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Nothing But the Truth - Dick Lehr

Nothing But the Truth

By: Dick Lehr

Paperback | 3 January 2019

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Inspired by the true story of a young man's false imprisonment for murder, this is a gripping novel about a daughter’s fight for justice against the odds.

In his first book for teenagers, Dick Lehr, a former reporter for the Boston Globe’s famous Spotlight Team, has re-imagined a case he investigated to create a compelling story about a daughter determined to prove her father’s innocence. On a hot summer night in Boston, a thirteen-year-old African-American girl became the innocent victim of gang-related gunfire. Amid public outcry, an immediate manhunt was on to catch the murderer, and a young African-American man was quickly apprehended, charged, and – wrongly – convicted of the crime.

Trell was only a baby when her father was imprisoned, but she has always been certain of his innocence. Twelve years after his conviction, she persuades a down-on-his-luck reporter and a determined lawyer to help clear her father’s name. As they attempt to uncover back-door deals, track down crucial witnesses and unearth vital evidence that will prove her father’s innocence, it becomes clear that some people in the neighbourhood want to keep this information hidden – at any cost.
  • Will appeal to teen fans of Serial and Making a Murderer as well as other books in the true crime genre.
  • Trell's story is inspired by a real case that the author investigated. There is more information on this case in the author's note at the end of the book.
  • The first book for teenagers by award-winning journalist and adult nonfiction author Dick Lehr, a former member of the Spotlight team at the Boston Globe.
About the Author

Dick Lehr, an award-winning journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist, is the co-author, with Gerard O'Neill, of Black Mass, a New York Times bestseller about Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger. It was later made into a film starring Johnny Depp. His most recent book is The Birth of a Movement, which Booklist deemed in a starred review "a remarkable look at the power of mass media and the nascent civil rights movement at a pivotal time in American history." The book was adapted into a PBS documentary that aired on the network's primetime show, Independent Lens, in February 2017.

Dick Lehr now teaches journalism at Boston University. He lives near Boston.
Industry Reviews
Lehr covered the inspiring true story behind this one as a journalist and brings to light many of the important details not only of the case, but of the public conversation that surrounded Boston at the time-and does to this day...This tale of the fallout from the war on drugs recognizes one family's resolve as it hammers home the failures of public policy and the court system to uphold justice for all. * Kirkus Reviews *
Based on events involving the accidental shooting death of an African American girl, the crack-fueled gang culture of 1980s Boston, and the ensuing outrage, this book will resonate with today's teens. Trell is an appealingly gutsy heroine whose belief in her father is strong enough to drag an attorney and a down-on-his-luck journalist into her orbit...Younger YA readers will enjoy this fast-paced thriller. * School Library Journal *
In precise, economical prose, former reporter Lehr (Black Mass) recounts a suspenseful story inspired by a case he investigated in the 1980s...Without sugarcoating city violence, Lehr presents facts about the case in terms readers will understand while providing enough exciting discoveries and triumphs to offset Trell's disappointments. * Publishers Weekly *
Lehr's background as a journalist results in a story full of details that might not otherwise be captured...The young heroine's voice and determination to prove the truth are inspiring in this intriguing take on a 1980s crime. * ForeWord Reviews *
Lehr, himself an investigative reporter for the Boston Globe, found the inspiration for this novel in the true story of a wrongful conviction, and his meticulously drawn procedural elements are unsensationalized and convincing. Recommend this to readers not quite ready to tackle season one of the Serial podcast. * Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books *

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