Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Slaying In The Suburbs by Steve Miller; Andrea Billups

The true story of the Tara Grant murder. To their suburban Detroit neighbors, Stephen and Tara Grant were happy as could be. But their marriage, plagued by resentment and extramarital affairs, was held together only by their children. Until the night Stephen snapped, strangled and dismembered his wife, then disposed of her body piece by piece in the very park his children played in.

While I do not regret reading this book,I am starting to get a little irritated with the misleading blurbs of some books I have read recently.The term "plagued by resentment and extramarital affairs" would imply that the book would offer "real" proof of these facts.Not one bit of proof is given of an extramarital affair by the wife,Tara Grant and apart from some suggestive e mails the husband and murderer,Stephen Grant had one shortlived affair with the au pair which must have lasted 7 days in its entirety.On my own personal level,I can imagine that an overworked wife and an unemployed husband would fester a resentful environment,this book does not really offer any witness accounts or otherwise of the marriage being plagued by resentment.

I should possibly stop with the "murder by spouse" books for a while as all the information is starting to blur into one big "I marry You,I kill You".

What was good about the book was the absolute unbiased relating of the facts that were indeed available.While unbiased writing is put forward as the better way to write a true crime book,I have noticed that a little bit of bias does seem to inspire more emotions in the reader as the writer expresses their views with more passion.I have now even turned what was good about this book into a not so good thing.

This book was an easy book to read probably due to the fact that I was able to read it without any emotion.I never felt connected to the wife,Tara Grant.I never got to bond with the children as they played extremely minor roles and the husband struck me as a mass of nerves and ineptitude,someone who should have perhaps gotten a spot in the book "America's Dumbest Criminals" instead of an entire book devoted to his crime.

So much for not posting negative reviews but really,this isn't a negative review but more of a personalized one.I did read this book and read it really quickly so it wasn't the writing at all.I just didn't feel the emotions that I usually do.Also bear in mind that I have been reading a LOT of "murder by spouse" books lately so that is definitely affecting my judgement???

Here are some more book details:
A Slaying in the Suburbs: The Tara Grant Murder (Berkley True Crime)
Country: United States of America
Format: Mass market paperback
Publisher: Berkley Trade Pub
ISBN: 9780425225486
Publication date: January 2009
Pages: 294
Illustrations: Illustrated


  1. Another great recommendation...
    PS: you have an award

  2. Oh LuAnn,I have just been reading too many husband murders wife books.

  3. won't read this one then or add it to my books to read. I was excited to finally see that our library has Columbine, the one by Dave Cullen. I am on the waiting list for it. Looking forward to reading it.

  4. Jenny.I am dying to read Columbine as well.Please let me know how it is or leave a link when you do a review,if you do...

  5. Yes, I think it is time that you read some different true crime novels. Take a break from Spouse Murders Spouse (sounds like a game show, doesn't it?) :)
    Have you ever read and reviewed any novels about serial killers?

  6. Hey Missy,I have read a few and the most disturbing was the Fred West murders.My goodness what a killer couple!! I still get the chills about this story.
    And I have taken a break and am now reading Paranoia.I am loving it!!

  7. The authors seemed to idolize "Steve Grant", like they were all gaga to be able to interview him. Weird.


Custom Search

My True Crime Library

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog