Friday, June 8, 2012

LIFE IS STRANGER THAN FICTION

 Naomi Blackburn
"FIGHTING THE DEVIL" 
Synopsis: Ms. Walker's book Fighting the Devil proves that sometimes life is stranger than fiction. Her book depicts the story of her ex-husband, Jerry Sternadel's arsenic poisoning by his wife and bookkeeper for financial gain.

Readers may be familiar with this case through its depiction of occurrences on Oxygen network's show, Snapped. Ms. Walker gives readers a picture of who Mr. Sternadel was from his young life to the time of his death, as well as a detailed account of the investigation and trial. 

My rating: 4 Stars

My opinion: I read this book in one day and have to be honest with the readers of this review, sad to say, the only thing that kept going through my mind was "you live by the sword, you die by it." In most true crime novels that I have read, I have always had sympathy for the victim of the crime. I couldn't garner one inch of sympathy for this man. In the graphic depiction Ms. Walker wrote about, all I kept thinking was that this man could have had a line of people waiting to kill him. I don't know if that was her intentions to write that way or not, but that is def. the way it came across.  I thought it was odd because Ms. Walker saved a softer, almost more empathetic, description of her ex-husband for the epilogue.

One very mild criticism I would give to the author relates to her use of "religious" incidents which she described in the book. I felt that they did not "add" to the story and were unnecessary to the storyline. I thought that they came across as being very out of place.

Another light criticism that I felt came across in the book is that I would have liked to have seen it tightened up. Readers must understand that this isn't a professional author and I feel that her book demanding justice for her exhusband and that justice really was denied, again, imo, I think going back to his "choices and actions". As I was reading this, I kept thinking of the Russ Stager case, in which, his exwife, Jo Lynn Snow was instrumental in bringing Barbara Stager to justice.

Would I recommend? :  Yes, to true crime buffs..it was bizarre!

Ms. Walker's book Fighting the Devil proves that sometimes life is stranger than fiction. Her book depicts the story of her ex-husband, Jerry Sternadel's arsenic poisoning by his wife and bookkeeper for financial gain.

Readers may be familiar with this case through its depiction of occurances on Oxygen network's show, Snapped. Ms. Walker gives readers a picture of who Mr. Sternadel was from his young life to the time of his death, as well as a detailed account of the investigation and trial.

I read this book in one day and have to be honest with the readers of this review, sad to say, the only thing that kept going through my mind was "you live by the sword, you die by it." In most true crime novels that I have read, I have always had sympathy for the victim of the crime. I couldn't garner one inch of sympathy for this man. In the graphic depiction Ms. Walker wrote about, all I kept thinking was that this man could have had a line of people waiting to kill him. I don't know if that was her intentions to write that way or not, but that is def. the way it came across.

One very mild criticism I would give to the author relates to her use of "religious" incidents which she described in the book. I felt that they did not "add" to the story and were unnecessary to the storyline. I thought that they came across as being very out of place.

Another light criticism that I felt came across in the book is that I would have liked to have seen it tightened up. Readers must understand that this isn't a professional author and I feel that her book demanding justice for her exhusband and that justice really was denied, again, imo, I think going back to his "choices and actions". As I was reading this, I kept thinking of the Russ Stager case, in which, his exwife, Jo Lynn Snow was instrumental in bringing Barbara Stager to justice.

On a sidenote, I would like to comment to two GR members who gave this book one star and then flippantly alleged that the author had faked reviews. Before making allegations please check your facts. Had you have done your homework and broken down the reviews, as I did, you would have noted that less than 5 percent of the 4 or 5 star reviews of this book on Amazon would have fit into something that could even closely be considered "faked" reviews. In my blogging and reviewing role, I assess these "actions" of potentially faked Amazon reviews on authors' works on almost a daily basis. You clearly didn't. Just sayin'

4 comments:

  1. This sounds interesting. I do like true crime, and might give this one a go.

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  2. Fighting The Devil will be added to my TBR reading list. Congrats, Jeannie! Your success makes me smile. All the best! ~ NN

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  3. Sounds like a great book. I placed it on my 'to read,' list. By the way, love your blog.
    joycebrennan.blogspot.com

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