Adnan's Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial

St. Martin's. Aug. 2016. 416p. illus. index. ISBN 9781250087102. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250087119. CRIME
Nothing about this case is normal, learns Chaudry, who spent more than a decade advocating for Adnan Syed, her brother's best friend, before bringing his case to the attention of journalist Sarah Koenig. In 2014, Koenig narrated Syed's story via the popular podcast Serial, a spin-off of the radio program This American Life. Recounted is the racial and religious profiling that occurred as Syed was convicted of the first-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend in 1999, denied bail, given a life sentence, and refused multiple appeals—all while enduring a negligent lawyer who was later disbarred. In building their case against Syed, Chaudry maintains, the state of Maryland followed no other leads; ignored crime scene evidence; engaged in witness tampering, including offering rewards; and arrested Syed's only alibi. Chaudry, a lawyer who hosts the podcast Undisclosed, also reveals inconsistencies in cell phone evidence among other key records. Interspersed among detailed court proceedings are reflections from Syed. Most haunting are depictions of his family members, who each grieve in their own way.
VERDICT A skillfully written account of injustice that will have wide appeal to fans of Serial and readers of human interest stories, and is especially timely as Syed's conviction was vacated in July 2016 and a new trial granted.
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