This is the first in a four book series. And it’s a thrilling start to a wicked and twisted ride. It’s a little fascinating to me that the writer is male yet, the female lead character is written so incredibly well, it’s almost mind boggling.
Afton Morrison is a small town children’s librarian. She’s got all kinds of rage and homicidal tendencies built up inside her that she has suppressed for decades. She wants so badly to let it all out, to kill someone. But not just anyone. This first kill has to be special, mean something, make a difference. It’s almost like she wants to use her evil for good.
She’s also got a sort of split personality. It’s such a crazy dynamic. She’s named her other personality Animus. They are both VERY aware of each other, which is not common in clinically defined Multiple Personality Disorder. It’s so creepy. The way they talk to each other is baffling. Animus is constantly antagonistic while Afton repeatedly has to either ignore or confront the wretched yet enticing ideas that Animus puts before her. And Afton can SEE Animus, so it’s not just like she’s only hearing voices.
Afton isn’t your typical librarian either. She’s not dainty. She’s not prim and proper outside of work. And she loathes children. She is easily annoyed at other people’s stupidity, their disrespect and their complete ignorance and apparent lack of intelligence.
There’s so much involved in this short but, very captivating 142 pages. It grips you from the very beginning and keeps you hanging on, a little suspense, a little tension, a little information here and there, all making your pulse rise and your breathing speed up. This book had me anxiously turning pages. I am DEFINITELY going to be wanting the rest of the series!!
RATINGS 5/5 Stars
Check out this article Brent Jones write. I found this while searching for images for this post. This author is a really cool guy.
The Manson Women and Me (Monsters, Morality, and Murder)
By Nikki Meredith
True crime fans will appreciate this book. This is an incredibly fascinating read. It’s a combination of a woman’s memoir woven into her interest and investigation into the infamous Manson Women. She’s gotten the opportunity to know these women up close, mostly Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten. The way the book reads is almost calming, it’s like having a personal conversation with the author, as is she’s just telling you the memories of her life and experiences over a cup of coffee. It’s very personal and down to earth.
What intrigued me the most is that Meredith presents these two women in a way that we’ve never really been able to see them before…as human beings. These two woman seem to be cut from a different cloth than Susan Atkins. Nikki Meredith opens the door to who they are as PEOPLE, not just reducing them to the acts the committed, which we, as society, has done for years.
To understand crime, how it happens, why it happens, etc., we must try to understand the perpetrators of the crimes, who they are, where they came from, how they grew up, how they came to commit their offense. These are ALL important things in dealing with rehabilitation, which these two women have fully submerged themselves in.
We also get a first-hand account of face to face interaction with Leslie and Pat. Before reading this it was so easy to just dismiss these women as soulless monsters who were not capable or deserving of being amongst the rest of society. And although no one likes to hear it, we NEVER looked at these ladies as victims. Especially not after the passion Bugliosi put forth in the trial and his book, Helter Skelter. And although he focuses on the fact that Charlie ran things as if he were King, he still ignored the idea that these women (really just kids at the time) weren’t capable of acting on their own beliefs, which is prevalent in cults among followers.
However, if you really read about these women, they were victims of Manson. Though the cult was small and not what we see as a “mainstream” cult these days, Manson was still a VERY effective leader. Their group (The Family) had all the ear-markings of a cult and Charles Manson was at the top. The descriptions of how he controlled the girls, how he played with their heads and their emotions, how he played them off each other, how he used their upbringing against them, how he kept everyone isolated and intoxicated. It also helps to further explain how slowly and innocuously he groomed them for this kind of control, and that it didn’t just happen overnight. This book really allows you to take a step back and see that this imposition of his own will was several, SEVERAL months in the making.
I really enjoyed reading this book. An amazing accumulation of memories and facts, conversations and visits, questions and answers, put together is such a well thought out manner that you just breeze right through. It stimulates your mind and is very thought provoking. Truly a REAL LOOK inside the minds of the Manson Women.