FATAL ROMANCE

Lisa Pulitzer, Author . St. Martin's $6.50 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-97580-7

Popular romance writer Nancy Richards-Akers spun tales of happily-ever-after, but the rosy glow of her books contrasted with her own life; in 1999, she was murdered by her husband. Drawing on interviews with the couple's acquaintances, Pulitzer (A Woman Scorned) spins a sensational true-crime narrative detailing the relationship between Nancy and Jeremy Akers, her husband of nearly 20 years. Nancy met Jeremy while working in D.C. as a speechwriter in the '70s. It didn't take long for Nancy to fall in love with the short, well-muscled and highly decorated former Marine, and she married him secretly, against her parents' wishes. According to Pulitzer, the first five years of Nancy's marriage were "idyllic." Over the next 15 years, however, she began to see behind Jeremy's Southern charm—he expected her to pay the lion's share of household expenses and refused to let her work outside the home. Nancy eventually left Jeremy to move in with a young trucker, and although she knew that Jeremy had violent tendencies, she never realized to what extent until he turned a gun on her and then himself, leaving their three children orphans. At times, Pulitzer's writing is redundant and the chronology of events puzzling, but this is an absorbing account of a romance that was anything but storybook. (July)

Reviewed on: 06/18/2001
Release date: 07/01/2001
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4668-2981-7
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