Had mixed feelings on this one, though I ultimately liked it and found it compelling and readable. And I say that as someone who doesn’t care for serial killer stories, fiction or not.
The good: Sherman knows how to weave a yarn. He keeps this smooth, while integrating the many historic events happening around the Cape Cod murder case (the moon landing, Chappaquiddick, the Tate-LaBianca murders, good Lord, the 60s were quite the time to be alive). All of this while two world famous writers lived near each other and eyed the other warily, drawing inspiration from the circumstances. Throw in the hippie movement/drug culture of the late-60s east coast and you have quite the potboiler. There are a lot of dots to connect here and for the most part, Sherman does a good job.
The bad: The “factionalized” dialogue…really could have done without that. Making Vonnegut frequently say “So it goes” is about as hacky as it could get. Creating a plucked-from-the-air fictionalization of another brutally murdered woman just to give Tony Costa’s sad story a weird coda is really irresponsible. I understand the desire to take creative liberties with a story like this; I just think Sherman goes too far.
I tilt towards the 4-star “good” side because I got a great picture of the Cape, the case, and the lives of the respective writers at that particular time in the story. I don’t know how much of the broader supposition Sherman puts out there I actually believe. But I know it was an interesting read nonetheless.