I knew nothing about Edgar Smith, or William F. Buckley, Jr. for that matter, before picking up this book. Turns out Smith was a psychopath, a manipulator, an author, and a murderer. Buckley was rich and the founder and editor-in-chief of the conservative National Review. Sophie Wilkins, the third, less-famous, piece of the triangle was a rather gullible editor at Alfred A. Knopf.
The story of how Edgar Smith manipulated his friends, the legal system, and the public was interesting, but I don't understand his appeal. I can't see why they believed him, how he eventually got out of prison - only to almost kill again I should add.
Weinman took us through his correspondence and conversations - it's a well-researched book. I would have liked a bit more discussion about how his experiences fit in with the larger issues regarding prison reform, race, and politics of the era.