July 1970. Eighteen-year-old Paula Oberbroeckling left her house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Four months later, her remains were discovered just beyond the mouth of a culvert overlooking the Cedar River. Her homicide has never been solved. Fifty years cold, Paula’s case had been mostly forgotten when journalist Katherine Dykstra began looking for answers.
Dykstra has produced an extraordinary book that is nothing like your typical true crime saga ... a damning examination of how vulnerable women are in our society, and it’s a topic that is hiding in plain sight ... a powerful book and a touching one.
Delving into studies of beauty, violence toward women, racism, and women’s sovereignty over their own bodies in the last half-century, Dykstra recounts scares and opportunities she and the women in her family experienced. Hand to fans of this popular genre blend.
Although Dykstra acknowledges that she may never determine who killed Oberbroeckling, her book nevertheless sheds new light on the disappearance, contending that the case may not have been given the necessary time and resources, owing to sexism and racism ... Reopening a cold case, Dykstra reaches no definitive answers, but along the way she offers insight on the impact of societal attitudes on criminal investigations. Hand to readers interested in the intersection of true crime and women’s studies.