Rewind to 1984. Thirteen year old Candace Derksen was abducted. November in Winnipeg is typically quite cold. Six and a half weeks after Candace went missing, she was found in the back of an old shed, tied, frozen and lifeless.
Recently, I read Mike McIntyre's book, Journey for Justice: How 'Project Angel' Cracked the Candace Derksen Case. I found the read interesting because of how relevant the story is to me, the gruesome crime takes place in the city I've called home for 26 years. I found the book to read a lot like fiction, the first half unfolded like a mystery. The emotions and tempo of the story were quite good although at times I found McIntyre to be slightly repetitive. Lengthy medical and legal reports in the second half of the book sort of took away from the true story.
McIntyre is a journalist and this is so apparent through his writing style. Covering these types of cases effectively, it seems inevitable that McIntyre became quite close to the Derksen family. He does an excellent job of describing Candace as a person- and not just a character in the story. McIntyre uses Candace's love for music through literature to connect with the reader, I found this very effective. Throughout the first half of the read, I kept thinking what an interesting perspective it would have been coming from Heidi, Candace's best friend.
This is the first true crime non-fiction I've ever read, so to compare this book to other non-fiction is quite difficult. One of my favourite writers, however, is also a journalist (and Canadian!) Malcom Gladwell. Gladwell is currently a staff writer for the New Yorker. Gladwell's writing is much more fluid and on point than McIntyre's at times. Perhaps tight deadlines and a small publishing house might explain a few spelling and grammatical mistakes throughout the book which can be attributed to the publishing company.
Overall I enjoyed this book, although I found the second half of the read to be quite factual and less of a "story".