The Bridge: The Eric Volz Story: Murder, Intrigue, and a Struggle for Justice in Nicaragua by Michael Glasgow (October 2008)

Crime, History, Politics…All In One
Review by Kim Cantrell

Having just finished reading The Bridge: The Eric Volz Story: Murder, Intrigue, and a Struggle for Justice in Nicaragua by Nashville attorney and author Michael Glasgow, I’m now in a dilemma on how to best review it.

So I’m just going to say it as plainly and simply as possibly –

As a true crime, it doesn’t work. There’s too much of the book dedicated to the history between the United States and Nicaragua. While such history is undoubtedly the answer to how justice would fail to prevail in the present, Glasgow tries too hard to tie historic Nashvillian William Walker to modern day Nashville resident Eric Volz.

And it just winds up in a huge history lesson.

I, personally, am a history buff so I rather enjoyed reading such detailed accounts of William Walker and Cornelius Vanderbilt, but I also know there are plenty of true crime readers who rather such historical data be condensed and more time dedicated to the actual crime, trial, and epilogue.

Tied into the history lessons is a course in political relations between the U.S. and Nicaragua; which, in summary, are not well. Like much of the rest of the world who can’t seem to move forward from the past although happily accepting billions of dollars in aid, Nicaraguans hate Americans – or gringos, as they say.

Again, I also enjoy political science so it captured my attention and kept me reading; however, I mention it because many of you hate the political jargon.

The parts of The Bridge actually focused on the crime and trial are minimal. Of course, in all fairness, there wasn’t a lot for Glasgow to recall when the investigation was extremely primative and immediately focused in on four persons, including the “rich and powerful American,” Eric Volz.

The latter chapters of the book are centered on the wrongful conviction of Volz and the efforts made to right a wrong. Readers are introduced to prisoners of (political) wars such as Nelson Mandela and John S. McCain III.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Bridge, but, bear in mind, I am a political and history enthusiast. If do not enjoy these two subjects, then this book isn’t for you. Otherwise…enjoy!

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