The Shooter at Midnight

The Shooter at Midnight by Sean Patrick Cooper

Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for The Shooter at Midnight:

Farming folk can be just as murderous as city folk.

Quick synopsis:

The story of the 1990 murder of Cathy Robertson in Missouri.

Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:

The farming crisis of the 1970s saw farmers take their own lives at double the national rate.

Fun Fact for History Nerds:

Also, areas like Livingston County, Missouri saw bankruptcies soar by 95%.

My Take on The Shooter at Midnight:

Corruption is a word that gets overused nowadays. I feel it should really be applied only when an entire system fails because of nefarious reasons. So, when the subtitle to Sean Patrick Cooper’s The Shooter at Midnight mentions corruption, I was ready to get my pedantic pants on. After having completed this book, my only quibble would be that “corruption” probably doesn’t go far enough.

It’s 1990 in Missouri when a husband and wife are shot in their beds while they sleep. The husband survives while the mother does not. Quickly, a very obvious suspect is identified. Then, very slowly, another suspect is seemingly chosen at random. This is one of many insane twists in this story where your sense of injustice will go into overdrive.

I liked this book a lot, but I will admit I didn’t love it as much as I could have. Cooper is a good author and he can tell an engaging story. There are two major issues which keep this book from reaching its potential. The first problem (which I have noticed other reviewers have latched onto as well) is a subsection where Cooper talks about American farming from the 1970s onward. This section is way too long and, at best, provides background but barely has anything to do with the case. Secondly, Cooper gives a bit too much away about the corruption in the beginning of the book. There are quite a few details that could have been mind-blowing and enraging if revealed later in the book instead of the first half.

These missteps are distracting but not fatal. This is an amazing case and Cooper keeps it engaging throughout even if off on a tangent. If you are a true crime junkie, then this needs to be on your reading list.

(This book was provided as an advance copy by Netgalley and Penguin Group Books.)


A very good true crime read. Buy it here!

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