Instaread Summary of While the City Slept, by Eli Sanders
Three out of five stars
In my opinion, the author of this summary missed what is the key issue in the story of Isaiah Kalebu and his victims Teresa Butz and Jennifer Hopper. That issue is the massive reduction in spending for mental health and the associated failures of the legal and medical system to deal with people that are progressively descending into madness. It is mentioned, but not given the serious coverage that it deserves.
Kalebu is a man that exhibited many of the symptoms of mental illness for some time, he was examined several times by mental health professionals with appearances before a judge for erratic behavior and minor crimes. Eventually, he repeatedly raped Teresa and Jennifer at knifepoint, severely injuring Jennifer and killing Teresa.
A great deal of the background of the female victims is explained, including their childhoods, their skill sets and the fact that they were lesbians. Kalebu was the product of a tough environment, yet that is not the reason for his mental illness, several of his ancestors also suffered from the affliction.
While the three main characters are people with lives, the end result of the major crime was a consequence of society spending far too little on mental health treatment. This shifts the burden to other ways in which society pays for it, in this case it led to at least one death, a trial, conviction and long-term incarceration. That should have been the focus of this summary, yet it is rendered secondary to the sexual orientations of the two female victims.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.