Love and Death in the Sunshine State: The Story of a Crime (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Part true crime investigation, part self-interrogating memoir, this is about a man who wants to know just how deep he can go into the mind of a killer. By chance, Wood stayed overnight in a Gulf Coast hotel shortly after its owner was murdered. Listening to locals spin theories from rumors, Wood became obsessed with the case. Then the hotel burned to the ground. Wood spins his own theory from the truth, going beyond the evidence to examine how a relationship can go from romance to murder in this creeping, atmospheric labyrinth of literary achievement. 

— Chris


Sometimes the facts aren't the only truth.

When a stolen car is recovered on the Gulf Coast of Florida, it sets off a search for a missing woman, local motel owner Sabine Musil-Buehler. Three men are named persons of interest--her husband, her boyfriend, and the man who stole the car--and the residents of Anna Maria Island, with few facts to fuel their speculation, begin to fear the worst. Then, with the days passing quickly, her motel is set on fire, her boyfriend flees the county, and detectives begin digging on the beach.

Cutter Wood was a guest at Musil-Buehler's motel as the search for the missing woman gained momentum, and he found himself drawn steadily deeper into the case. Driven by his own need to understand how a relationship could spin to pieces in such a fatal fashion, he began to meet with the eccentric inhabitants of Anna Maria Island, with the earnest but stymied detectives, and with the affable man soon presumed to be her murderer. But there is only so much that interviews and records can reveal; in trying to understand why we hurt those we love, this book, like Truman Capote's classic In Cold Blood, tells a story that exists outside of documentary evidence. Wood carries the investigation beyond the facts of the case and into his own life, crafting a tale of misguided love, writerly naivet , and the dark and often humorous conflicts at the heart of every relationship.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781616207304
ISBN-10: 1616207302
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: April 17th, 2018
Pages: 240
Language: English