A Silence of Mockingbirds, A Memoir of Murder by Karen Spears Zacharias2012;$25.00; 322 pages; Macadam Cage, San Francisco, CA; 978-1-59692-375-1; 364.1523092 Z16s; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Troutdale; 1/20/15-1/23/15

Back in October of 1984, 5 months before I got married, 17 months before Daniel was born I read a book that kept me up all night.  I read Pet Sematary by Stephen King.  I remember turning the radio and a light on and trying to sleep, I think between then and now another book has not bothered me to do that do me.  Until now, it is 12:50 AM as I type this and I can’t sleep, I don’t want to sleep, but I have to go to work in the morning and work a full day.

At 1:53 PM, Friday, June 3, 2005 Karly Sheehan died.  She was 3 years old. She was beaten and tortured by her mothers’ boyfriend until she died.  It could have been prevented, if the system had worked the way it was supposed to.  Too many people took the abusers word for what had happened, too many people believed the narcissistic mother, too many people wanted to blame the father, too many people didn’t want to deal with it.

Karen Spears Zacharias had given the mother a place to live when she was a teenager and so was very familiar with the mother in the story.  Karen I don’t know how you did the research and wrote this, I would have been crying through the entire research and writing.  This is a story of a system that betrayed a young life.  The story of Karly Sheehan changed laws in Oregon so hopefully no child falls through the cracks.

The story is well written and compelling to read, it was like watching Titanic, I knew what the ending was going to be but I kept hoping someone would step and change things.  Unfortunately this is real life and not a novel. There is no happy ending.

I really enjoy Karens’ writing but as the grandfather of a three year old I shouldn’t have read this because I kept seeing my granddaughter.

I went to bed at 1:30 after finishing the book, starting this review and starting my next book.  I never felt like I got to sleep just hovered somewhere on the border of being asleep and being awake.  Several people at work today commented on how tired I looked.


What is with the title of the review?  This is not a book that should be read in the evening or just before bed.  This book is scarier than anything Stephen King could write, because it is true and shows the inhumanity of man.