Throughout history, women have been seduced by men who are mad, bad, and dangerous to know. Many of the world’s most notorious murderers and con artists have attracted loyal, besotted, and often very young female accomplices. The twelve stories in Laura Elizabeth Woollett’s collection, spanning the twentieth century, evoke the lives of real women who were all sucked into an abyss of murder, fraud, and violence under this spell. Some are well-known, including the seventeen-year-old politically naïve Eva Braun, who caught Hitler’s eye when still at school; and Myra Hindley, the ‘Moors Murderess’, who cold-bloodedly killed five children with her lover, the psychopath Ian Brady, convinced they could get away with the perfect crime. Others have been relegated to history’s footnotes, such as the so-called ‘Manson Brides’, or Veronica Compton, an aspiring actress and playwright who began a passionate correspondence with jailed serial killer Kenneth Bianchi and committed a copycat crime in order to prove his innocence.
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