I really enjoyed this book. It did tell some about the murder, but mainly focused on the history of the killer and the victim. The people they were, how they grew up, and what they were like. It was well written. I had of course heard of the murder but much of what I read I had not known.
Katherine Cleary was a quiet, well mannnered little redhead, a schoolteacher who worked with deaf children and lived alone in a one room apartment on New Yorks Upper West Side. Like so many young women, whe was lonely and looking for love.
Joe Willie Simpson was a handsome drifter from the Midwest. In New York he'd found a wife, a lover, and the dark pleasures of the night. On New Years Day theu met in a neighborhood bar, strangers with no rendezvous, no common friends, no reason to come together.. Only hours later, Katherine Cleary was dead, victim of a brutal and inevitable act of murder.
I had seen this movie back in the 70's but I didn't remember much of it .... that's why I ordered the book. This is one of the best true crime books I've EVER read .... didn't want to put it down from start to finish, It was very well written and not a lot of the same scenes written over and over like many true crime books in order to fill blank pages .... the author was precise and to the point.
If you're only vaguely familiar with this notorious killing that took place in New York during the 70s, this book offers quite a bit of insight into not only the victim but her killer as well.
And while the writer admits to using some necessary speculation on what lead up to the murder itself, it still doesn't make this any less of an interesting read.
It should also be noted that two films were made on the subject -- The 1977 theatrical release, LOOKING FOR MISTER GOODBAR starring Diane Keaton, and a subsequent TV movie starring George Segal that involved the police hunt afterwards. (I'm not sure if the latter is based on this particular novel itself.)