Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession

Rachel Monroe. Scribner, $26 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5011-8888-6
Monroe’s first book, blending personal narrative with sociological analysis, offers an engrossing look at a counterintuitive yet well-established phenomenon: many women’s fascination with true crime. Monroe (who counts herself among the crime obsessed) focuses on four women whose true crime obsessions have significantly altered the course of their lives. Frances Glessner Lee created the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death crime scene dioramas. Alisa Statman became deeply enmeshed in the lore of the Manson murders while living in the house where Sharon Tate was slain. Lori Davis, a landscape architect, fell in love with—and set out to prove the innocence of—a convicted murderer, and Lindsay Souvannarath was a young woman with a dangerous fixation on the Columbine shooters. Writing in incisive, lyrical prose, Monroe takes a deep dive into possible reasons why women are drawn to tales of violence: do they seek murder stories in order to fine-tune their own survival instincts, lest they become the next victims? Or, as Monroe bravely and refreshingly acknowledges, maybe women respond to tales of human darkness because it mirrors their own (“perhaps we liked creepy stories because something creepy was in us”). Readers who have pondered their own interest in true crime stories will welcome Monroe’s incisive approach to the topic. Agent: P.J. Mark, Janklow & Nesbit. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/25/2019
Release date: 08/20/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-9451-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-5082-9453-5
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