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IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

February 11, 1996|ERIKA TAYLOR

THE STALKING OF KRISTIN: A Father Investigates the Murder of His Daughter by George Lardner (Atlantic Monthly: $21; 320 pp.). In May of 1992, Kristin Lardner, a 21-year-old art student, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, who killed himself shortly afterward. There had been a restraining order. Kristin's father, Washington Post journalist George Lardner, won a Pulitzer Prize for writing the story of his daughter's tragic death. Now, in "The Stalking of Kristin" that story has been expanded into a book.

Using his daughter as a jumping-off point, Lardner describes a justice system that, again and again, protects the rights of the perpetrator over the rights of the victim. When her boyfriend first became violent, Kristin followed all the rules. She called police, filed papers and appeared in court. The man should actually have been incarcerated for a probation violation at the time of the murder. Instead, he approached Kristin on a busy sidewalk in broad daylight and shot her three times at point-blank range.

Lardner is a writer who feels most comfortable with facts. His anger and pain are funneled into the investigation of a system that allowed this to happen, much the way Kristin's emotional life went directly into her art. "The Stalking of Kristin" is not about grief--it is the product of grief.

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