The Other Dr. Gilmer: Two Men, a Murder, and an Unlikely Fight for Justice

Penguin Random House Audio. Mar. 2022. 9:54 hrs. ISBN 9780593452264. $20. CRIME
Gilmer, who first told this story on an episode of This American Life, lures listeners in with a gruesome murder and an unlikely event—a new doctor with the same last name as (yet no blood relationship to) his murderous predecessor, who replaces him as a small-town family doctor. He’s aware his name may cause some concern, but what shocks him is the fond feelings many hold for the original Dr. Gilmer. This leads to the true thrust of the book—an exploration of mental illness, the U.S. penal system, and the true meaning of justice. The second Dr. Gilmer writes and narrates the book. The advantage of this is that all the emphases are in the correct spots. Listeners will know exactly what is important to the author and how much he cares about reform. Additionally, he makes it easy to follow the complicated journey to the cause of the crime and the places our justice system failed the first Dr. Gilmer.
VERDICT Listeners will be moved by the emotional journey that serves as the backbone of this important, difficult exploration.
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