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Catch the Sparrow

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780751582369

Price: £18.99

ON SALE: 17th February 2022

Genre: Biography & True Stories

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Catch the Sparrow is true crime at its most personal and purposeful – heartfelt and intimate, noble and determined, meticulous and brave’
Robert Kolker, New York Times bestselling author of HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD and LOST GIRLS

Growing up, Rachel Rear knew the story of Stephanie Kupchynsky’s disappearance. The beautiful violinist and teacher had fled an abusive relationship on Martha’s Vineyard and made a new start for herself near Rochester, NY. She was at the height of her life – in a relationship with a man she hoped to marry and close to her students and her family. And then, one morning, she was gone.

Near Rochester – a region which has spawned such serial killers as Arthur Shawcross and the ‘Double Initial’ killer – Stephanie’s disappearance was just another news item. But Rachel had more reason than most to be haunted by this particular story of a missing white woman: Rachel’s mother had married Stephanie’s father after the crime, and Rachel grew up in the shadow of her stepsister’s legacy.

In Catch the Sparrow, Rachel Rear writes a compulsively readable and unerringly poignant reconstruction of the dark and serpentine path, across more than two decades, to try to solve the case. Obsessively cataloging the crime and its costs, drawing intimately closer to the details than any journalist could, she reveals how a dysfunctional justice system laid the groundwork for Stephanie’s murder and stymied the investigation for more than twenty years, and what those hard years meant for the lives of Stephanie’s family and loved ones. Startling, unputdownable, and deeply moving, Catch the Sparrow is a retelling of a crime like no other.


A poignant and honest memoir combined with a suspenseful tale of a vibrant young woman's senseless murder and the lengthy and often shocking investigation that followed, CATCH THE SPARROW is my favorite type of true crime book -compassionate, compelling, and achingly, heartbreakingly real. I will be thinking about this book for a long time to come
Alison Gaylin, Edgar Award-winning author of THE COLLECTIVE
In this engrossing account of the murder of a step-sister she never met, Rachel Rear shows us how complex the relationship between victim, perpetrator and those affected by loss can be. Like the best true crime books, it transcends the genre
Dean Haycock, author of MURDEROUS MINDS
CATCH THE SPARROW is true crime at its most personal and purposeful--heartfelt and intimate, noble and determined, meticulous and brave
Robert Kolker, New York Times bestselling author of HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD and LOST GIRLS
CATCH THE SPARROW is a one-of-a-kind true crime narrative, meticulously reported and compellingly written. The real twist in Rachel Rear's pursuit of this cold case murder is the stunning relationship of the teller to the tale. No novelist could have invented it
Jonathan Dee, author of THE LOCALS and THE PRIVILEGES