The Lost Night: A Daughter's Search for the Truth of Her Father's Murder

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Dutton, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages
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A deeply moving story of one woman┬'s search for truth and meaning in the aftermath of her father's unsolved murder.

On the night of June 22, 1986, ten-year-old Rachel Howard woke to a disturbing sight: pools of blood on the hallway carpet and a glimpse of her father clutching his stabbed throat. Stan Howard died minutes later, and his bizarre small-town murder was never solved. Rachel┬'s father was thirty-two, a laid-back, handsome man who loved the music of Rod Stewart and had no known enemies. Faced with her family┬'s shock, Rachel decided she would cope the only way she knew how: By keeping silent and trying to pretend the murder had never happened.

Now, seventeen years later and recently engaged, Rachel attempts to uncover for herself what happened that night. Finally reconnecting with her father┬'s family, she sorts through her relatives┬' memories of his death and presses the less-than-helpful detectives. Still bewildered, she seeks the only other two people present at the murder: her former stepmother and stepbrother, neither of whom she has seen since her father┬'s funeral. The result is a tender portrait of a father and a keen investigation of memory, truth, and how a family moves on from a tragedy for which they may never find answers.

┬“Homicide has lifelong effects for its secondary victims, and educating people to that fact is an essential part of the battle for victims┬' rights. The genres of True Crime and Memoir both need more books like The Lost Night. Rachel┬'s memoir is important and enlightening. She is very brave for taking on the telling of this story.
--Jeanine Cummins, author of A Rip in Heaven

"From the first page to the last, I read Rachel Howard's spellbinding memoir of murder and its harrowing aftermath with my heart in my mouth. A riveting exploration of grief, suspicion, and the tangled ties that make up the modern family, her need to uncover the identity of the person responsible for the vicious stabbing death of her beloved, but flawed father compels her on a brave, emotional quest for the truth. I turned the pages late into the night, eager to follow Howard as she pursued the next clue and the next, as well as to discover how she would come to terms with her terrible loss. A clear-sighted writer, willing to admit to the gaps in fact and memory that will always remain, the true triumph of her story is the hard-won, if uneasy truce she ultimately establishes with the past."
--Anna Cypra Oliver, author of Assembling My Father: A Daughter's Detective Story

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THE LOST NIGHT: A Daughter's Search for the Truth of Her Father's Murder

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A young woman tries to reconcile her memories of her father's murder with the recollections of others.Howard—dance critic and book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle—was ten in 1986, when her ... Read full review

The Lost Night: A Daughter's Search for the Truth of Her Father's Murder

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Howard was only ten years old and asleep in the next room when her father was murdered in their Merced, CA, home. Nothing was stolen, and police uncovered no clues. Why was a family man with no ... Read full review


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About the author (2005)

Rachel Howard currently covers dance and writes book reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle. She has also written for The Village Voice, The San Francisco Examiner, The Orange County Register, The Santa Barbara Independent, and Dance Magazine.

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