When Cylin Busby was nine years old, she loved Izod shirts, the Muppets, and her pet box turtle. Then, in the space of a night, everything that was normal about her life changed. Her police officer father, John, was driving to his midnight shift when someone pulled up alongside and leveled a shotgun at his window.Read more...
When Cylin Busby was nine years old, she loved Izod shirts, the Muppets, and her pet box turtle. Then, in the space of a night, everything that was normal about her life changed. Her police officer father, John, was driving to his midnight shift when someone pulled up alongside and leveled a shotgun at his window. The blasts that followed tore through his face and left him clinging to life. Overnight, the Busbys went from being the "family next door" to one under twenty-four-hour armed guard, with police escorts to and from school and no contact with friends. Worse, the shooter was still on the loose, and it seemed only a matter of time before he'd come after John-or someone else in the family-again. With their lives unraveling around them and few choices remaining for a future that could ever be secure, the Busby family left everything and everyone they had ever known...and simply disappeared.
As told by both father and daughter, this is a harrowing, at times heartbreaking, account of a shooting and its aftermath-even as it shows a young girl trying to make sense of the unthinkable and the triumph of a family's bravery in the face of crisis.
- ISBN-13: 9781599901411
- ISBN-10: 1599901412
- Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
- Publish Date: August 2008
- Page Count: 329
- Reading Level: Ages 14-UP
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 55.
- Review Date: 2008-09-01
- Reviewer: Staff
No one with even a marginal interest in true crime writing should miss this page-turner, by turns shocking and almost unbearably sad. In 1979, in an underworld-style hit, a gunman shot John Busby, a policeman in Cape Cod; a fluke saved John's life, but he was permanently disfigured and disabled, and the family placed under 24-hour protection. Eventually the family went into hiding in Tennessee, but arguably their “disappearance” takes place long before they move—as John and his daughter, Cylin, alternately narrate, readers can see how the shooting erased the family's sense of themselves. John is consumed with anger at the police's refusal to pursue the likeliest suspects (“and [I] planned to stay angry until I got back at the bastards who did this to me”); Cylin, then nine, is baffled as she and her two older brothers attract unwelcome attention (“Everyone thinks your dad is going to die,” a cousin tells her. “But you're lucky—you don't have to go to school”) and are later forsaken as classmates' parents deem friendship with them too risky. Where John's chapters provide the grim facts, it is Cylin's authentically childlike perspective that, in revealing the cost to her innocence, renders the tragic experience most searingly. Ages 14-up. (Sept.)