Author: Ron Hansen
Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Date Completed: 6/6/2011
Setting: New York
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.