Killer Triggers

Blackstone. Mar. 2021. 200p. ISBN 9781982678357. $26.99. CRIME
Kenda, host of the TV series Homicide Hunter, details a series of brutal crimes that he solved as a Colorado Springs detective in the 1980s through the early 1990s. Full of sensationalist dialog that feels straight out of a procedural drama, the book offers an insider’s look at criminal cases, from the 911 call to the sentencing of the convicted. Kenda is unquestionably confident in his opinions, which, along with his interjections and asides, may raise eyebrows, especially given recent Black Lives Matter protests shining a light on an inequitable criminal justice system. He makes sweeping claims about young criminals and the role of parenting, later contradicting this viewpoint by emphasizing that violence may stem from anywhere, including “good” families. Discussing security cameras and privacy concerns, he notes, “If you don’t break any laws, why would you worry?” and he makes tactless jokes about shooting uncooperative suspects. He also spins what might seem to many a story of Christian redemption followed by tragedy into a tale of harsh poetic justice. Still, Kenda does share some useful perspectives; he discusses a criminally neglectful slumlord, argues for the importance of investigative print journalism, and highlights the role therapy and talking can play in healing those who regularly see the worst of humanity.
VERDICT True crime stories with all the gory details, both aided and stymied by the author’s insights.
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