The Wicked Wives is the book I chose as my Thriller/Suspense selection for The Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge. It is also a book I received from the author in exchange for a review.
ISBN #: 978-1936780631
Page Count: 292
Publisher: Mill City Press
(Taken from back cover)
The Wicked Wives is based on the true story of the 1938 Philadelphia murder scandals in which seventeen wives were arrested for murdering their husbands.
Mastermind conspirator Giorgio DiSipio, a stunning Lothario and local tailor who preys upon disenchanted and unfaithful wives, convinces twelve of them to kill their spouses for insurance money.
The murder conspiracy is very successful until one lone assistant D.A., Tom Rossi, uncovers the plot and brings the perpetrators to justice.
The Wicked Wives is a story made for Hollywood, combining murder, corruption, treachery, love, lust and phenomenal detail as it vividly captures Depression-era Philadelphia.
I love fiction that is based on truth. So, when the author requested I review this novel, I could not turn it down.
The story is set in Depression-era Philadelphia, which is teeming with various races, mobsters, bookies and difficult economic times. To survive, many turned to illegal activities. One of those was Giorgio DiSipio, a man who loved the ladies ... not because of any affection he felt, but because he knew he could manipulate them to do whatever he needed them to do. Sex was his tool of manipulation; lonely housewives his victim of choice.
Giorgio would seduce the women, convince them to acquire life insurance policies on their husbands (through some "friends" of his in the insurance biz), give them the poison to kill their husbands and then have them split the life insurance money with him. He also had a "friend" who was an undertaker that would perform the autopsies on the victims, claiming they had died of various forms of pneumonia.
But, of course, with every great and master plan comes complications not foreseen by the masterminds ... Will Giorgio get away with his plan? Or will the wives fess up and have him convicted of murder?
This book combines elements of romance, lust, intrigue, murder and conspiracy to tell the story of these wicked wives. I would agree with the part of the summary that states this is a story made for Hollywood, but I would say it's made for old-time Hollywood as that is what it kept reminding me of ... you know, the old black-and-white whodunits that were so prevalent. This story would be perfect for that type of Hollywood movie.
My only issue with this book is that some slight editing is needed. There are times when people flashback to a previous event in their thoughts, but with the way the chapter is written, it almost made it seemed like it was happening now. It kind of threw me for a loop until I read further in the chapter and realized it was a flashback.
Other than that, the story flowed well and maintained my interest. There are some steamy scenes depicted in the story, so I wouldn't recommend it for young adults, but I would recommend it for adults who want to read an interesting suspense novel based on factual events.