IN JACKSON HOLTZ’S Fly, Colton, Fly: The True Story of the Barefoot Bandit (New American Library; April 5) we get our first book-length look at the Camano Island teen who led law enforcement on a head-scratcher of a manhunt—and kept America rapt—for two years. Holtz carefully reconstructs how Colton Harris-Moore, self-taught pilot and infamous swiper of planes, boats, and homemade pies, broke out of a halfway house and stayed on the lam subsisting on candy bars, his face emblazoned on T-shirts, national magazine spreads, and Facebook fan pages. He landed his last plane in the Bahamas before being nabbed and extradited back to Seattle in July 2010. Holtz, who covered the “Colton beat” for The Herald in Everett, pored over court records, interviewed victims and legal experts, and cribbed his own newspaper clips to stitch together the whole mind-boggling saga.
The author never gained access to the one person we want to hear from the most, the shoeless one now awaiting trial. But Fly, Colton, Fly is commendable for its scope—the Harris-Moore odyssey has more twists, backstories, and seething, snarled-tooth side players than, well, The Odyssey—and for its details, thanks to a reporter who’s been on the case since the beginning.