Synopses & Reviews
Thrilling, true tales from the Vidocq Society, a team of the world's finest forensic investigators whose monthly gourmet lunches lead to justice in ice-cold murders
Three of the greatest detectives in the world — a renowned FBI agent turned private eye, a sculptor and lothario who speaks to the dead, and an eccentric profiler known as "the living Sherlock Holmes" — were heartsick over the growing tide of unsolved murders of innocents. Good friends and sometime rivals William Fleisher, Frank Bender, and Richard Walter decided one day over lunch that something had to be done, and pledged themselves to a grand quest for justice. The three men invited the greatest collection of forensic investigators ever assembled, drawn from five continents, to the Downtown Club in Philadelphia to begin an audacious quest: to bring the coldest killers in the world to an accounting. Named for the first modern detective, the Parisian Eugne Franois Vidocq — the flamboyant Napoleonic real life sleuth who inspired Sherlock Holmes — the Vidocq Society meets monthly in its secretive chambers to solve a cold murder over a gourmet lunch.
The Murder Room draws the reader into a chilling, darkly humorous, awe-inspiring world as the three partners travel far from their Victorian dining room to hunt the ruthless killers of a millionaire's son, a serial killer who carves off faces, and a child killer enjoying fifty years of freedom and dark fantasy.
Acclaimed bestselling author Michael Capuzzo's brilliant storytelling brings true crime to life more realistically and vividly than it has ever been portrayed before. It is a world of dazzlingly bright forensic science; true evil as old as the bible and dark as the pages of Dostoevsky; and a group of flawed, passionate men and women, inspired by their own wounded hearts to make a stand for truth, goodness, and justice in a world gone mad.
"Despite journalist Capuzzo's obvious reverence for the crime fighters he profiles, his account of the formation of the legendary Vidocq Society is as scattered as many of the cold case files they wade through. Based in Philadelphia, the Vidocq Society was the brainchild of three wildly different men brought together by their desire to speak for the dead: freewheeling exboxer turned forensic sculptor Frank Bender; FBI and U.S. Customs agent William Fleisher; and pre-eminent forensic psychologist and profiler Richard Walter. What began as an informal meeting of colleagues in 1990 evolved into an expansive international think tank of sorts modeled and named after France's famed criminal-turned-sleuth Eugene Vidocq, a model for Sherlock Holmes. The cases — ranging from Philadelphia's long-festering 'Boy in the Box' murder to the 'Butcher of Cleveland,' a serial killer who taunted Elliot Ness in the 1930s — are fascinating, but Capuzzo (Close to Shore) loses much of his narrative momentum by abruptly shifting between the founding members' individual backstories and homicides the society investigates. Yet there is no denying that the 82 'VSMs'(Vidocq Society Member) do an immeasurable service in the name of justice." Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Terrifying, engrossing, inspirational and surprisingly funny." Kirkus Reviews
"Murder-mystery fans would kill for entry to the Vidocq Society, the Philadelphia-based crime-probing organization Michael Capuzzo describes in The Murder Room. Imagine the thrill of being in the same room with some of the world's most resourceful detectives, coroners, profilers, polygraph experts and forensic artists when they're presented details of a particularly perplexing homicide and challenged to put their formidable minds to solving it."
Capuzzo presents the thrilling, true tales from the Vidocq Society — a team of the world's finest forensic investigators who meet monthly in its secretive chambers to solve a cold murder over a gourmet lunch. Two 8-page b&w photo inserts.
About the Author
Born in Boston and educated at Northwestern University, Michael Capuzzo is the author of the acclaimed New York Times Bestseller Close to Shore, a historical thriller of the true story that inspired the novel and movie Jaws. Winner of many writing prizes as a staff reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Miami Herald, and for stories in magazines including Sports Illustrated, Esquire and Life, he lives in Pennsylvania, where he and his wife publish a prize-winning storytelling magazine, Mountain Home.