At Any Cost: A Father’s Betrayal, a Wife’s Murder, and a Ten-Year War for Justice

St. Martin’s. Apr. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781250264558. $28.99. CRIME
New York Post journalists Rosenberg and Algar provide a detailed account of the long road to justice for Shele Danishefsky Covlin, a Manhattan wealth manager who in 2009 was strangled by her abusive husband, Rod Covlin; a decade later, Covlin was convicted of the murder. From the moment the police entered Danishefsky Covlin’s apartment, they made mistakes that would long delay the trial and conviction, such as readily accepting Covlin’s claim that his estranged wife had fallen in the bathtub and drowned. The investigation was further stymied when a rabbi advised the devout Danishefsky family against an autopsy. Rosenberg and Algar deftly humanize Danishefsky Covlin, covering her childhood, friendships, and career. The book reveals how patterns of an abusive relationship may seem obvious, but repeated calls for forgiveness from the abuser and family considerations can prevent many from leaving their abusers. At times, the narrative suffers from an awkwardly verbose style—perhaps a shortcoming of dual authorship, as the writing becomes more fluid in later chapters.
VERDICT A vivid portrait of the complications that family dynamics, religious considerations, and investigative errors produced to obfuscate justice, and the depths to which an abusive master manipulator is willing to go to continue that obfuscation. True crime fans will be satisfied.
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