In 2015, Thomas Gilbert Jr. killed his hedge-fund manager father and received a sentence of 30 years to life, rocking wealthy Manhattan society. Glatt delves into the case, revealing Gilbert's history of escalating psychological problems, his family's desperate attempts to cover them up and a justice system that fails to fully reckon with mental illness.
... a true-crime juggernaut ... Glatt expertly interweaves the issues of mental health and privilege ... I was practically yelling at the pages—as if anyone can hear you through the pages and years ... Glatt...gracefully portray[s] the complicated maneuvers and motives of all parties in this case ... Golden Boy: A Murder Among the Manhattan Elite brings to the forefront two aspects of American life we are grappling with—privilege and mental health stigmas. John Glatt, by thorough investigative research and empathy for all involved, has managed to present these complicated matters in an intriguing, enthralling narrative.
Glatt lays out the facts of this story but resists analysis, penning an interesting tale that ultimately lacks insight. More exploration of Tommy’s childhood and relationships to his immediate family—his younger sister is all but missing from this book—as well as a nuanced look at the connections between his drug use, mental health and feelings for his father would’ve been welcome additions to the narrative ... a compelling story but a somewhat flat delivery. However, Golden Boy remains a worthwhile read for its disturbing peek into a horrific and avoidable event. You may experience some schadenfreude reading about an elite and rich family brought low, but most will find what Glatt sets out to reveal—the evident pain of the Gilberts and the struggles and horrors that their advantages couldn’t shield them from. As to Tommy’s control of his actions, and the mental health and court systems in general, Glatt gives readers lots of good discussion fodder.
Glatt is a balanced narrator of this story; though it would be easy to dismiss Gilbert as a privileged man-child protected by wealth and connections, the author also examines how complicated mental illness diagnoses can be, even for people with access to doctors and treatments ... A tragic character study at the intersection of wealth, privilege, and mental illness, told with empathy for Gilbert’s victims.