While some of the books I review on my site are furnished by the publishers, authors, or publicists for the purpose of review all of my reviews are truthful, honest, and my sincere opinion.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: Death's Door: The Truth Behind Michigan's Largest Mass Murder by Steve Lehto

Thanks to my sister for letting me borrow this. And yes you would have enjoyed it had it not been required reading for school.

About the Book

On Christmas Eve 1913, more than six dozen people were crushed to death as they scrambled to flee the Italian Hall in Calumet, Mich. Someone had cried "Fire" at the top of the stairs that led to the meeting hall on the building's second floor. There was no fire. The entire event was over in a flash, but the tragedy would scar the psyche of the region for decades. Was the call of "fire" a tragic error or a calculated action designed to cause chaos?

In Death's Door: The Truth Behind Michigan's Largest Mass Murder, author and attorney Steve Lehto wades through the conflicting news reports, transcripts, and other documentation to set the record straight.

For more information about this book please visit Momentum Books' website.

My Review

This was a pretty interesting story. Having lived in Michigan my entire life I was surprised that I'd never heard of this incident before. It seems that with all the lore surrounding these murders that it would still be something that people would bring up, at least occasionally.

Since I've never heard of the incident at the Italian Hall before I do not know how well the information presented in this book meshes with popular opinion. However, Lehto does mentions many times where his findings do not support popular belief.

The book was very informational and I think it was fairly unbiased. However the only complaint I have is that once I got towards the end of the book I felt like I was just rereading the same information over and over again. It became somewhat monotonous. But it was still interesting, and I liked that it gave quite a bit of the back story to the Italian Hall Tragedy. I felt that having the back story gave the tragedy a bit more depth than if the book had just covered what happened the day of the tragedy.

While this was interesting I wouldn't say it read like fiction. For you to enjoy this one I think you'd really have to be interested in real-life stories. There were a lot of facts in the book, things that you wouldn't normally see in a fiction book. But overall I have to say it was worth the read.

Death's Door: The Truth Behind Michigan's Largest Mass Murder

1 comment:

steve lehto said...

Hey Jennifer - I'm Steve (the one who wrote this book!) Thanks for the review. While you like to tell people about the books you've read, I like to see what readers think of the books I write!

I have a Facebook page where I am uploading everything I have on the Italian Hall. For those interested in the topic of the Italian Hall disaster, it will be a treasure trove.

Check it out and thanks for the review.