Cover Image: Railroaded


Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I did not read the entire book, I skimmed. I read the ending once I learned what was going on. The writing needs a lot of work.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book but its not the usual true crime book i go looking for but in saying that it was ok. Its a story about injustice if you like that sort of thing.
Was this review helpful?
This is a fascinating, complex true story of injustice in America. Unfortunately, the writing quality doesn't do justice to the story. Some of the sentence constructions were convoluted and unnecessarily complicated, making it difficult to read. At other points, the word choices did not accurately reflect the textual meaning. (For example, using the word "demise" when no one died.) I don't know how much this matters to general readers, but I couldn't overlook it. 

This is unfortunate, as I believe Sam Sommer's story is compelling and tragic. 

Thanks to Netgalley & WildBlue press for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I truly wish I could give a higher rating to this book.
Was this review helpful?
“A covered up hate crime and longest-running fight for exoneration in America on record.”   These words made me want to read this book – I was keen to discover what had happened; how it could happen.

I was not disappointed, the text said exactly what it would do on the tin!  It details how Samuel Sommer was set-up to take the blame for the death of his business partner who was his wife’s uncle (Irving Silver).   The time 1960s, the place New York.   Sam was due to meet with Irving on the morning of his death so that they could carpool to work: Irving never showed – he was murdered on Long Island.  Three days later and Sam is ‘kidnapped’ by the police who brutalise and intimidate Sam into confessing (allegedly).

What follows is the stuff of nightmares.  Who doesn’t expect the police to be fair and honest – Sam certainly did.  However, things go from bad to worse and in 1971 Sam is found guilty of the murder.  When Sam is released on parole in 1991 he determines to uncover the truth and throw light on the injustice he has experienced through the USA judicial services.

Although this is a fascinating window into this case and you cannot believe what Sam has endured, I did find it difficult to read.  Clearly the authors did their best to make the legal process and documents as easy to understand as possible, but it did detract from the flow and came over as somewhat amateurish.  (Huge apologies to the authors here).  I also felt that there was a lack of balance inasmuch as the descriptions of Sam’s extended family and their virtues for example.  I do not doubt the veracity of the details, it just all felt slightly cumbersome when reading it.

Top marks for getting your story told; top marks for being a survivor and telling your story; rather less for the narrative.

Thank you to the authors, publishers and NetGalley for providing an ARC via my Kindle in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This is an ace of a read that shows what can go wrong in America if you happen to belong to the wrong religion, and/or live where the wrong people have access to you. The Sommer family was happy and doing well when apparently the wrong people took notice. Sam Sommer enjoyed helping others, whether through his businesses or personally. He was happily married and raising a very large family, a seventh child due very soon. For no apparent reason, he was targeted and railroaded, other than someone in power wanting him out of the way, and not liking his success. It seems impossible, even in the late ’60s and early ’70s for this to happen so easily, but this was a corrupt county in New York.

This book tells how it happened, how Sommer and lawyers fought it and won the first round. Were overturned and lost. He was sent off to prison and had to fight for justice all over again. Years of battling while his wife was left to fend for seven children. It’s an amazing story that I recommend highly for those who enjoy true crime, memoirs, criminal law, it covers a lot of areas. It’s aggravating and inspirational all at once, and frightening that these things go on. My thanks for the advance electronic review copy that was provided by NetGalley, authors Samuel L. Sommer & Christopher Jossart, and WildBlue Press.
Was this review helpful?