My Brother the Killer: A Family Story

Harper. Aug. 2021. 352p. ISBN 9780063051348. $27.99. CRIME
Journalist Sharkey explores the horrific crime that his brother Stuart Campbell was convicted of—the abduction and murder of 15-year-old Danielle Jones. Danielle, the niece of Campbell’s wife, disappeared in June 2001, and her body has never been found. Campbell was convicted of her murder based on circumstantial evidence, including text messages and witness statements. Sharkey interweaves the story of his brother’s arrest and conviction with their childhood in Tilbury, England, where they endured years of abuse at the hands of their alcohol-addicted father. Sharkey is clearly seeking answers as to why his brother became fixated on young women, and his pain is palpable as he describes learning more about Campbell’s previous arrests and crimes. Sharkey includes letters that he wrote to Campbell in prison, pleading with him to tell authorities where Danielle’s body was buried.
VERDICT Sharkey offers an intimate, thought-provoking meditation on how his brother’s childhood and adolescence affected his later actions. For readers interested in books that blend memoir and crime, such as Liza Rodman’s The Babysitter.
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