Monday, June 13, 2011

A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion; Ron Hansen

Author: Ron Hansen
Publication Year: 2011 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Edition: ARC
Source: publisher
Date Completed: 6/6/2011 
Setting: New York
Rating: 5/5
Recommend: yes

Based on a true story from the late 1920s, Ruth Snyder was a blond, blue-eyed beauty when she married her husband Albert in 1915. Everywhere she went heads turned. Albert was thirteen years older than Ruth, and together the couple had one daughter. They lived in Queens Village, New York.  

Albert was often demeaning to his wife, sometimes drinking too much, and when he had free time, he chose to spend it doing things that he alone enjoyed. Initially, Ruth tried to please her husband, but it wasn't long before, she grew tired of being ignored by her husband. Flirtatious, and aware of the effect her beauty had on men, she got pleasure seeing their reaction to her teasing ways.  Judd Gray was one of these men.

Ruth met Judd Gray, a corset salesman in a diner, and the two hit it off. Ruth was ripe for a little excitement in her life, and it wasn't long before the two began a torrid love affair.  Judd, like Albert had a drinking problem.  He was also unhappy in his own marriage.  He finds Ruth totally irresistible. Once Ruth is sure she has Judd under her spell, she begins to plot a way to kill her husband, and the execution of that plan includes Judd.  Judd admits, later that he felt, " hypnotized and helplessly dominated by her. "

This novel was addictive. It begins with a bumbled crime scene, and investigation. Along the way the reader learns of Ruth and Arthur's passionless marriage, and more about their life together, followed by the intimate details of Ruth and Judd....A.K.A. "lover boy " and their intense, reckless affair.

The author does a fabulous job of plotting out the the details of their heated affair, as well as the details surrounding the planning and execution of Albert's murder, and the dual murder trials which drew crowds numbering somewhere around 1,500 spectators.  The trial and outcomes were riveting. This is one of those rare books, that made me anxious to read on, and almost a little afraid to find out what wound happen next.

Highly Recommended

18 comments:

  1. It sounds great! Is it a novelization or strictly a biography?

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  2. Alyce, it actually felt like both. It often felt like nonfiction, but then I had it in my brain that is was based on a true story.

    Very well done.

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  3. Wow, you had me at the title! This sounds like a really fascinating book. Also, I couldn't help but smile when you said the other man's career was as a corset salesman. THERE'S a job that no longer exists (Thankfully).

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  4. Now this sounds pretty intense!! Your high recommendation has me considering it!

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  5. Addictive? Wow, that is the perfect word to convince me that this is a must-read!

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  6. Sounds exciting. Was it one of those that left you feeling apprehensive? Did the feeling disappate when you finished?

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  7. Would have loved to have known what happened next since I will never find this book!

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  8. This cover certainly immediately captures the imagination. Sounds like quite the fascinating read!

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  9. I haven't heard of this one, but I love the sound of it - especially since it is based on truth. I've made a note of it. Thanks for drawing it to my attention!

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  10. This sounds like a fantastic read and I'd not heard of it previously - thank you!

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  11. Wow, I bet that was quite a scandal back then! This book sounds amazing!

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  12. This does sound like a really enticing read and like one that I probably would also not be able to put down. I agree with Kathy as well, it was probably a huge scandal in it's time. Great review on this one. I am glad that you liked it so much! I am adding it to my wish list!

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  13. This book sounds great! I love the title too. I am off in search of a copy now.

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  14. This one sounds fascinating! I really love the title too. I'm adding it to my list!

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  15. Sounds like it lives up to its racy cover! But I just can't quite imagine a femme fatale named Ruth!! ; )

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  16. This does seem like an addictive read, especially since it's based on a true story. Thanks for the review!

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  17. I've not seen this one. I'm not a big true crime fan, but your review has me adding this one to my wish list.

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  18. Wow, I really like the sound of this one. And I really want to know the verdict.

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