Review of Pretty Evil New England: True Stories of Violent Vixens and Murderous Matriarchs, by Sue Coletta @rosieamber1 @SueColetta1

Fractured minds or women without hearts? Quiet killers. What makes a woman kill?

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 5 out of 5

Wow! This was an interesting read. I enjoy Ms. Coletta’s fiction stories and this was my first read of a true crime story by her. I always find her stories to be intriguing and entertaining and she never disappoints.

I have always thought of women serial killers to be more passionate about their victims and this book showed a couple of more sides to the killers themselves. The reasons behind their killings as well as the relationships with their victims.

It has always intrigued me as to the character and disposition of someone that can take a life. If I think about it, I consider most killers to be killers of passion, someone that kills due to anger, love triangle, or wrong place, wrong time, but a serial killer has a completely different mindset, of which I have not ever thought of. Ms. Coletta has now opened my eyes and my mind to this with Pretty Evil New England. The women in this book that were accused of being killers are a range in age, societal standing and temperament. Most are women with families.

Jane Toppan is a woman with a mind of steel but with shards as far as I can surmise. What brings her to determination to kill? How has she picked her victims? She has a line of deaths behind her but unfortunately, some of those deaths will never be solved because she wouldn’t share them with anyone.

Lydia Sherman is a woman that is hard to read. She’s a woman that has been married a few times and doesn’t seem to have any real love for anyone. She has no discern for her victims, even though she may show a soft side in public, her actions behind closed doors are not as kind and soft. Does she kill because she does not like to be the one to have to support her family, or does she do it because she can?

Nellie Webb is a young woman that would not generally be a suspect. She’s young and kind. However, there is another side to her. What happened to Nellie, did she stop killing, did she change her name and live a full life, or did she just disappear?

Sarah Jane Robinson, on the outside she appears to be a loving, caring, kind sister, mother, and person, but she has a sinister side to her, and she has no problem using her womanly wiles to her advantage.

Harriet Nason is not a woman that has a lot of friends, she is probably the one killer in this book that people would suspect as being sinister. She keeps to herself and her immediate family, she’s distant from her community with only a few close friends.

I find it interesting how the mind works and have always been interested in the mind of criminals. I want to know what makes them tick and why they have the desire to be the person they are. While most people have morals and standards of right and wrong, what causes a killer to have their own standards and the desire to kill? Is it due to their upbringing, their childhood due to trauma, or is just because their mind works differently? I also find it intriguing that some of these women believed and vocalized their innocence until the very end, and that some of them walked away without any repercussions. In the time period of these stories, society saw women as being the nurturing, caring, kind human and men as being the violent, cruel, hard human. This was one mistake that led to the mishandling of some of these cases, in my eyes. Women are vicious, dangerous, and more deceptive than some people realize. I love that Ms. Coletta delved into these stories and told them. She’s a great storyteller, whether it be fiction or true crime. I live in New England and these stories were close to home. While this was my first read of one of Ms. Coletta’s True Crime Novels, it won’t be my last. She makes me think and opens my mind to intriguing stories. I have always had an interest in crime stories, and she feeds that interest in her writing of fiction and true crime. I look forward to more and give this book a 5-star review.

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