Book Review for "Flood of Lies: The St. Rita's Nursing Home Tragedy"
A thriller tale of the most talked about event during Hurricane Katrina
NEW ORLEANS, LA (CisionWire, August 19, 2012) - Levees.org has released a fifth book review by its founder Sandy Rosenthal that addresses the New Orleans flood of August 29, 2005.
Rosenthal provides the following commentary on “Flood of Lies: The St. Rita’s Nursing Home Tragedy” (Pelican Publishing Company, 2013).
James Cobb, the trial lawyer who defended nursing home owners Sal and Mabel Mangano, has written a superb book about his personal experience. “Flood of Lies” is a who-dunnit thriller about the most well-remembered event during Hurricane Katrina – the tragic deaths of thirty-five vulnerable nursing home residents.
After describing the horror of the flooding event itself, Cobb introduces the main characters and then the roller coaster ride begins. Through Cobb, we get a first hand look at everything: political intrigue and trickery, depression, sorrow, alcoholism and suicide. Cobb also pulled back the curtain on the audacity and mendacity of the 24/7 national media frenzy that profited from the tragedy.
In fine prose, Cobb keeps the reader afloat by infusing “Flood of Lies” with warm and fitting humor. For example, in describing the moment right after meeting the nursing home owners–an elderly couple that had been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion– Cobb writes:
“My personal and business world had crashed and burned, my fragile family was homeless and stuck in a hotel room in Houston, and I had just heard the most disturbing client’s story in my three decades of practice. I couldn’t imagine a better time to take up smoking again...“
Often Cobb’s humor is self-deprecatory. In chapter 21, he writes,
“I stumbled out of the apartment and into the dark around 5 a.m. I was headed to the curb to steal somebody’s newspaper and found out what Katrina atrocity or murder had been committed in the previous twenty-four hours. Scantily clad in tighty-whities and a two-sizes-too-small T-shirt that exposed a midriff several thousand sit-ups shy of six-pack abs, I must have been a sight...”
The reader will learn the ways and customs of the proud people of St. Bernard Parish. But most importantly, readers will meet an elderly couple who cared very deeply for the nursing home residents in their care, and will find out what a town without pity can do.
Just shy of eight years since Hurricane Katrina, the American citizen at large is still fuzzy on why the flooding in Greater New Orleans was so severe. Most do not understand––or do not want to understand––that the devastating flooding was primarily due to the failure of levees and floodwalls designed and built by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Without giving away the exciting shock ending, “Flood of Lies” is about the only jury who decided who was responsible for the worst civil engineering disaster in United States history.
The events that unfolded after the levees broke on August 29, 2005 need to be remembered. So I am glad that James Cobb wrote a book about it, and I expect that “Flood of Lies” will be read and appreciated for decades to come.
Founded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina with a mission of education about the 2005 flooding, Levees.org now has over 25,000 supporters and chapters in five states including Florida, New York, Illinois, Oregon and California.