Book Reviews

What I’ve Been Reading: Capital Murder by Chris Papst

Papst documents an interesting and troubling time in Harrisburg. As a central PA native, it’s obvious the city is still struggling from the effects of the either severe mismanagement or arrogant corruption. I’d say it’s somewhere in between those two after reading, although a case can be made for both.
I was fairly young and unaware of these political shenanigans when they were happening. I also lived just far enough away to be pretty insulated from it in my daily life. I only knew that I could see a decline in much about the city nearly every time I visited for several years.
I respect the investigative journalism and commitment it took to bring this story to light. I have to agree with other reviews I’ve seen that there is a touch of snark in the writing. With his close relationship to the political characters involved, it’s understandable that he developed some personal scorn and judgment of Reed, Thompson, and others. Still, the snark is distracting and unprofessional to include in a book. Admittedly, it’s kind of funny in some instances. But ultimately it detracts.
It’s not the most beautiful prose you’ll ever read, but it’s a very intriguing topic that will have you scratching your head at the choices made by Harrisburg leaders. Absolutely worth reading, particularly if you’re from the area.

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