Fiona's True Crime Book Reviews: I-J by author

Aphrodite Jones
Cruel Sacrifice

The words of a murderer: "This should not have happened. This is not me. It's so stupid when you think about it. It shouldn't have caused a death. I don't blame me. We just need a little growing up. We were young, and we still are." Aphrodite Jones takes the reader into the world of several teenage girls in small-town southern Indiana--their clothes, rock music, and fascination with offbeat spirituality, and also their lesbian jealousies and penchant for violence. This book provides a useful balance to an earlier account by Michael Quinlan ("Little Lost Angel"). Jones's style is less dramatic than Quinlan's, but she devotes more space to the family backgrounds and psychological complexities of the two girls whose hot-vs.-cold temperaments meshed to bring about the murder of 12-year-old Shanda Sharer.

For another viewpoint on this same crime, see Little Lost Angel by Michael Quinlan.


Richard Glyn Jones
The Mammoth Book of Killer Women

The Mammoth Book of Killer Women is not very useful as a reference, since the author repeats without qualification such wild stories as that Countess Elizabeth Bathory bathed in the blood of her victims. As a starting point for reading about female murderers, though, or a collection of gruesome details more or less from real life, this fat book is fun to read. The editor, Richard Jones, has selected 48 cases (24 of which are also featured in Bad Girls Do It!) for "variety and interest." It's a "greatest hits" of female murderers, including Ma Barker, Lizzie Borden, Charlotte Corday, Belle Gunness, Myra Hindley, Isle Koch, Madame LaFarge, Aileen Wuornos, and others.

[All reviews copyright ©, Inc. 1997-8]

True Crime Is Ugly Write to Fiona Ragged Entelechy