Isolated Incident

Investigating the Death of Nancy Cooper

Non-Fiction - True Crime
250 Pages
Reviewed on 03/11/2015
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite

Isolated Incident is the story of the tragic death of a young housewife and mother, Nancy Cooper. But it is also the story of small town politics and justice, and the rush to judgment that followed her murder. On a summer morning in 2008, Nancy Cooper went for a run ... never to be seen alive again. Her friends immediately suspected her husband was responsible for her disappearance as early as eight hours after she disappeared. Nancy and her husband Brad were having financial and marital problems at the time of her disappearance. John W. Taylor has presented an interesting, if seemingly biased story, in making his case that the narrative convicted Brad Cooper rather than the evidence.

While author John W. Taylor does make a very legitimate point that blaming the husband for the murder of his wife is a common narrative, it is because it overwhelmingly is the case. However, neither the media nor the public are required to presume the innocence of anyone, only the judge or the jury. Taylor himself has given us a compelling narrative in Isolated Incident of Brad Cooper as a man with a wife he couldn’t control and her friends who hated him. Between her affairs and spending, the first quarter of this book is chock full of motive.

The police investigating the disappearance and murder of Nancy Cooper could have done a better job and should have, but they did as well as can be expected in a small town with little to no violent crime. Isolated Incident was a very interesting story of murder in a small town and a botched investigation, but the author makes as many guesses about Nancy as he accuses the police of doing about Brad. I enjoyed reading all of the possible scenarios the author created; however, I do think he saw more injustice to this story than was warranted. Even in reading the evidence the author presented, I was convinced the husband had had a hand in Nancy's death as most of the 'contradictory evidence' was presented by the husband. Disagreeing with this author was some of the most fun I've had with a true crime book in quite a while. Overall, I love a book that makes me speak aloud to it as I read!