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The Jolly Roger Social Club: A True Story of a Killer in Paradise    by Nick Foster order for
Jolly Roger Social Club
by Nick Foster
Order:  USA  Can
Henry Holt, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Jolly Roger Social Club by Nick Foster reads like an exciting piece of fiction with all the dirty tricks, bogus real estate deals, questionable politics and murders that fill crime novels. However, The Jolly Roger Social Club is non-fiction!

William Dathan Holbert arrived in an ex-pat community in Panama along with his wife and an insatiable greed for others' belongings money, homes, deeds to land, and legal papers that would give him to access to plantations, boats, restaurants and whatever else tickled his fancy.

Holbert killed at least five people including the teenage son of two of his victims. Apart from the machinations of this madman, the author covers the history of Panama and the politicians involved in running this country divided by the Panama Canal, as well as the United States' part in the acquisition of the Zone.

What is hard to believe is that the ex-pat community at first welcomed Holbert into their midst and then seemed to tolerate his illegal behavior. Perhaps there were many more living under assumed names, who were no longer living in the States because the law would have liked to have had a word or two with them.

Author Nick Foster has done a tremendous job of following Holbert's life and actions. Makes one look at one's neighbors and wonder what their real stories are.

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