Dead Reckoning

Pinnacle: Kensington. Feb. 2011. c.416p. ISBN 9780786022175. pap. $6.99. CRIME
Former reporter Rother has produced a gripping account of Skylar Deleon's criminal life. A compulsive liar, he inflated his military record (he was dishonorably discharged after going AWOL) and bragged of being a child television star (he had a few minor parts). After marrying and starting a family, he and his wife fell into a spiral of mounting debt, greed, and deception. His schemes to make money escalated after a stint in prison for armed burglary, and he killed his next victim after robbing him. Deleon's final scheme involved pirating a boat and attempting to hijack the bank accounts of Tom and Jackie Hawks. After being kept alive long enough to be forced to sign relevant documents, the couple were tethered to the anchor and tossed off the back of their boat—still alive. Rother takes the reader through the police investigation into the Hawks' disappearance and the sensational trials of Skylar, his wife, and their accomplice.
VERDICT Well researched and a quick, engrossing read, this should be popular with true crime readers, especially the Ann Rule crowd.
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