ABOVE SUSPICION [electronic resource].
- ISBN: 9781504041737 (electronic bk.)
- ISBN: 1504041739 (electronic bk.)
- Physical Description: 1 online resource
- Publisher: [United States] : Open Road Media : Made available through hoopla, 2017. [United States] : Open Road Media : 2017.
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|Summary, etc.:||Soon to be a major motion picture starring Emilia Clarke and Jack Hudson: The "uncommonly trenchant account of the only known FBI agent to confess to murder" (Kirkus Reviews). When rookie FBI agent Mark Putnam received his first assignment in 1987, it was the culmination of a lifelong dream, if not the most desirable location. Pikeville, Kentucky, is high in Appalachian coal country, an outpost rife with lawlessness dating back to the Hatfields and McCoys. As a rising star in the bureau, however, Putnam soon was cultivating paid informants and busting drug rings and bank robbers. But when one informant fell in love with him, passion and duty would collide with tragic results. A coal miner's daughter, Susan Smith was a young, attractive, struggling single mother. She was also a drug user sometimes described as a con artist, thief, and professional liar. Ultimately, Putnam gave in to Smith's relentless pursuit. But when he ended the affair, she waged a campaign of vengeance that threatened to destroy him. When at last she confronted him with a shocking announcement, a violent scuffle ensued, and Putnam, in a burst of uncontrolled rage, fatally strangled her. Though he had everything necessary to get away with murder-a spotless reputation, a victim with multiple enemies, and the protection of the bureau's impenetrable shield-his conscience wouldn't allow it. Tormented by a year of guilt and deception, Putnam finally led authorities to Smith's remains. This is the story of what happened before, during, and after his startling confession-an account that "should take its place on the dark shelf of the best American true crime" (Newsday). Revised and updated, this eBook also includes photos and a new epilogue by the author.|
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From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
When the FBI sends its newest agent to Pikeville, Kentucky, his first assignment turns into a nightmare. Scrupulous, dedicated Mark Putnam makes friends with local law enforcement officials, develops a network of confidants, and aggressively dives into his job. However, prison, not promotion, awaits him, because Putnam murders the informant who has become his lover, then teams up with--or attempts to distract--the police effort to find the woman's killer. Sharkey does not sensationalize; he doesn't need to. The facts are sad and sordid enough. This lucid presentation considers how such a sorry tragedy could occur and its impact upon Putnam's family. ~--Denise Perry Donavin
Library Journal Review
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Rookie FBI agent Mark Putnam was pleased with his assignment to an office in the hill country of Kentucky as it would allow him the freedom and independence to make a name for himself and get ahead. He began cultivating informants and pursuing bank robbers and chop shop operators. One of his informants, Susan Smith, an attractive drug user with connections among the rural underworld, was one of the most useful and one of the most troublesome. Becoming emotionally (and financially) dependent on Putnam, she began to inject herself into his personal life, finally taking advantage of Putnam's troubled marriage and seducing him. This tangle of motives and loyalties ultimately led to a confrontation wherein Smith threatened to reveal that she was pregnant. Allegedly, she also attacked Putnam physically, and he responded in the heat of the moment by strangling her. Sharkey makes both this scenario and Putnam's subsequent actions to cover up the crime psychologically believable. By implication, Sharkey condemns the FBI for encouraging the use of paid informants, but the force of his story lies in the sharp characterizations, the human drama, and the tragic inevitability of its conclusion. For all popular true crime collections.-- Ben Harrison, East Orange P.L., N.J. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This tragic story by Wall Street Journal reporter Sharkey details the rise and fall of Mark Putnam, an apparent straight arrow for whom working as an FBI agent was the realization of a dream. As a rookie in 1987, he was sent to a branch office in Pikeville, a coal-mining town in easten Kentucky. There he cultivated one Susan Smith as an informant; she fell in love with him, perhaps because he was the first man to treat her with respect. An emotionally unstable drug user given to lying, she spread the news that she was having an affair with the married Putnam before this was fact. Later, after he had been transferred to Florida, he returned to Pikeville to tie up the loose ends of another case, and Smith confronted him with news that she was pregnant with his child. She threatened a scandal. After a wild battle with her in his car, Putnam killed her and threw her body off a cliff. A year later, as the law closed in, he confessed. He plea-bargained for a manslaughter conviction and a 16-year sentence, which he is serving. This grim story is expertly told. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC alternate. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved