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Book Information


Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN: 0743257367

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The Tarnished Eye

Loosely based on a true crime that happened in northern Michigan in 1968, when a family—mother, father and four children—was murdered in their summer home, after which the killer closed all the drapes, locked the doors and walked away. The crime has never been solved and the story haunts the small town where it happened to this day. I read every newspaper article I could get my hands on at the time of the murders and was fascinated by several aspects: why, for instance, did the police focus on the father as the primary victim and look only at his life for solutions? How did one person manage to murder six people at once and leave no clue to his/her identity? Was there a second killer? And, most importantly, why is it that, when people are murdered, it becomes the single most important thing about them? Time after time we see it: all the hopes, dreams, and accomplishments pale in the face of this one obliterating fact. I wanted to make this family real to my readers before they realized that they were gone, and before they were able to distance themselves from them, as we consistently do in real life. “This couldn’t happen to me; I don’t take those kinds of chances. I don’t live their kind of life. I don’t make friends with dangerous people.” The truth is, given the right circumstances, these kinds of things do happen; none of us are immune to it. My favorite Iris Murdoch quote: “There is no order in the world. There is only chance, and the terror of chance.”

Critical Acclaim

“The characters are so real that their insistence on hope, in the face of inexplicable evil, suggests how all of us might best cope in these perilous times.” Dean Koontz

“Judith Guest brings new depth and emotion to the police procedural with this finely woven tale of family, death, duty and redemption.” Pete Hautman, National Book Award Winner for Godless

“A rich, powerful novel of how crime bleeds from the dead to the living, haunting even the most gentle of moments.” R. D. Zimmerman



Copyright © 2005 Judith Guest