Journalist Isenberg provides a fascinating look at women "compelled to dance with the masters of death"--women so obsessed with convicted murderers that they marry them, giving up all else in their lives, including their children, to fulfill their deepest fantasies. To find out about these women, Isenberg interviewed dozens of them, plus prison officials, police, psychiatrists, and psychologists. The profile that emerges is a sad one: "little girls lost, reared in dysfunctional families where they were the victims of abuse at the hands of harsh dictatorial fathers aided by passive mothers." Damaged by their painful childhoods, they live in a fantasy world, in love not with a real man but with an illusion based on denial. Marrying a convicted killer is a way of having a relationship without ever having to get too close, Isenberg says--and it's a way of being in control of a powerful man as well. Serial killers and mass murderers, such as David Berkowitz, Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and Hillside Stranglers Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, offer a special bonus--the thrill of fame. Since many of these women have low self-esteem, the killer's notoriety provides a sense of worth: The bigger his crime, the more important she feels. Isenberg's skills in getting these women to reveal themselves, her ability to present them as sympathetic and understandable, and her synthesis of the material they provided make for an engrossing report. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
sheila gives an overview of the book:
Sheila Isenberg's latest book, Muriel's War, a biography of American heiress and World War II heroine Muriel Gardiner, will be available online and in bookstores on Dec. 7. Isenberg’s last book, A Hero of Our Own, a biography of Varian Fry published in 2001...