Book Review: ‘Rust & Stardust: A Novel’ Is An Incredible Historical Fiction Look At The Kidnapping Of Florence Sally Horner

Nothing excites me more than to get books about people and situations I had never heard about before. I’ve got a great book about a mobster I never knew about and now this one. It’s the story of Florence Sally Horner, an 11 year old little girl that was kidnapped in 1948 and held for 21 months in various cities around the country. This novel is based on the real life story of her abduction.

In 1948 Sally Horner (11 years old) is dared to steal something from Woolworth’s to prove her loyalty to join a group of friends. She takes a notebook and puts it up her sweater. She’s caught by a man who claims to be with the FBI and tells her she’s in trouble. 52 year-old Frank LaSalle is a child sexual predator who has just gotten out of jail. He convinces Sally she will need to go before a judge and not to say anything. He then tells her she has to go to Atlantic City to see the judge. He convinces her mother Ella that they will have fun there with his daughter.

But what he really is doing is taking her and not bringing her back. He keep telling her the meeting with the judge will be happening and then lies to mess with her head. He also is sexually assaulting her. Every time the police seem to get close to him he escapes before they can find him. The move from city to city as Sally’s family tries to find them.

The story shows the effects emotionally and physically on Sally and her family. The novel itself is a page-turner and you won’t want to put it down. The story is fascinating and as I said above I had no idea about it and wanted to find out how it would play out and end (and even googled after I read the book to find out more). Author T. Greenwood has done a great job recreating the story. And she points out that the story is based on the real life kidnapping and follows the cities and trails they went on. Although she also says that no one knows what exactly was said and done during those times.

You can pick it up in stores now from St. Martin’s Press.

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