RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewCamila’s story feels like a warning: If in prosperous times this is the best our government can do to assist those struggling to get by, then in these coming difficult times we will be able to do very little ... a remarkable feat of reporting. Sandler seems to be always at her side ... Sandler’s such a keen observer, her writing so cleareyed ... a testament to the bigness of the small story, to the power of intimate narratives to speak to something much larger. Sandler wisely lets Camila’s story stand on its own without lecturing us. Not to sound clichéd, but we walk in Camila’s shoes. We come to understand what Sandler recognized early on: If Camila can’t navigate the dearth of housing, how can others?
PanThe New York Times Book Review\"This book, though, feels rushed. Too much of Storm Lake consists of broadsides, suppositional reporting and thinly drawn character sketches. Cullen has an unfortunate tendency toward armchair editorializing rather than grounded reporting ... While Cullen’s writing is impassioned, a plea for the rest of us not to dismiss places like Storm Lake, the prose too often feels careless and imprecise ... I don’t mean to sound cranky, but this book feels like a missed opportunity... I wanted to cherish this book, to feel I could pass it on to young aspiring reporters, to get them to consider working at papers like The Storm Lake Times.\
PositiveThe New York Times Book Review...a captivating, intimate profile of one man’s stubbornly persistent efforts to convince others of his innocence ... Rachlin is a skilled storyteller, but what’s not sufficiently clear is why he chose to tell this particular story. Over the past 28 years and as of this writing, according to the National Registry of Exonerations, there have been 2,102 people whom the courts or government officials have found to be wrongfully convicted...Grimes’s conviction, in the end, appears to have been the result of sloppy and lazy police work, and as a reader I’m not sure what to take away from this ... Where Rachlin fully succeeds is in his rich, intimate portrait of Grimes, who is isolated and alone, whose soul is cracking...Amazingly, he came out as dignified a man as when he went in. It’s in these chapters that this story becomes remarkable. That, I suppose, is reason enough to tell this tale.