“Four years after his father died a hero’s death fighting a fire, Tim Ginocchetti was behind bars for killing his mother. How one tragedy led to another is a story that puts a horrifying twist on the familiar one of bullied gay teens. In this case, the bully was the teen’s own mother, and instead of harming himself he killed her in a momentary but irreversible explosion of rage.”

That is legal-affairs writer Mark Obbie’s description of his riveting book, God’s Nobodies, which he recently published as a Kindle Single. Obbie is the former executive editor of The American Lawyer magazine; former author of the now-defunct, award-winning blog LawBeat, where he dissected journalism focused on the justice system, lawyers and the law; and former director of the Carnegie Legal Reporting Program at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

The story of Ginocchetti’s relationship with his mother — complicated by the death of his father — and the events leading up to her murder is compelling in its own right. Perhaps suspecting his homosexuality but by no means willing to accept it, she goaded him for years to “act like a man” and ridiculed his high-pitched voice. But beyond their relationship, Obbie weaves in the story of their immediate and extended family’s blind obedience to an esoteric church and its domineering minister. The church became a wedge, splitting the family apart when they most needed to stand together.

Out of this string of tragedies, one hero emerged. Gonocchetti’s grandmother was the only person willing to stand up for him and against the church. For taking a stand in defense of her grandson, she paid a dear price.

Obbie spent years researching this story, digging through records and interviewing sources. He tells the story in vivid detail, bringing the people and events to life as only an experienced writer can do.

All of this is told in a concise e-book that can be read in a single sitting. Note that you do not need a Kindle to read Kindle books. Free apps are available for your computer or mobile device.

On his website and blog, Obbie is supplementing the book with bonus chapters, audio recordings, photographs, source notes and acknowledgements.

Trust me, this is a good read. But if you need further incentive to buy this book, here it is: It costs just $1.99. Get it at Amazon.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.