In the first story Murder, interrupted, we learn about mother-of-three Nancy Howard who was shot in the head by an apparent stranger. The truth is stranger than fiction though, because the person who wants Nancy dead is not a stranger, but her own husband. Frank Howard has been living a double life, one with his wife of twenty-eight years in Texas, and the other with his mistress in California. For years he has dreamed about killing his wife so he can move on with his life, but despite hiring a hit man it has never gotten anywhere - until the night a stranger shoots Nancy and leaves her for dead. Frank has been keeping secrets and living a double life, and the lies are about to come crashing down around him.
Dee Dee Blanchard is a single mother who has devoted her life to caring for her sick daughter Gypsy Rose. Wheelchair bound and chronically unwell, Gypsy Rose can only dream of a normal life. Then the unthinkable happens - Dee Dee is found stabbed to death in their home, and Gypsy Rose is nowhere to be found. As the police investigate the murder the shocking truth is uncovered - Gypsy Rose was never truly sick, Dee Dee was making her sick. What would drive a mother to make her own child sick, keeping her a virtual prisoner in a weak and poisoned body? And what would that child do when she discovers the truth?
These two compelling stories are intriguing and disturbing in turn - what drives a person to commit crimes like these? While I am not usually a fan of fictionalised real life stories, Patterson has done an excellent job of remaining sensitive to the victims. In many ways these stories are scarier than anything he could have dreamed up in one of his own stories because these are real murders with real motivations, and people that you can realise despise for what they have done. I am already part way through the other book in the series that I have, and it is just as engaging/scary as Murder, interrupted.
If you are interested in reading more real life reads and true crime stories then try some of the these books:
- Etched in sand: A true story of five siblings who survived an unspeakable childhood on Long Island by Regina Calcaterra
- Girl unbroken by Regina Calcaterra and Rosie Maloney
- Child C: Surviving a foster mothers reign of terror by Christopher Spry
- Punished by Vanessa Steel
- Parents who kill by Carol Anne Davis
- A child named It by Dave Pelzer
- Against their will by Nigel Cawthorne
- Daughter of Gloriavale my life in a religious cult by Lilia Tarawa
- Broken by Shy Keenan
- Damaged by Cathy Glass
- Behind closed doors by Ngaire Thomas
- When rabbit howls by Truddi Chase
- The little prisoner: A memoir by Jane Eliott
- Sickened: The memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Childhood by Julie Gregory
Reviewed by Brilla