A journalist for The Daily News (New York) offers a “meticulous account of the Newtown massacre and its aftermath.…it’s been a year, and this harrowing book might be a reminder that the debate needs reviving” (Kirkus Reviews).
The world mourned the devastating shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012.
We remember the numbers: twenty children and six adults, murdered in a place of nurture and trust. We remember the names: teachers like Victoria Soto, who lost her life protecting her students. A shooter named Adam Lanza. And we remember the questions: outraged conjecture instantly monopolized the worldwide response to the tragedy—while the truth went missing.
Here is the definitive journalistic account of Newtown, an essential examination of the facts—not only of that horrific day but the perfect storm of mental instability and obsession that preceded it and, in the aftermath of unspeakable heartbreak, the controversy that continues to play out on the national stage. Drawn from previously undisclosed emails, police reports, and in-depth interviews, Newtown: An American Tragedy breaks through a miasma of misinformation to present the comprehensive story that must be told—today—if we are to prevent another American tragedy in the days to come.
Lysiak, a journalist for the New York Daily News, offers a comprehensive, moving account of the massacre which took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on December 14, 2012. Drawing on police documents, interviews, emails and other public records, he reconstructs the events which ultimately cost 28 lives, most of them children, and shattered a community. He pieces together a portrait of the killer, Adam Lanza, as a deeply damaged individual with numerous psychological and emotional issues, offering a chilling look at Lanza's background and contributing factors, including his mother's ill-fated attempts to encourage his passions. Lysiak loses some of his detachment and impartiality when he moves on to cover the incident and aftermath; here, he takes pains to play up the heroism and innocence of the victims, the pain of the families, and the trauma of a community. Readers will be hard-pressed to deny the raw emotional gut-punch of simple statements like "Olivia was going to play an angel." Extensive excerpts from speeches and eulogies further add to the weight of the narrative. However, once Lysiak delves into the volatile debate between mental health care and gun control, both hot topics after every such incident, it becomes clear that he has no true answers or grand messages, just the same "what ifs?" as everyone else. With better focus and less emotional manipulation, this could have been the definitive volume on the subject; instead, it falls somewhat short.