Witness: For the Prosecution of Scott Peterson
Amber Frey. HarperCollins, $25.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-06-079925-0
Any memoir based on the scandal of the moment must begin with a bang, and Frey's account of her relationship with Scott Peterson certainly does. The first seven pages race breathlessly through that first evening in November 2002 when she met Peterson on a blind date: flirting with him over dinner, splurging on gin & tonics, singing some tipsy karaoke duets and returning to Peterson's hotel for what she acknowledged the next day ""felt like a onenight stand."" Frey then proceeds to tell the story that is doubtless familiar to throngs of gossip hounds. She describes how Peterson seduced her with his charm, charisma and apparently paternal feelings towards her young daughter. Frey also details her growing suspicions about her mysterious new boyfriend, fears that were realized when a friend finally connected the dots for her and Frey learned that Peterson was in fact married, that his pregnant wife was missing and that he was the prime suspect in the case. From there, it was just a short step to becoming a police informant and, ultimately, the key witness against Peterson at his double murder trial. Frey includes all the sordid highlights: secret tape recordings, TV makeovers, nude photographs, personal betrayals, and, always, the merciless hounding of the press. Frey portrays herself as an honest, decent young woman (the book is liberally sprinkled with Bible quotations) caught up in the whirlwind of a reallife melodrama. As forgettable as it was inevitable, mercifully short on biographical background, Frey's memoir delivers all the behindthescenes details that readers will want as the players in the Peterson saga quit the public stage.
Reviewed on: 01/01/2005