On the Savage Side

Books on Tape. Feb. 2023. 16:34 hrs. ISBN 9780593669662. $95. F
McDaniel’s (Betty; The Summer That Melted Everything) latest is based on the actual unsolved murders of the Chillicothe Six, a group of six women who went missing between 2014 and 2015; four were found dead, and two are still unaccounted for. Whose lives count? When someone seen as undesirable dies, is it worth an investigation? Chillicothe, OH, was once the epitome of an idyllic Midwestern town. Then opioids took hold, and like so many other places in rural Ohio, the town fell to pieces. The story focuses on twins Arc and Daffy, who are creative and full of promise but must fend for themselves as those around them are consumed by poverty, addiction, and hopelessness. Amid these desperate circumstances, women begin to go missing, and it seems the sisters and their friends may be in danger themselves. McDaniel, who has a personal connection to one of the missing people, sensitively portrays the women, asking what they might have been if they had not met untimely ends. Narrator Catherine Taber gives voice and heart to each woman, emphasizing McDaniel’s point that these women mattered.
VERDICT This haunting and elegant story is perfect for true-crime fans. A thought-provoking and important addition to any audio collection.
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