Book Review: A Cold-Blooded Business by Marek Fuchs

Monday, July 27, 2009

Melinda Lambert Harmon was a devout member of the Nazarene church in Olathe, Kansas.

Growing up the daughter of a highly respected Nazarene church official, Dr. Wilmer Lambert, and later marrying her teenager sweetheart David Harmon, Melinda's life appeared to be one of many blessings.

Yet something was apparently lacking.

Not long into the marriage and while working at the Nazarene College in Olathe, Melinda was introduced to and began working closely with Mark Mangelsdorf; an up and coming young man in charge of organizing concerts on the campus of the MidAmerica Nazarene College.

It wasn't long until Mangelsdorf found himself in a tight-knit friendship with the newlywed Harmons.

Although all three appeared to be zealous in the practice of their strict religion, friends and neighbors would come to question the possibility of an adulterous affair between Melinda and Mark.

Then on a cold, dark night in February 1982, Melinda beat on the door of her next door neighbors claiming that David had been brutally attacked by two black men before the intruders fled the Harmon apartment in possession of the keys to the bank where David was employed.

Yet the police wasn't buying what Melinda was selling. Unfortunately, between limited evidence and the interference of Melinda's powerful father, homicide detectives were at an impasse on solving David's murder.

For 20 years, "the buckle of the bible belt" would be divided between those who supported Melinda and Mark and those who felt disgust at the two getting away with murder.

Then in walked two cold case detectives, a district attorney looking to take the next step up the political ladder, and friends and family still seeking justice for David Harmon.

What follows is the story of reopening a case considered colder than a Sunday in hell, hours of tireless detective work, and the amazing toe-the-line confession and accusation from Melinda.

Author Marek Fuchs crosses over from writing about the corporate world into the business of cold-hearted murder.

Well written and full of detail, plus a one-on-one interview with the accused, A Cold-Blooded Business is a tale of true crime that will make you question the validity of believing the old adage that you reap what you sow.

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