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Maximum Harm: The Tsarnaev Brothers, the…
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Maximum Harm: The Tsarnaev Brothers, the FBI, and the Road to the Marathon…

by Michele R. McPhee

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Showing 5 of 5
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Heart-rending account of the Boston Bombings, the manhunt that ensued, and the trial of Dzokhar Tsarnaev. We know all that and the author spends page after agonizing page reiterating every detail. What we don't know for sure is, did the brothers have help, were there others involved? The author offers a few tantalizing possibilities and questions the FBI's motives several times. It's pretty obvious that she suspects that the FBI is keeping quiet about some things to protect other assets and operations, but her suspicions never lead anywhere and the reader is left feeling pretty frustrated when it's all said and done. ( )
  5hrdrive | May 21, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
At a basic level, I thought the author did a good and detailed job of describing the events surrounding the bombings. However, if you already know the details about what happened you won't learn anything new. Overall, the book was repetitive and conspiratorial. The author repeated entire paragraphs and entire recollections multiple times through out the book. She also constantly repeated background information that didn't need repeating. She also made a lot of bold and shocking statements, but then didn't back them up or provide proof so it just seemed conspiratorial overall. It didn't seem like well investigated and studied arguments. If you are looking for background on what happened then the book will do that well, but if you're looking for new information or further insight then the book will fall short. ( )
  Flyaway1987 | May 14, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Where do you begin? McPhee's work reads like a thriller, but it truth. It reads like a Mystery but it truth. It reads like a Government Cover-up but it truth. Until the Government comes clean to the people and even other countries no one will even know the complete story. This work is very well written, however, personally I hated the repeat use of entire paragraphs page after page to drive a point across, it may be style but was kinda boring to myself. The facts and graphic descriptions made for hard reading and only a few chapters at a time to let it all soak in and pose questions that hopefully got answered later in the work. But like the Man on the Grassy Knoll, was there more involved? How can the FBI sit by and see crimes committed without stepping in and rendering aid? Well that the world we live in today. This work is just another example of what it has become. No place is 100% safe anymore, Every time an event of any size is held in any place in the world it can be turned into a place like Boston today. Like what Jaws did for beach goers, Maximum Harm will do for event goers! Just Remember the Boy Scout's Motto: "Always Be Prepared" for the worst case and hope for the best!! ( )
  Lewie | May 8, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Full Disclaimer: I won the book from the Early Reviewers program and I worked at the US Attorney's Office - Boston at the time of the bombings.

Although I appreciate very much what this book is trying to do, it seems to be too early to provide a sufficient picture. While I do not doubt the author's thesis that the FBI was somehow involved with the Tsarneavs there is too little evidence at the moment to write an entire book. This causes the book to be very repetitive. There are entire paragraphs that are repeated five pages later and we are given two chapters that are nothing more than the trial's opening statements transcribed. Now I realize that not everyone has read these statements but the point of a journalistic book is too more than just present the information. Unless McPhee had some sort of analysis to add (which she didn't seem to), those chapter would have been better suited as appendices. The timeline of the day, and the exact same recollections of the same victims are rehashed more than once. These are important remembrances but lose their power when they are recounted in the same exact terms over and over seemingly just to fill up space.

Likewise, the information about the childhood of the brothers was spotty, as it is at this point. I don't fault the author for the lack of knowledge, but for the wisdom of publishing a book with so little new information/knowledge.

There are also a lot of switching in the chronology. At times it is hard to determine when in the time-frame of the events we are as McPhee sometimes talks about the bombing, background, and trial all at once.

So in short, if you do not know what happened on April 15, 2013 this is a good book but if you lived through it and are looking to dig deeper, there is no new information and the constant retelling of the same old information is frustrating. ( )
1 vote jekahben | May 8, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Islamism, immigration, and national security are intertwined. The FBI should have been able to detect and stop the brothers; however, the system has failed us. The volume traces the brother's route to killing Americans. After 9/11, Trump has attempted to improve the process of intervention by restricting easy entry into the country. Nonetheless, the issue of Islamism will be with us for sometime to come; but, certainly how these miscreants slip through the cracks or FBI perusal needs to be solved. Numerous individuals have been inspired by Islamism and have even come across the FBI's path; nonetheless, they still successfully committed acts of violence.

The prose is compelling and combines international intrigue, FBI ineptness, and the Islamist network in America. After 9/11 the intelligence agencies were tasked with cooperating which has not happened; however, all the restrictions on American liberty has been implemented. This case shows how our efforts to stop Islamism has not improved since 9/11.

The combination of dynamic writing, the extraordinary pain and suffering inflicted on the victims, and the total lack of accountability by the FBI make this a compelling read. It makes my blood boil and it may have the same degree of emotional response for other readers as well.
1 vote gmicksmith | Mar 30, 2017 |
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