Rust and Stardust by T. Greenwood

⭐⭐⭐ While well-written, this book is a heavy read. I highly recommend it as a literary read. However if you’re looking for something light and entertaining, this book is NOT the book you should pick up.

🖋️🖋️🖋️🖋️🖋️ This book is extremely well-written, keeping you on your toes all the way to the end. The characters are entrancing and the way Greenwood brings them to life is like magic.

Published August 7th, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

ISBN: 9781250164193

Genre: Nonfiction, True Crime, Suspense

🔪🔪 This is a kidnapping, and there are some violent sequences. However, it’s mostly limited to threats and fear of violence rather than vivid violence. Domestic violence is the main contributor.

🚩🚩🚩🚩 A trigger warning: this book as multiple accounts of rape and sexual abuse, though none are written explicitly.

Set in 1948, Rust & Stardust follows the story of eleven-year-old Sally and her family during and following a tragic kidnapping.

Sally Horner is a lonely girl looking for friends. When a group of girls offers to let her into their club if she completes an initiation, she is determined to win their favor. As she attempts to steal a notebook from the local store to please them, a man catches her arm, claiming to be an FBI agent. Caught in her guilt for stealing, and desperate to avoid the consequences the FBI agent told her were coming her way, she agrees to meet him after school the next day and also to tell no one about her crime and his involvement. Unwilling to put her mother through the pain of knowing she’d raise a thief, Sally lies, and lies again, until the man, going by Mr. Warner, has taken her for a vacation at the beach and kept her away from home for over a month.

With tensions rising and Sally getting more and more desperate to go home, Mr. Warner gets nervous and takes her across state lines to Baltimore. Then to Texas. Then to California. The closer the police get, the less they stay in one place, always on the move, always on the run, until finally, two years later, the police catch up.

But the story doesn’t end with her rescue. It continues on through the effects of the kidnapping and ending with the eventual, sudden death of Sally Horner in a car accident.

This is not a pretty story. This is not a happy story. It’s a heavy and important story.

Reviewed by J. J. Hanna

J. J. Hanna is a writer from Littleton, CO. She has a B. S. from Taylor University in Professional Writing, and has worked in various roles in the publishing industry including literary agent, freelance writer, virtual assistant, and publicist. Her favorite genre is suspense, but she also enjoys Fantasy and SciFi. Connect with her online @authorjjhanna and

This review was originally published July 9, 2019.