Bella Sorenson loves men. She loves them to death…
Camilla Bruce ~ Triflers Need Not Apply
Also called ‘In the Garden of Spite’
A woman unhampered by scruples can take from them what she wants. And so Bella Sorenson sets out to prove to the world that a woman can be just as ruthless, black-hearted and single-minded as any man.
Starting with her long suffering husband, Mads, Bella embarks on a killing spree the like of which has never been seen before nor since.
And through it all her kind elder sister Nellie can only watch in horror as Bella’s schemes to enrich herself and cut down the male population come to a glorious, dreadful fruition…
This book was so disappointing. The synopsis sounded fantastic, but when I started reading it I couldn’t for the life of me understand why I’d picked it to read.
I was tempted to give up but I reread the synopsis; again it sounded brilliant. I persevered.
But it was so SLOW! It wasn’t until about 75% through that it started to get interesting, but then it just felt really rushed. Was it gruesome? Sort of, but very underwhelming.
The first part of the book talks about Bella’s childhood in Norway. It’s bleak but vaguely interesting, yet goes on for far too long. Apart from one key event nothing much happens and it could have been a lot more concise.
When she arrives in America it’s slightly more interesting, but manages to feel slow and rushed at the same time. Bella is with her first husband for a really long time and as you know she’s going to kill him it felt really drawn out and tedious to hear of what is in fact quite a boring life… for pages and pages.
It wasn’t all bad; Bella is an excellent character: strong, feisty and evil. Yet at times you can see the lost girl she once was. Her sister Nellie is weak and doesn’t really add much to the story except to continuously wring her hands in despair and worry about the path she suspects her little sister to have taken. But she doesn’t do anything; in fact she just ignores her suspicion and refuses to really believe it. Bella’s adopted children do tug on the heartstrings and this provides more of a shock impact at times. But only slightly, because there’s no real connection with any of the characters.
The ending is unfulfilling and I felt cheated. I appreciate that this is based on a true story, so the author has to fill in a lot of gaps, but it was lacking. If the prologue were changed to something that revealed her later murderous life, it would draw readers in.
Unfortunately, the book takes too long to get to the drama and those interested in serial killers would be much better off reading a non fiction account.
I was provided with an ARC by NetGalley. All opinions my own.