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Reviewed by Jane Finch for Readers' Favorite
Banquet of Consequences: A Juror’s Plight by Paul Sanders recounts the true account of the trial of Michele Anderson for the murder of her parents, brother, sister-in-law, and her young niece and nephew. The murders took place in 2007 but it was not until eight years later that the trial took place. The murders became known as the Carnation Murders. The author - who calls himself the thirteenth juror - recounts in graphic detail what happened on Christmas Eve 2007 from his first-hand account as he sat in the gallery throughout the trial. Not only does the book cover the forensics, testimonies, and expert witnesses and opinion, but also includes the author’s personal encounter with Michele Anderson’s boyfriend and accomplice, Joseph McEnroe.
For any reader who seeks true life crime stories, this account of the trial of the Carnation Murders will certainly not disappoint. The detail the author relates transports the reader into the courtroom and each page is concisely and expertly written. It was particularly refreshing to read this account where the author was quite clearly endeavoring not to show any prejudice but to just relate the facts. Having read through the whole trial as related by Paul Sanders, it was of particular interest to read of his meeting with Joseph McEnroe and his feelings about this convicted murderer, only to learn later that perhaps not all was as it seemed. An engrossing read, excellently related, and this reader will certainly seek out other works by Paul Sanders. His dedication to learning the truth, to relating the facts, and the emotion he clearly felt in his quest come across in his writing for the ultimate benefit of the reader.