I found this book very interesting! Prior to receiving this novel, I hadn’t read other works by M. William Phelps. But I quickly realized he has a number of true crime books under his belt and this wouldn’t be a debut.
The crime this book centers around is the poisoning and death of Mary Yoder, a middle-aged chiropractor from upstate New York who was admitted to, and later died, in a hospital from unexplained organ failure. Mr. Phelps does a great job laying out the questions and confusions that were running rampant at the time of Mary’s death, namely how she died and who did this.
I found the book explains very well the sequence of events from the week before Mary’s death through to the trial of her murderer. There was a lot of computer evidence and forensic data that required explanations, which Mr. Phelps summarized well for the reader. However, there was also a second plot line explaining the timeline and details of Adam Yoder’s (Mary’s son) relationship with Katie Conley, a receptionist for the chiropractic office. Although their relationship was all over the place, with frequent fights and make-ups, it was very confusing to follow this story line. I wasn’t able to tell if Mr. Phelps purposely used these chapters to portray the confusion around their relationship, or if it just wasn’t written as well as the trial.
Overall, I found that this book was fascinating, giving me insight into a crime I was previously unaware of.