Lunchbreak Series: Ellen McGarrahan, "Two Truths and a Lie"

We are delighted to host debut author Ellen McGarrahan, whose true crime memoir, Two Truths and a Lie: A Murder, a Private Investigator, and Her Search for Justice, is racking up a host of accolades even prior to publication.  McGarrahan, a journalist turned private investigator, has written a riveting book, both an in-depth look at a terrible crime, and the author's personal account of how her search for the truth turned into an obsession.  Ellen will be in conversation with The Book Stall's event coordinator, Robert McDonald. This program is highly recommended for fans of In Cold Blood, The Executioner's Song, and contemporary true crime podcasts.  Our lunchbreak program is free--register HERE to reserve your spot. 

About the Book: In 1990, Ellen McGarrahan was a young reporter for the Miami Herald when she covered the execution of Jesse Tafero, a man convicted of murdering two police officers. When it later emerged that Tafero may have been innocent, McGarrahan was appalled by her unquestioning acceptance of the state's version of events. The revelation propelled her into a new career as a private investigator.

Decades later, McGarrahan finally decides to find out the truth of what really happened in Florida. Her investigation plunges her back into the Miami of the 1960s and 1970s, a dangerous world of nightclubs, speed boats, and drug cartels awash in violence. She combs through stacks of court files and interviews everyone involved in the case. But even as McGarrahan circles closer to the truth, the story of guilt and innocence becomes more complex, and she gradually discovers that she hasn't been alone in her need for closure. Because whenever a human life is forcibly taken--by bullet, or by electric chair--the reckoning is long and difficult for all.

A fascinating glimpse into the mind of a private investigator, Two Truths and a Lie is ultimately a deeply personal exploration of one woman's quest to find answers in a chaotic world.

“Dark, foreboding, and emotional, this title is as gripping as a thriller and laced with cogent insights—McGarrahan stresses that sometimes there isn’t an objective truth to uncover. Fans of Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark will be spellbound.” Library Journal (Starred Review)

“A masterpiece—more honest than In Cold Blood and more profound than The Executioner’s Song. This riveting memoir of a private investigator’s search for the buried truth about a shocking tragedy is a brilliant addition to the literature of crime and punishment.” —David Von Drehle, New York Times bestselling author of Triangle: The Fire That Changed America

About the Author: Ellen McGarrahan earned a degree in history from Yale and worked for a decade as an investigative reporter at newspapers in New York City, Miami, and San Francisco before accidentally finding her calling as a private detective. Two Truths and a Lie is her first book.

Event date: 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Event address: 

Online Crowdcast event!
Two Truths and a Lie: A Murder, a Private Investigator, and Her Search for Justice Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812998665
Availability: On Our Shelves Now--Subject to Availability
Published: Random House - February 2nd, 2021

In this “spellbinding memoir” (The Washington Post), a private investigator revisits the case that has haunted her for decades and sets out on a deeply personal quest to sort truth from lies.