cover image Cold Kill: The True Story of a Murderous Love

Cold Kill: The True Story of a Murderous Love

Jack Olsen. Atheneum Books, $19.95 (391pp) ISBN 978-0-689-11831-9

Olsen (The Man with the Candy, ""Son'') has another winner in his account of the 1984 double murder of Texas lawyer James Campbell and his wife Virginia by their daughter Cindy and her lover, David West. It is a somewhat unusual true-crime study, not because the case was broken by a private detective rather than the police and not because the final disposition of the case is not included, but, rather, because of its searching psychological depiction of the killers. The analysis of the daughter suggests that she was a classic sociopath, a pathological liar incapable of any emotion or thought that did not involve her self-interest, unique in a close and loving family. The lover was far more complex, a weak man, an ex-Marine, who desperately wanted to appear strong, a man chivalrous toward women and uniformly unsuccessful with them. Their story makes for shattering reading. (November 11)