On a gray December morning, Marie Grossman left her Lakewood home for what promised to be a very busy day. As she merged her car onto the Shoreway traffic, she thought about the business meetings at Cleveland Clinic that would consume most of her day. After that, she’d make a mad dash to Hawken School, where she’d hope to catch her son’s wrestling match.
After Grossman’s conferences ended around 5:30 p.m., she realized that she’d eaten very little since breakfast and decided to grab a quick bite at a nearby Burger King. When she drove into the restaurant’s parking lot, Grossman saw that its drive-thru had no other customers and thought that would be a fast option. After lowering her window and placing her order, a tall man appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, and thrusted a handgun through Grossman’s open window, where it hovered several inches from her temple.
Although the man said nothing, Grossman realized that she was being robbed. She took her purse from the passenger seat and placed it on the ledge of the open window, offering it to him. Instead of grabbing it, he let it fall to the pavement. Grossman saw that he was making eye contact with another person on the other side of the car and concluded that he had a partner. When the would-be robber reached into the open window and fumbled with the door handle, Grossman thought he wanted her car. “Do you want my car?” she asked, speaking loudly in hopes that the restaurant employee taking her order would be alerted to her plight. The man with the gun shook his head and held a finger to his lips to signal that she was to remain quiet.
If the men did not want Grossman’s money or her car, then they wanted her, and she needed to act quickly. She decided that she would make the next move, not them. What followed began Grossman’s nine-year odyssey — a journey that propelled her through the justice system as she sought both accountability and healing from that night’s horrifying events. Ultimately, it became the basis of a new book, “The Edge of Malice: The Marie Grossman Story,” by David Miraldi.
“It is a story about defeating fear and overcoming anger and hatred. It’s a message that resonates with our times,” Miraldi says.
Miraldi has known Grossman since 1978 when she began working as an attorney in AmeriTrust’s legal department with his wife, Leslee, also an attorney. Grossman was previously an associate at Jones Day.
“I wasn’t sure that she would allow me to tell her story,” Miraldi says. “What she experienced was deeply personal.”
Miraldi first suggested writing about Grossman in September 2017, when she and her husband had attended a launch for his first book. “I didn’t hear back from her for several months and decided that she wasn’t interested. But then, my wife checked in with her again, and Marie said yes. She said she thought the book could be helpful — particularly to those who struggle after their lives have been irrevocably changed by trauma.”
After a year of research and writing, Miraldi delivered the manuscript to his agent. A few months later, the staff at Prometheus Books saw the book’s value and agreed to publish it. It was released in both paperback and e-book on April 14.