Title: The Darkest Glare: A True Story of Murder, Blackmail, and Real Estate Greed in 1979 Los Angeles
Author: Chip Jacobs
Release Date: March 9th 2021
Genre: True Crime
Late-seventies Los Angeles was rampant with killers and shady characters, but all the go-getters at Space Matters saw was possibility. Richard Kasparov was handsome and charismatic; his younger associate, Jerry Schneiderman, brilliant and nerdy. When the pair hired a veteran contractor to oversee construction, the space planning firm they operated out of a hip mansion in LA’s Miracle Mile district appeared poised to transform the boundless skyline into their jackpot.
After the promising team imploded, however, the orderly lines on their blueprints succumbed to treachery and secrets. To get even, one of the ex-partners launched a murder-for-profit corporation using, among other peculiar sorts, a bantam-sized epileptic with a deadeye shot and a cross-dressing sidekick. The hapless criminals required a comical number of attempts to execute their first target. Once they did, on a rainy night in the San Fernando Valley, the surviving founder of Space Matters was thrown into a pressure cooker existence out of a Coen Brothers movie. Threatened for money he didn’t have, he donned a disguise, survived a heart-pounding encounter at the La Brea Tar Pits, and relied on an ex-Israeli mercenary for protection. In the end, he had to outfox a glowering murderer, while asking if you can ever really know anyone in a town where dirty deals send men to their graves.
In The Darkest Glare, Chip Jacobs recounts a spectacular, noir-ish, true-crime saga from one of the deadliest eras in American history. You’ll never gaze out windows into the dark again.
Included as a bonus is an original true crime short from the same unhinged era. In “Paul & Chuck,” a flashy, crusading attorney wages war against the messianic leader of a bloodthirsty cult determined to teach the world to stay away.
I love me some true crime. Love it! I was excited to read The Darkest Glare. I hadn’t heard of this case before and was very interested in learning more. The story read like a script. A script for a like television series. I kept seeing episodes in my head. The author has a different story telling style and it took me awhile to get used to it. A lot of information and people are thrown at you. At times I had trouble keeping track of who was who. I admit, the level of evilness that went into everything that occurred is disturbing. I appreciate the author’s attention to detail. I felt transported to a different time and era.
The crimes committed were both senseless and disturbing. The author takes you from beginning to the very end. All those twists and turns made for a pretty good read. I give this 3 stars.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*