This had the potential to be a really good book. It's the story of a sweet, hardworking woman who thinks she has met Prince Charming but he turns out to be a sociopath. The story is flat and to be honest, I was bored throughout most of the book. Also, book was published before the killer went to trial, that makes for a bad true crime book.
Being roughly the same age as the murder victim, and familiar with Nantucket - although her path and mine never (directly) crossed - I found the book well-researched. Author stresses that the McMansion-strewn island of today does not represent Beth's Nantucket, which is an important point. Definitely recommended.
Judy M. (foreveramom) reviewed Safe Harbor: A Murder in Nantucket (St. Martin's True Crime Library) on
From Publishers Weekly
McDonald received praise for his memoir, My Father's Gun, about his family of cops, but he seems out of his element with this true-crime account of the murder of Beth Lochtefeld, a successful, outgoing woman who, at 44, was anxious to find a mate and settle down. In McDonald's account, Lochtefeld's desperation made her overlook the faults of Tom Toolan, a suave but seriously troubled man. After Lochtefeld tried to break off with Toolan, she turned up dead in her Nantucket home. In an awkwardly constructed narrative, McDonald further confuses matters by suddenly shifting voices, from omniscient narrator who seems to know Lochtefeld's and Toolan's thoughts (though his sources are unclear) to journalist ("Sources say"). Nor does he get beneath the surface of Toolan, an alcoholic with a self-destructive streak who had lost his Wall Street job and been caught trying to steal an $80,000 sculpture from an art gallery. McDonald further tangles his narrative by ending it shortly after the 2004 murder, without providing details of what happened after Toolan's arrest. (He has pled not guilty and has yet to stand trial.) 8 pages of b&w photos.