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Trell by Dick Lehr


by Dick Lehr

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Very well and precisely written, having finished this book, all I can say is "Wow!" I am breathless and full of admiration for both the players in the original case upon which this story is based, and even more so this fictional telling of the background of the case, realistic and what feels like the actual case unfolding. Kudos to Dick Lehr for his rendering of this original story, reading it was almost like being there.

This is a story that should be told, and I am glad I was fortunate to be sent a copy in a LibraryThing giveaway. I dived into it immediately and could not put it down, it grabbed me to that extent. Taking place in Boston in the 1980s, a young girl is accidentally shot and killed in what was probably a gang shoot-out. Now in the 21st century, this type of violence is still accidentally killing innocents. How sad that so little has changed. But maybe it has changed, at least by the standards of this book. This story is more about police corruption than what goes on in the streets, or around the world for that matter.

A young girl at the beginning of the book, we follow her very brief visits with her father, who is incarcerated for life without parole for the shooting. Trell and her mother visit him every week, and this is very much a story of family unity and love as it is a corrupt sentencing. As Trell ages from a small child to a young teen, she begins to question the sentencing. From this point the book really takes off. Trell will not accept what has happened and begins searching for what is true and what is not regarding her father's sentencing. She and her mother know he did not do the shooting and was nowhere near when it happened. She resorts to working with a lawyer to learn how law works and to learn how it didn't work for her father. Trell is an exceedingly bright girl, filled with determination. I will not give away any spoiler on how this connection leads to other connections. I leave it that this is an awe-inspiring book, one that grabs you and leads you (and Trell) through the darkness of gang warfare, drug dealing, corruption, but in particular, searching for the truth. I was truly mesmerized by this book. Thank you Dick Lehr and Candlewick Press. This book is deemed suitable for age 12 and up. I would agree with that description. I also believe it could help this age group to realize they can make a difference in the world. Review based on ARC (Advance Reading Copy). ( )
  readerbynight | Oct 5, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
For me personally this book was easy to follow but boring to read. I wish there was more action in this book and I also wished Paul was more relevant in the story. I didn't like the Trolls, Bells, and Candy Canes because I felt like they took away from the seriousness of the scene. I loved how we as the readers were able to figure out who the killer was. Adding that element brought the story to a new level. Overall was a good read and would possible read again. ( )
  BlitzCat9502 | Sep 22, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Based on an actual event in Boston in 1988, Trell tells the story of a man wrongfully convicted for the murder of a child from the point of view of his teenage daughter. Since shortly after her birth, Van Trell Taylor (“Trell”) has only known her father in jail. For the last fourteen years he has insisted on his innocence to no avail. After legal avenues prove to be dead ends, Trell begins to hound a local, washed up investigative reporter to revisit the rush to convict her father. As Trell and the reporter begin to uncover serious flaws in the conviction, they come to realize that someone else doesn’t want the truth to come out and will do anything to stop them.

Full review: http://lisaannreads.wpengine.com/review-trell ( )
  ImLisaAnn | Sep 12, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I recieved an ARC copy of Trell in exchange for an honest review through LibraryThing. Trell is a novel that I was very excited to receive, its description drew me in instantly. Especially with the current conditions happening in the world today, with all the conflicts and tension. Trell is based on a true story, the murder of a young teen that took place in 1988 in Boston, and the man who was wrongfully convicted for her murder. Obviously the novel Trell is not the exact story, details and names were changed to protect people's identities.

I really enjoyed this novel, the story fits into my sociological background and one of my main areas of study. Yet, it is written in an approchable way so that it is understandable to the general public.

Trell is written through the eyes of Trell, a young teenage girl who's father has been incarcerated her entire life, and yet she knows in her heart of hearts that he is innocent. The story follows Trell's adventures while she uncovers what really happened the night a young girl was murdered all those years ago. Trell enlists the help of a "washed up reporter", an up and coming lawyer, her mother, and a neighbourhood boy in order to accomplish her mission.

Overall it was a well written book, that held my attention from beginning to end. I strongly recommend this book. ( )
  CBreher | Sep 11, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This young adult book is told from the viewpoint of a 13-year-old girl named Van Trell Taylor whose father, Romero, is in prison. She was a baby when he was convicted of the murder of a 13-year-old girl in a gang/drug related crime where someone else was the target. Trell's mother, Shey, is confident that, even though her husband was a drug dealer and petty criminal, he was not capable of murdering anyone. Trell enlists the aid of a new lawyer and burned out journalist to find the truth about her father.

Although the story is action-packed and suspenseful with a plot filled with twists and turns, it is also an insightful and empathetic study of Trell and Shey. The impact of having a father or husband in jail colors the family's entire life. Trell and her mother visit Romero in prison every week. Trell's bedroom mirror holds a picture of her with her father in prison on every birthday. She keeps her father's history as private as she can from classmates and copes with overbearing and assuming teachers with no true understanding of her family or life.

As the story progresses, the reader becomes more and more invested in the lives of this trio. We suffer with Trell as she learns of her father's shady past and the evidence against him. It becomes apparent that, while Romero made some bad choices in his past, he is now a mature, responsible adult and loving father. The reader shares Trell's concerns and increasing hopefulness for her father's release.

What blew me away was the author's note. The story is closely based on a true incident in Boston and the writer was the investigating journalist who broke the case wide open! Whenever I read the story of this type, I wonder how many men have been imprisoned (or in some countries, executed) for crimes they did not commit. Dick Lehr gives us some insight into the repercussions of these terrible events.

Personal note: This is one of many reason why I will always be grateful there is no death sentence in Canada as improved DNA tests have shown the imprisonment of the innocent is not as unusual as we think.

This book would interest anyone 13 and up and would be a catalyst for important discussions. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote Bonnie_Ferrante | Sep 5, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763692751, Hardcover)

From the co-author of Black Mass comes a gripping YA novel inspired by the true story of a young man's false imprisonment for murder and those who fought to free him.

On a hot summer night in the late 1980s, in the Boston neighborhood of Roxbury, a twelve-year-old African-American girl was sitting on a mailbox talking with her friends when she became the innocent victim of gang-related gunfire. Amid public outcry, an immediate manhunt was on to catch the murderer, and a young African-American man was quickly apprehended, charged, and — wrongly — convicted of the crime. Dick Lehr, a former reporter for the Boston Globe’s famous Spotlight Team who investigated this case for the newspaper, now turns the story into Trell, a page-turning novel about the daughter of an imprisoned man who persuades a reporter and a lawyer to help her prove her father’s innocence. What pieces of evidence might have been overlooked? Can they manage to get to the truth before a dangerous character from the neighborhood gets to them?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 17 Apr 2017 14:20:39 -0400)

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