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Extended Audio Sample Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America Audiobook, by Les Standiford Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (893 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Les Standiford, Joe Matthews Narrator: Robert Fass Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9780062081452
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“Les Standiford’s account of the decades-long attempt to solve the murder of Adam Walsh is chilling, heartbreaking, hopeful, and as relentlessly suspenseful as anything I’ve ever read. A triumph in every way.”
—Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River

“The most significant missing child case since the Lindbergh’s….A taut, compelling and often touching book about a long march to justice.”
—Scott Turow, author of Presumed Innocent

The abduction that changed America forever, the 1981 kidnapping and murder of six-year-old Adam Walsh—son of John Walsh, host of the Fox TV series America’s Most Wanted—in Hollywood, Florida, was a crime that went unsolved for a quarter of a century. Bringing Adam Home by author Les Standiford is a harrowing account of the terrible crime and its dramatic consequences, the emotional story of a father and mother’s efforts to seek justice and resolve the loss of their child, and a compelling portrait of Miami Beach Homicide Detective Joe Matthews, whose unwavering dedication brought the Adam Walsh case to its resolution.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This tale of the most significant missing child case since the Lindbergh’s—that of TV host John Walsh’s son Adam and the twenty-seven-year search for his killer—is truly terrific. A taut, compelling, and often touching book about a long march to justice.”

    Scott Turow, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “Chilling, heartbreaking, hopeful, and as relentlessly suspenseful as anything I’ve ever read. A triumph in every way.”

    Dennis Lehane, New York Times bestselling author of Mystic River

  • “A riveting account of a child abduction and murder that went unsolved for twenty-seven years—both an unsettling exposé of police incompetence and a portrait of an extraordinary and dedicated detective.”

    Joyce Carol Oates, National Book Award–winning author

  • “[A] heartbreaking story of incompetent police and determined parents…Novelist and nonfiction author Les Standiford does a masterful job of re-creation, reporting and research…Readers will be haunted by the maladroit investigation and the added anguish this caused the Walshes.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “At its heart, this well-written and well-told book isn’t so much an account of discovering the truth behind one of the nation’s most notorious slayings as an autopsy of a botched criminal investigation that identified a solid suspect but soon sputtered and took wrong turns for more two decades…Readers willing to confront the horrifying nature of this crime will come…to admire the determination of Matthews and the Walshes for refusing to give up.”

    Washington Post

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the March 2011 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lesley | 2/19/2014

    " I read a book years ago about the Adam Walsh case;however, this book has alot more detail about the crime. It certainly kept me reading. It also evoked emotions of anger and disbelief about the errors and egos that got in the way of this case. Very moving, very detailed book. Loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wayne Hogg | 2/16/2014

    " So insightful into the world of a psychopath and the problems an ignorant band of detectives can have on the solving of a case. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 2/12/2014

    " This is the story of Adam Walsh's kidnapping, brutal murder, and the sloppy police investigation that followed. As someone who has long wondered about what really happened to Adam, and who the killer really was, I found this book immensely fascinating and satisfying. The author pulls no punches in describing the failings of the Hollywood, Florida police department. He also reveals who the real killer was and goes into painstaking detail over every little aspect of the crime that should have been prosecuted long ago. Along the way, he also talks about the Walsh family and how they were affected by the crime and the reforms they have championed in the media and in the law concerning missing and kidnapped children. Some parts of the story are grisly and disturbing, but the story would be less powerful if the particularly brutal aspects were glazed over. If you ever wondered about what happened to Adam, this book is for you! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 2/9/2014

    " Decent read. Interested, sad, scared, glad, but mostly angry. I was interested in reading about a crime I had known about, but did not really know many details. I was very saddened by what happened to Adam Walsh and what his parents went through. I was scared criminal acts like this are not solved even with seemingly overwhelming evidence. I was glad perserverence finally brought the truth to light. But mostly, I was so very angry at the actions of people who I normally expect to be helpful and thorough when others are in need. Their clouded judgement and ego prevented the truth from being discovered for so long. Unforgivable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 2/2/2014

    " This is a very sad book, to think the family had to wait over 25 years to find the true killer, though it was known immediately who did the crime. The police department did a 'no care' attitude on this case, leaving one investigator helpless, since he was not the boss. We all know about the show "America's Most Wanted," but read about the moderator's own heartache and frustrations he and his wife went through all those years. It is unbelievable. It will leave you angry, but will lead to many discussions, too, on how we must NEVER have such botched up police departments again. However, it does still happen, everyday. I highly recommend this book, with you then recommending it to others. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 2/2/2014

    " Engrossing tale of a crime I remember only too well and one that really did change all of our lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charlene | 1/7/2014

    " Loved this, but very sad. A lesson in reality and why we all need to be careful and look closely at the people we come in contact with. This guy ran all over creation victimizing people before he was finally arrested. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammy | 1/7/2014

    " Very disturbing all the mistakes that were made in the investigation. Glad the family was finally given a bit of peace. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley (yAdult Review) | 12/21/2013

    " This book makes me rage for the parents and in shock that the police could do this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 12/19/2013

    " Wow....I thought I would be more upset than angry with this story. Must read John Walsh's book... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 4/19/2013

    " Very disturbing... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 3/10/2013

    " What a heart wrenching experience for the Walsh's or any other family that has a child abducted. I could not finish this book because othe graphic description of what happened to Adam was too much for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 10/21/2012

    " I still remember this case(Adam Walsh). Horrible, and how tragic the way this case was handled from the beginning. It took 27 years for these parents to finally get justice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 9/3/2012

    " Fascinating book. I am glad that the Walsh family finally have some kind of closure. It's just too bad that nothing will ever be done about the detectives who bungled the investigation and those who covered it up to protect the department's image. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tyrone Everett | 7/17/2012

    " This book is a very quick read. The events within are touching and will often bring you to anger and confusion. It's also a true story that will bring you to tears. A must read... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 4/27/2012

    " Very disturbing how incompetent the police were on this case. At least some did come as a result. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 2/28/2012

    " I'm glad to know what actually did happen to that poor little boy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 4/22/2011

    " I still remember this case(Adam Walsh). Horrible, and how tragic the way this case was handled from the beginning. It took 27 years for these parents to finally get justice. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 4/21/2011

    " This is more like 2 1/2 stars. I liked it but it was a little too technical in areas for me. I liked the story part, not the nitty gritty details. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 4/15/2011

    " I never knew the depth of the institutional malfeasance and incompetence that contributed to this case remaining unsolved for 25 years. A stunning work. "

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About the Author

Les Standiford is the bestselling author of numerous books and novels, including the John Deal mystery series, and the narrative histories Last Train to Paradise and The Man Who Invented Christmas, which was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. He is the director of the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami, where he lives with his wife, Kimberly, a psychotherapist and artist.

About the Narrator

Robert Fass is a veteran actor and twice winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. He has earned numerous Earphones Awards, including one for his narration of Francisco Goldman’s Say Her Name, which was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Audiobooks of 2011. He has given voice to modern and classic fiction writers alike, including Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Isaac Asimov, Jeffrey Deaver, and John Steinbeck, as well as to nonfiction works in history, memoir, health, journalism, and business.