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Extended Audio Sample A Death in Belmont, by Sebastian Junger Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,202 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sebastian Junger Narrator: Kevin Conway Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 1963, with the city of Boston already terrified by a series of savage crimes known as the Boston Stranglings, a murder occurred in the quiet suburb of Belmont, just a few blocks from the house of Sebastian Junger’s family, a murder that seemed to fit exactly the pattern of the Strangler. Roy Smith, a black man who had cleaned the victim’s house that day, was arrested, tried, and convicted, but the terror of the Strangler continued.

Two years later, Albert DeSalvo, a handyman who had been working at the Jungers’ home on the day of the Belmont murder, and had often spent time there alone with Sebastian and his mother, confessed in lurid detail to being the Boston Strangler.

This is the point of entry to Junger’s first book-length project since The Perfect Storm: a narrowly averted tragedy for Junger’s family opens out into an electrifying exploration of race and justice in America. By turns exciting and subtle, the narrative chronicles three lives that collide and are ultimately destroyed in the vortex of one of the first and most controversial serial murder cases in America. The power of the story and the brilliance of Junger’s reporting place this book on the short shelf of classics beside In Cold Blood and Helter Skelter.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Junger adeptly pulls together the various elements of this complex narrative.”

    Washington Post

  • A Death in Belmont, though nonfiction, reads like a novel. Its narrative line is crips…Read in this manner, it is a worthy sequel to The Perfect Storm.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The perfect story…It’s difficult to communicate, to those who have only read about it, the atmosphere of fear that gripped Boston during the rampage of the Boston Strangler.”

    Boston Globe

  • “In DeSalvo’s dark world, Junger’s clear, beautifully reasonable writing is the literary equivalent of night-vision goggles…He’s navigating a maze of shadows, and you can see all the more clearly what an enormously skillful prose artist he is…Junger entrances the reader by picking out small details that give the events he’s describing an enthralling vividness and resonance and clarity.”


  • “[Junger] pieces together a remarkable and disturbing tale about crime and justice in America. You get the sense that this story has been incubating for a long time, and Junger’s painstakingly researched and carefully reported book, with its clear, straightforward prose, has the dramatic power of a great novel…Junger has produced a terrific and provocative book that addresses such subjects as race, crime, our notions of justice, and the mysteries of criminal pathology without ever losing its narrative drive. It would be difficult, in fact, to find a recent American novel that says as much about so many of the important issues of our time, and says it so compellingly.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “[I] couldn’t put it down for four hours…and then did so only because [my] flight had landed.”


  • “[Junger’s] a hell of a storyteller.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Junger has done a remarkable job recreating the story of the damaged little boy who became a serial killer, and those whose lives he changed…Reading Junger, one cannot help being reminded of Truman Capote’s brilliant reconstruction of another brutal slaying, In Cold Blood, and noting that he stands the test of comparison.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “As Junger showed in his bestselling The Perfect Storm, he’s a hell of a storyteller…This perplexing story gains an extra degree of creepiness from Junger’s personal connection to it.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Bestselling author Junger gives us a fresh look at the Boston Strangler crime story by examining his own family lore…Well-documented…Leaves us wanting more.”

    Library Journal

  • “A meticulously researched evocation of a time of terror, wrapped around a chilling, personal footnote.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “An intriguing crime story that also contains painful truths about race and justice in America.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2007 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Fact Crime

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tracy | 2/20/2014

    " Very good book with ties to Belmont. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Emily | 2/7/2014

    " Great book! In the style of In Cold Blood and Devil in the White City and about The Boston Strangler of the 1960s. Fascinating, well-researched, and well-written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kristen Iworsky | 2/6/2014

    " Not really my cup of tea. The last thing I want to read before bed is descriptions of murders. However, it was well written. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Sarah | 1/23/2014

    " I've never liked True Crime very much and didn't really enjoy reading this book. "

  • > Show All
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