It is not often that you have the opportunity to read a book with your brother as one of the main characters, but that’s what just happened to me. To say that I was thrilled, would be an understatement.
Stephen M. Sanzeri, author of Ultimate Prey, The True Story Behind The Yosemite Sightseer Murders, was also my brother, Rick Janes’ partner. Rick and Steve were both very experienced ex-police officers turned private investigators. Steve and Rick investigated the horrendous murders of Carol Sund; her daughter, Julie Sund; and their friend, Silvina Pelosso. These high-profile murders became known as the Yosemite Sightseer Murders.
Besides being a good police officer and investigator, Sanzeri is an excellent writer. The book had me on the edge of my chair, and I couldn’t put it down. As a matter of fact, I read until 1:40 a.m. last night until I could no longer see the print on the page. The dialog between Steve and Rick is written so well that I could actually hear Rick’s voice in my head. The story is compelling on its own, but Sanzeri’s writing style adds an element of mystery and intrigue. I am also impressed that he treated the victims’ families with such respect in the book, and I believe he has great empathy for them.
I’ve always believed that Cary Stayner did not act alone in these murders, although he was the only one tried and convicted. After reading Ultimate Prey, I am shocked and frustrated that justice has not fully been served. I can’t even imagine what these families have been put through for all these years.
Ultimate Prey is also an opportunity for readers to experience vicariously the life of private investigators/bounty hunters. While I knew what my big brother, Rick, was doing all those years, I tried hard not to think about it. It was too hard. Sanzeri showed me a piece of Rick’s life that is important to me — and it came after he’s out of that life so I don’t have to worry about it as much.
If you remember the Yosemite Sightseer Murders, or if you just love a good mystery, I highly recommend you buy a copy of Steve Sanzeri’s Ultimate Prey.
There is one thing I would say, however, as a reader (and a writer). It is important that writers understand that very few people read in this country anymore. Sad, but true. Those who do read, have more of a reverence for books than they do for churches. They handle newly printed books as if they were handling a new-born puppy. They relish every word. They are disappointed and disheartened when they open the book and discover printing errors. Mr. Sanzeri, not to take anything away from your amazing book, but please oh please, fire your editor before your next book is in print. I think I counted 38 errors in the first 20 pages. Almost every page has some sort of mistake. To those of us who do read and who love books, that is akin to scraping your fingernails on a blackboard.
Great book, Steve, and I’ll be watching for your next one to come out.
If you would like to purchase the book, it is available in paperback, as well as Kindle at Amazon.com.