Saturday, August 29, 2009
I will be moving house soon so I have to catch up on reviews of my old true crime books because at the moment I have them in two piles-reviewed and not yet done.When we move they will all be dumped into one box and then I will have to sort them out again so I thought I would do all of them so then no need to sort out when I stack them up on my new shelves.Good idea,hey!!
This is a full story book of Ann Rule's and it runs a lot like like Jerry Bledsoe's Bitter Blood.Intricate family drama.
From the back:
Joined in a romantic love that most people only ever dream about,Pat Taylor's marriage to Tom Allanson was all she ever wanted.Both came from fine Southern families,and both longed to re-create for themselves a plantation where they could raise horses,grow roses and move with grace and style in the highest social circles of Atlanta:in short,to be the Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler of their time.
But scarcely two months later,their perfect world had erupted into family hatreds,terror,bloodshed and murder.The beautiful estate was mysteriously burned to the ground and Tom Allanson stood accused of the brutal slaying of his own mother and father.Before the terrifying truth about the perpetrator was revealed,other innocent victims were to suffer attempts on their lives as intricate personal loyalties and cruel,obsessive jealousies were played out....
First off,you have a family tree where you can find out where everyone fits in.What struck me the most about this story was the fact that men tend to find wives like their mothers,so it applies that if your mother is slightly mentally deranged,the chances you find a wife who is also slightly mentally deranged is quite high.After all,home is where the heart is,and if madness feels like home then...
Tom Allanson's mother was known as "Big Carolyn" because Tom's ex-wife was also Caroline so she became Little Carolyn.Big Carolyn did not like Tom's new wife,Pat Taylor, and remained very close to Little Carolyn.
With the atmosphere fraught with strife,accusations started being flung from both sides.Iin some cases,some accusations were even reported to the police.One such accusation made by Pat Taylor was that Tom's father had come to her house and exposed himself to her.You can imagine the situation,when both sides consisting of men who,at their strange wive's bidding,will do anything,no matter how bizarre the requests.
Ann Rule delves quite deeply into each character's background from childhood to present day.With this type of writing,the reader eventually establishes a bond with a certain character.The book then evolves to current events which include the crime,the investigation and subsequent incarceration of the "guilty" party.
Unfortunately,the characters in this book struck me as all mad.A bunch of crazy people who should have invested in satellite tv or at the very least gotten a library card.For goodness sake,they should all have gotten a life before the situation exploded into murder and mayhem!
This is a very entertaining book but don't expect to feel compassion(as is usual with true crime books) for any of these people.It is still an excellent book.
For readers from South Africa,you can find out more about this book at Kalahari Books and for everyone else,Amazon.