13 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
DreamSE22 reviewed Witch: The True Story of Las Vegas' Most Notorious Female Killer on
Helpful Score: 5
This book was very good! I think Glenn Puit is an excellent author because although the crime itself may not have been completely captivating, Puit's writing style was. I sped through this book in just a few hours.
I thought it was very neat of Puit to include pictures in the middle of the book, as well as add the disclaimer in the intro specifying that all the quotes were dead-on, and nothing was fabricated or dramatized. A lot of true crime novels really irk me when the description of the crime scene or event includes dialogue fabrication.
Strange book about a strange woman. She was convicted of her mother's murder. Sealed Mom up in a garbage can and put her in a storage shed. But it is a fascinating story of how one woman probably committed more murders than this, maybe even her own brother and husband. She is one strange person.
Interesting story about a very odd, dysfunctional, troubled, and ultimate violent family. Brookey Lee West was convicted of murdering her mother and disposing of her remains by sealing them in a garbage can in a Las Vegas storage facility. This is not a spoiler inasmuch as the end result is presented immediately, and the book merely unravels how Mom may have come to be in the garbage can.
The murderous daughter, West, may have been responsible for the death of her brother and her husband as well, and left a trail of mayhem, frightened neighbors, and bad feelings everywhere she went.
This first-time author, a newspaper reporter, benefits from having an interesting story about oddball characters. This alone, I think, carries the day. Contrary to other reviewers who liked his writing style, I thought his writing was appalling, and the editorial work surprisingly bad.
While I admire his decision not to embellish conversations between parties that no one could possibly verify, which is to his credit, his decision to
"keep it real" by writing with gratuitous profanity surprised me. It surprises me even more that a savvy editor wouldn't say "cut the profanity where it isn't required." For instance, he describes various sexual encounters between West and her boyfriends and husband. He doesn't write "Brookey and her date had sex in the back seat of the car." No, he writes "They f**ked in back seat of the car." I'm no prude and profanity doesn't offend me -- bad writing DOES.
His spartan writing in one paragraph and then overuse of film noir metaphors in another paragraph, when relating a factual element, was also annoying. For instance, he'd be reciting facts in one paragraph and then switch to overuse of metaphors such as "a wind as hot as the burning fires of Hades."
He states up front he intentionally omitted the use of lengthy trial transcripts, which is good, but then spent FAR too much time delving into the personal habits or lifestyle of some relatively minor characters.
The pathologist for instance, who performed the autopsy. His medical background, and why he chose pathology, is interesting enough, without devoting multiple pages to the fact he enjoys rocking out in his residential garage, which he painted black, because he likes dark colors when he writes music. I suppose this was intended to add to the noir-ish aspects of the novel, but it didn't help. It just made me flip several pages ahead because I really couldn't care less what color the pathologist painted his garage.
If you can get beyond the hackneyed writing of newspaper reporter who got a big break writing the full length story of one of his most interesting assignments, the family dynamics are interesting enough to warrant picking this up. You'll need to flip through several sections of bad writing, however. This just speeds up the conclusion, which is a good thing.
iyapp reviewed Witch: The True Story of Las Vegas' Most Notorious Female Killer on
Helpful Score: 2
This was a very creepy book about an exceptionally unstable woman who just does away with anyone who doesn't do things as she wishes. The scariest part is her ability to act like a stable person in society, although her job did allow her to telecommute. I am sure that was helpful in keeping her insanity under wraps from others. The book was well-written and I highly recommend it.