My first thought after finishing In the Garden of Spite:
WHAT THE HECK DID I JUST READ?!?!?!?! My daughter just asked if I’m okay and the answer is NO! I’m definitely NOT okay!!!
“They never expected me to hold a grudge.”Those words will haunt me for quite some time now.
I admit I’ve been fascinated by fictionalized stories of serial killers. Usually, they don’t haunt me in my dreams and keep me up at night. But this… this… THIS has scarred my brain, I think. And (unfortunately) also caused me to want to learn more about the serial murderess Belle Gunness.
I literally lost count of how many bodies had dropped by the time I made it to the mid-point of this novel, but that’s not what kept me reading. It was the way Belle was portrayed as yes, a killer, but also a victim whose compulsion to kill was deeply embedded as a way to protect herself and her children. I hated that I kept finding myself feeling just a teensy bit sad for her. And then she’d do something completely horrid and turn my stomach and I’d have to set my Kindle down and hold my babies super tight because.. UGH! This was horrible!!! (But in a good, super creepy, can’t ever close my eyes or trust people again sorta way. )
Do I recommend this to fans of historical fiction who enjoy a good serial killer story? ABSOLUTELY!!! But make sure you’re in a good head space before you pick this one up, because it WILL keep you up at night and send shivers down your spine!
Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with an e-galley of this book in exchange for my honest review.