What Russo firmly does is place the outcomes of the cult, within a cultural context of the crumbling American empire, and the death of the public service ideal. By doing this he makes the scared, isolated lives the cult members live much more a symptom of the modern worlds lack of connection, community and shared values, rather than the punchline of a joke.
Bates book is part of a genre I have decided to name True Dystopia, so unrelenting and difficult to counter are the subculture she maps. However, at the end of the book we do gain some glimmers of hope as to how these incidious and dangerous ideas can be dealt with, and it will take a lot more energy and time than I suspect many realise. It is not the internet per say that has created these groups, but general culture, the internet just allowed communications between their individual members, who have used that opportunity the way any living organisim does, to grow, to become stronger, to reproduce.
By trying to inhabit both the best of true crime and crime fiction Chizman displays an admirable amount of creative ambition and playfulness. Of course some of the best work in true crime comes is in the first person, and to truely inhabit that position he has to write as himslef. There is the added bonus that this lends great authenticity to the time and place, but this is perhapse at the expense of the telling the story, and it feels to me that in this novel at least everything should be in greater service to the story.
Yet, when we look at the evidence over time it's likely that women have been just, if not more prolific in their voilence. A combination of using methods which have been more difficult to detect and less showy, such as posoin, combined with cultural taboo's that still exist around women, caring and motherhood which mean their violence can often not be contemplated, very weirdly leads me to conclude this is yet another area in which women's contributions have been overlooked. And as pshycologist Anna Motz says, when we deny women's violence, we deny women.
It is a sign that Black is a talented writer, not just scientist, that she can translated these parts of ourselves, that literally no one ever wants to see, into not just a compelling read but an education tool that reframes our internal world.
Podcast episode here. While I try to avoid spoilers in my reviews, with this one it has not been possible, mainly because the pod progresses in a way I want to discuss, and talk about - which is a testament to how powerful a piece of investigative journalisim it is. If you do not want …
Podcast of this review availible here. <script src="https://uk.bookshop.org/widgets.js" data-type="book" data-affiliate-id="6518" data-sku="9781419744853"></script> Since Ted Bundy's death by electric chair in 1989 a veritable industry has grown up around him. One I am sure he would be pretty pleased with as he was an inveterained antention-monger. Most of what the recent Bundy circus has thrown up is …