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Under the Bridge
Synopses & Reviews
By twists and turns, Under the Bridge examines a terrible crime in which middle-class teenagers obsessed with film idols and hip-hop culture turn on one of their own with tragic results.
Who were the seemingly ordinary suburban teenagers who found themselves under the bridge on a moonlit Friday night? Why would a girl who longed to be their friend be beaten and killed? And how did so many teenagers keep the knowledge of a murder from parents, teachers, and police for eight days? Under the Bridge answers these questions in a stunning account that takes us into bedrooms and classrooms, into a fateful night, into the hearts of grieving families, and finally, into police stations and courtrooms as adults reckon with a shocking and brutal crime.
A skillful blend of hard journalism and riveting narrative, Under the Bridge is the first book to explore the real story behind the "schoolgirl murder" that made international headlines. Author Rebecca Godfrey draws on six years of research-- including exclusive interviews with the accused — to produce a portrait of this modern tragedy. We come to know the lonely victim, the provocative troublemaker, a pair of young lovers, a determined investigator, a dynamic prosecutor, and a compelling cast of supporting characters whose every move reveals a clue not only to the crime itself, but also to the social tensions that provoked it. Under the Bridge is a deeply moving and timely exploration of violence and redemption, a richly detailed look at real people forever transformed by their role in a drama of envy, betrayal, loss, and courage.
"With a gripping journalistic style, novelist Godfrey (The Torn Skirt) recounts the story behind a horrific murder in a small British Columbia town. One November night in 1997, 14-year-old Reena Virk was savagely beaten and drowned under a waterway bridge. From a small East Indian community, Reena was alienated from her family and spent her time desperately trying to find a place with a tough crowd of teenagers, several of whom had been in trouble with the law. But one of the girls held a grudge against her, and Reena apparently was lured to her violent end by a promise of friendship. Seven girls and one boy initially were charged with assault. Two were convicted of murder: Warren Glowatski, now serving a life sentence, and Kelly Ellard, who was found guilty in 2005 after three trials. Godfrey is careful not to make judgments, but her informed writing reveals a remorseful Warren, an unrepentant Kelly (who denies her guilt) and other psychologically damaged members of the group, sharply etched, whose casual brutality, enabled by drug use, led to a brutal and senseless death. Godfrey's account contains some recreated dialogue but overall is meticulously researched and harrowing to read. B&W photos. Agent, Emma Parry." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In the tradition of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood," this work is a gripping, true-crime story of a group of middle school teenagers who beat a female classmate to death, and then tried to cover up the crime. Includes a new Afterword by the author.
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