"The world is not kind to those who are different,' I whispered into Rudolph's hair as we rocked gently back and forth on the step. 'But then again,' I continued, 'she may not always be so kind to it either."
Well, well, well a female serial who is not sugar and spice and everything nice. Although she would want you to think that she is! Based on real life serial killer Belle Gunness, a Norwegian-American who killed in Illinois and Indiana between 1884 and 1908 before disappearing.
Belle is known in Chicago; people whisper about her and the many fires of her properties in addition to her two husbands both dying under suspicious circumstances. She always seems to profit from insurance payouts. But is she the angel of death? She presents as a god-fearing woman, who wants nothing more than to raise her children and be an upstanding member of society. She is nice to her neighbors, teaches Sunday school, and visits with her older sister. Everyone needs a hobby. Too bad hers is a deadly one.
Many have suspicions, but she presents as a godly woman. Living alone with her children. Who can fault her for trying to find a husband? But there are always two sides to every coin. Sometimes you must take the bitter with the sweet. Is the face you present to society your true face or is your true face, hidden just slightly under the surface, ready and willing to show itself if the opportunity presents itself?
She places ads for potential husbands, men come, they spend the night, but never stay.... or do they? Determined to make a place for herself in the world after a troublesome childhood and attack, will she come out on top?
I enjoyed this one from the very beginning. I love books based on true events and people. Belle is an interesting character. AS the story progresses, we see her interact with others and commit her crimes, all without remorse and all with survival in mind.
I appreciated how the author showed her sister struggling. We never want to believe the worst in those we love. We often wear rose colored glasses and are quick to make excuses for them. Because what would it mean if you loved a serial killer? What would that say about you? How do you reconcile the sibling you love with the psychopath in front of you?
A great deal of research went into the writing of this book and I loved the details and the portrayal of this real-life serial killer. I found this book to be well written, thought provoking and captivating. I read most of this book in one day as I did not want to put it down. I had never heard of Belle Gunness before and was fascinated by her life and story. She was a scary, violent, and devious woman. I thought the author did a good job blending facts with fiction.
Be sure to read the Author's Note at the end. Also, be sure to read this one if you are a true crime or psychological thriller fan.