media just retweeted out insane theories with no facts? Yep.