Clark Collis
September 21, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Life After Death

Current Status
In Season
Damien Echols
Blue Rider Press
Memoir, Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

You have to look extremely hard to find the silver lining in the case of the West Memphis Three, the trio of teenagers who, it is now widely agreed, were wrongfully convicted of three child murders in 1994. But there’s no doubt the saga has inspired some memorable cultural artifacts, such as Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s Paradise Lost documentaries. To that list can now be added this evocative, chilling memoir, Life After Death, by one of the three, Damien Echols, who penned much of the text prior to his release last year. ”Ghosts are using my head for a neon disco, and I want to go home,” he desperately writes at one point, and the reader is as close to sharing his plight as any sane person would care to be. B+

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