Books: The Truth Is…
● Published by Aimee Cormier
By Ray Saadi—Book Editor
IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT By Judy Blume, Knopf $27.95
156 KILLED AS FLAMING PLANE CRUMPLES FALLS INTO FROZEN RIVER
By Henry Ammerman
So screamed the headlines about a passenger plane falling to the ground in Elizabeth, N.J. shortly after takeoff from Newark airport. Two more planes would crash in swift succession over a two-month period in the early 1950s. Ammerman, the newspaper reporter, is the fictitious “Uncle Henry” in Blume’s novel whose reportage informed and helped calm the citizens’ fears that the crashes were caused by communists, aliens or enemy attack. Since author Blume was just a grammar school student in Elizabeth at that time, I was surprised to learn she had not thought of writing a book about it until fifty or more years later. Blume tells the story through a large number of characters that reflect the mores of the period – the songs, singers, hairdos, ad infinitum. Following the third crash, the Newark airport closed and later redirected the runway to avoid populated areas.
DARKNESS THE COLOR OF SNOW By Thomas Cobb, William Morrow $25.99
When Matt Laferiere is pulled over on a cold, icy night for speeding and DUI, by rookie cop Ronald Forbert, his former friend, now nemesis, he resists arrest. In the ensuing struggle, Matt slips and falls onto the highway and is killed by a hit and run driver. Police Chief Gordy Hawkins, though convinced Forbert acted appropriately, suspends him for five days, which angers some in the community who want the police department eliminated. Rumormongers insist that Forbert murdered Matt and as tensions escalate, Forbert fears he will end up the villain, lose his job and perhaps, even his freedom.