We Keep the Dead Close

by BECKY COOPER

I will never think about Harvard University the same way again.

Like a kid who swears they hate tomatoes even though they have never tried them, before reading We Keep the Dead Close, I claimed to hate the true crime genre -- I thought it was creepy and gorey and frustrating (didn't these authors know they could just Google what happened in the end?). With a humbled heart, I admit: 

I. WAS. WRONG.

Whether true crime is your genre of choice or you are brand new to the style (as I am!), I highly recommend this book!

Never have I read a true crime tale in which the abstract, villainous institution is so eerily humanized by its investigator. Recounting the decades-old murder of a Harvard graduate student, Becky Cooper’s incredible narrative makes the gruesome cold case seem somehow…enchanting? I was absolutely entranced by We Keep the Dead Close. Cooper is a master storyteller that doesn't just tell you what happened in 1969 but instead invites you on the path she trekked to find the truth. As I read, I kept waiting for the moment when my attention would wonder or my impatience would get the best of me, but it never came.

 

To the bitter end, it was as if my fingers were glued to this book. Thanks to Cooper, I don't just know the facts of what happened to Jane that night; I know her story. The best part of We Keep the Dead Close is the way in which Cooper demands we see Jane for the human she was, not the news articles and rumors the world had all but forgotten. It's a wonderful thing to imagine how the world might remember us if writers like Cooper continue to share their work.  

With all of that being said...the holidays almost here, and this is a GREAT gift for the true-crime podcast junkies in your life.

Say Nothing, The Furious Hours, I'll Be Gone in the Dark

As the main theme of this book is murder, read with caution. There is discussion of sexual assault, violence, and other sensitive topics.

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