I really enjoy a good true crime, serial killer book.
I kept hoping Bill James’ The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery would reel me back in the way it had for the first 150, 200 pages. Alas, it didn’t. I just returned it to the library, overdue and unfinished! So essentially, I paid a nominal fee to read a book I thought I’d enjoy, didn’t, and went unfinished.
It’s about one of the world’s deadliest serial killers, set in the beginning of the 20th century. This guy, the Man from the Train, would murder people with an axe, entire families, leave the house secure and locked up, cover the windows, and either light the house on fire or not. Every time.
Back then, police and local authorities could always pin it on someone without knowing the facts, but that’s just how it was.
Every murder occurred a short distance from the railroad tracks, in warm weather, typically on a Sunday night. Like clockwork. He made his way up and down the coast and across the middle of the country just bludgeoning families with an axe and getting away with it every single time.
Reading this book just felt like the same story, over and over and over again. And it kinda was. I don’t know how it ended and I don’t really care to find out.
Despite being a great piece of investigative work by James to attempt to solve a century-old case involving tons of analytics and historical digging, I had enough.