Saturday, May 15, 2021

Sunday Synopsis


My Mother, a Serial KillerMy Mother, a Serial Killer by Hazel Baron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think this was one of the books I got for a bargain from BookBub. Have you used BookBub yet? It's free, and it's where I get some books I might not otherwise know about.

This is the story of a killer mom written by the daughter who turned her in. I'm not sure I would call her a "serial" killer, although I guess 3 people qualifies her. The events in this story took place in Australia in the 1950's and 60's and began when the author (the murderer's daughter) was just 9 years old.

Hazel's family lived on the fringes of society, sometimes in tents, sometimes in their car, until Dulcie (mom) and her husband got jobs on a farm that included housing. They never stayed too long, though, because Dulcie caused trouble with other employees. Ironically, the local police and many of the townspeople thought Dulcie was kind. Behind closed doors with her family, she is a cold manipulator. Hazel finally turns in her own mother for the crimes she has committed and actually testifies against her at all of her trials.

There are a few reasons why I only gave this book 3 stars. It's not a lack of intrigue and interest. It was a fascinating story. One reason is that it moved so slowly. It was actually repetitive. And I realize that Hazel had a co-author, but I thought that the plot would have been more effective written in first person rather than third person point of view. It doesn't even become obvious that the daughter is telling the story until at least halfway through.

Another issue was use of Australian vernacular. Yes, it took place in Australia, but too much slang r too many colloquialisms become confusing. It is also wordy. I thought about abandoning the book, but I stuck with it. The second half was better than the first half. It didn't read like the typical true crime book, but maybe it should have.

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