Cover Image: Helltown

Helltown

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Member Reviews

This is a true crime novel fictionalizing the famous t Tony Costa of Cape Cod. Being a huge Cape Cod fan, I thought I might enjoy learning more about its mysterious and murderous side! This isn't your typical true crime novel though!

Set in 1969, in Provincetown, we learn more about the hippie movement and the dueling famous authors Vonnegut and Mailer. Through the novel we follow Antone "Tony" Costa on his murder spree and court hearings. The novel reads more like a television series and I have heard it is soon to be one!

If you like serial killers (the real kind), Cape Cod and history, this novel is for you!
#Sourcebooks #TrueCrime #NetGalley

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Helltown by Casey Sherman is a great true crime story. Even though I had never heard of Tony Costa and the Cape Cod Murders it was a fascinating story that keep me turning pages. This happened just before the Manson murders and in my opinion was way more gruesome and sensational than Manson. Which is saying a lot cuz Manson’s was pretty bad. There was a lot about writers Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr in the book. I believe it was necessary for the story, but maybe it didn’t need to go into quite as much detail of their lives as it did.

I was a teenager when this happened and devoured all books about serial killers back then, but I had never heard of this murderer till now. I like how it tells the story of these murders through the eyes of the serial killer.

If you like serial killer book this one is a must read.

Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
#NetGalley #SOURCEBOOKS #Helltown

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Thank you to SOURCEBOOKS (non-fiction) and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this Digital ARC of Helltown.

All you had to say was murder mystery and I was sold on reading Helltown. In the late 1960s, Cape Cod was terrorized by the murders of an evil man. This book is graphic and not to be read lightly and it depicts the brutal destruction of the lives of many young women. The trial coverage was fascinating and Im surprise this story doesn't get more recognition. If you like true crime this is a book for you

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A really great true crime book about Cape cod in the 1960s. I felt instantly transported to that time and place.
Very well researched and compelling, I almost forgot it was non-fiction at times.

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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC for an exchange for an honest review.

Good book, I recommend reading it.

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This is a meticulously researched, well written, and developed book. The setting is super memorable - Cape Cod in the late 1960s, with all the sociopolitical turmoil that categorized this time. Sherman is a talented writer, drawing readers into his tale. It's easy to forgot that this is a non-fiction tale; you get so lost in Sherman's descriptions and dialogue. Well worth a read for any true crime junkies.

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Who's says that you can't learn something new ever day. I enjoyed this true crime book about a crime that wasn't technically solved. that was actually kind of scary. So don't read this one when your home alone or late at night.

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Interesting and very well written book. I enjoyed reading this and will definitely look for more by author.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

Unfortunately, this book was not for me. I wanted to love this story, since this kind of story is something that draws me in, however I could not connect to the story.

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A definate MUST for those True Crime enthusiasts!

Excellent writing about the horrors that hit Cape Cod in the 1960's.
I had never heard of Costa before this book, so I am so glad to have read all about him. I did find the parts with Vonnegut and Mailer unnecessary and didn't really add anything to the book other than a few eyerolls.

Thanks to the Publisher and Netgalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I’ve been trying to think over whether I’ve ever read a true crime book that was written quite like Helltown. Sherman is clear that this is non-fiction, but with some narratives that have been constructed with a best guess in mind.

I hadn’t heard of the Truro murders before reading this, which is unsurprising as they took place during the Charles Manson era. While gruesome and unsettling, the narrative that the author is able to create from well-researched sources is enlightening. Using Costa’s unpublished manuscript, Sherman is able to give an accurate look into the split personality of this twisted serial killer.

**I received this advance copy free from Sourcebooks via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

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This is a fascinating story and well enjoyed. I love some true crime and drama! It was also a great depiction of the 60s and 70s. I had never heard of Costa before so it was fascinating to read (in a morbid kind of way!). If you are a fan of true crime I would definitely give this a go.

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I can acknowledge the effort and research into the case this book revolves around however I found it a bit hard to hold my attention. I am a true-crime fan however I found there was a lack of cohesion from the author tying multiple narrative threads together that left me feeling impatient at times for things to move along. The additions of Vonnegut and Mailer didn't help the telling of the case in my opinion and they could be removed without impacting the story.

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Thanks to netgalley and sourcebooks for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review.
This was an interesting storyline to begin with and is a nonfiction so I wasn't expecting much entertainment. It had a lot of really interesting facts but it had my head spinning for much of the book. I can tell a lot of effort and work was put into the book and it may be a very satisfying read for many.

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This was just alright.

I found it to be well researched, but entirely all over the place without a clear direction.

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Reading books based on true stories has always been a very big hit or miss with me. Reading fiction more often than not has left me with the anticipation of something off the wall happening, something that you don't expect to ever see or hear about in real life. When I first seen the title of the book I thought what a chance someone would be taking with such a gripping title and the expectations that I as a reader now had. Despite it taking a few chapters to grasp the story and start to reel me in, once I got there I could not put the book down. Using the real deal and integrating some imagination on the finer details, like conversations that happened between killer and victims, was just done so well you can't help but think that that was what in fact took place. How this story didn't become as well known as the Manson murders is beyond me. This was one individual, a completely delusional one, that was responsible for multiple murders and until the end was convinced he was not. Such a well written account of the Cape Cod murders.

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Last year I read another account of the saga of Tony Costa entitled "The Babysitter". Helltown does what The Babysitter could only dream of. Casey Sherman brought these murders into the forefront, telling them in all of their gruesome details. Not especially a fire burning page turner, but more of a slow build up, readers won't be sorry if they take this journey that Sherman leads us on. Several holy shit moments ties the whole book together. I especially enjoyed that Sherman included the murder of the still unidentified Lady of the Dunes. Well done.

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I found this book to be … all over the place. I didn’t love the flow, or the side story of Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer. I found it unnecessarily gory and it is not a book I would recommend.

I gave it two stars because it was well researched.

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An excellent look at an horrific crime, and one that doesn't seem to be as well-known all these years later as certain other crimes from the same period. I really enjoyed the parallel stories of the crime and it's detection, alongside the stories of Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut, at two very different points in their careers, coming together in a strange and weird ways to write about the case of Tony Costa. It's well-researched and well-constructed, and I appreciated the author's note about his processes at the end, as well.

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3.5 stars - I grew up in Massachusetts, but was unfamiliar with the story of serial killer Tony Costa on Cape Cod. The case ties in historic people and events, such as writers Norman Mailer and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. to the story, that occasionally overwhelmed the narrative. However, it was interesting to learn about a true crime case from my home state that is so gruesome, it's hard to imagine I hadn't heard about it before.

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