Today I'm reading Andy Austin's brilliant memoir, RULE 53: Capturing Hippies, Spies, and Murderers in an American Courtroom, published by Lake Claremont Press. In the book, Austin reflects on her career as a courtroom sketch artist for ABC 7 during the tumultuous '70s and '80s, covering famous Chicago trials like John Wayne Gacy, Jr., the Chicago Conspiracy 8, the El Rukn trials, and of course, the Mob. It's a mind-warping, gripping, and often shocking tour through Chicago courtroom history, all told through Austin's perfect blend of subtle wit and wisdom.
As if the historical content isn't enough to make this book an impossible-to-put-down page-turner, Austin's narrative is poignant, concise, and expertly crafted. She is a writer to watch.
Pick up a copy and buckle your seatbelt - it's a ride you won't easily forget.