Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Release Day Review: Little Deaths by Emma Flint

Title: Little Deaths 
Author: Emma Flint 
Publisher: Hachette Books 
Source: Publisher 
Release Date: January 17th, 2017  
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 

Summary: It's 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone--a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress--wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day, Cindy's body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later, Frankie Jr.'s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth. 

As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth's life is exposed. Seen through the eyes of the cops, the empty bourbon bottles and provocative clothing which litter her apartment, the piles of letters from countless men and Ruth's little black book of phone numbers, make her a drunk, a loose woman--and therefore a bad mother. The lead detective, a strict Catholic who believes women belong in the home, leaps to the obvious conclusion: facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children's lives.

Pete Wonicke is a rookie tabloid reporter who finagles an assignment to cover the murders. Determined to make his name in the paper, he begins digging into the case. Pete's interest in the story develops into an obsession with Ruth, and he comes to believe there's something more to the woman whom prosecutors, the press, and the public have painted as a promiscuous femme fatale. Did Ruth Malone violently kill her own children, is she a victim of circumstance--or is there something more sinister at play? 

Inspired by a true story, Little Deaths, like celebrated novels by Sarah Waters and Megan Abbott, is compelling literary crime fiction that explores the capacity for good and evil in us all. 

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I fully enjoyed this debut thriller by Emma Flint. Based on a true life crime, Little Deaths is heartbreaking yet hypnotic as a young mother is judged more for her way of life than for the crime she is being accused of. Set in Queens, New York, in the year 1965, it’s a sweltering summer when cocktail waitress Ruth Malone wakes to find her two young children Frankie and Cindy missing from the apartment.  Ruth is in the midst of a custody battle with their father Frank when they disappear, but it is Frank she turns to when their babies’ bodies are discovered by the police.  As Frank and Ruth are burying their children, the police begin to build a case against Ruth herself as they assume from her lifestyle that she was an unfit mother.  They are aided by nosy neighbors, a prejudiced public, and the press, as Ruth becomes a prime suspect in their investigation.  The only people who don’t believe Ruth could have done it are her husband Frank and rookie reporter Pete Wonicke.  But are they seeing Ruth clearly, or are they blinded by their own feelings for this intriguing and appealing young woman?

Ruth is a beautiful woman who may appear perfect to some, but reading her inner turmoil and seeing all her insecurities reveals that she is suffering from several issues.  But is she capable of taking her children’s lives? I had my suspicions, and I really love how the author brought everything to a head. I read this in one sitting because there was no way I was putting it down before I reached the last page. I thought the ending was cleverly written, and I look forward to reading more from this author. I highly recommend this to readers of suspense.

Thank you to the publisher for sending a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 
  
© at A Belle's Tales

  

10 comments:

  1. I wanna know the secrets! Tell me wifey! Why dont they trust her? What are her life choices? Did she do it? WIFEY STORY TIME! Great review!

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    1. So many secrets! Story time, indeed! *smish*

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  2. Oh now you have me so curious. I want to know more about the true life crime this is based on and if she really did it.

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    1. It's based on the Alice Crimmins case, Heidi. It's such an interesting book!

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  3. I think I would enjoy this one Michele!

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  4. Sounds like a book that'll take you on an interesting journey! Definitely makes me curious about the character!! WONDERFUL REVIEW! You are amazing *hugs*

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    1. It's a fascinating read, Magen! Thank you, you amazing person, YOU. *hugs*

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  5. Haven't read thriller for quite a while now, and I think this one is definitely a great read.

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    1. It's so good! If you're in the mood for a great mystery, I definitely recommend this one.

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