Thank you NetGalley, Camilla Bruce, and Berkley Publishing for the opportunity to read this book.
In the Garden of Spite by Camilla Bruce is for anyone who is fascinated by the mind of a serial killer. There is always a beginning to the evil. Brynhild Paulsdatter Storset wants more than the life of a tenant farmer. She sets her eyes on a man who is the farm owner’s son. But even as she is with child, he still won’t have her and he beats her and leaves her for dead. Except she lives. Her revenge is slow but gives results. The only way to move on is to move in with her sister in America. There she marries a shop owner. He is kind and will provide for her. But is that enough? He is too kind, too weak, and not ambitious enough for her. He will be one of her victims. But is it really because he was too weak? Is it about the money? Or has she developed a taste for killing?
Triggers: graphic murder, abuse, child loss
This book is inspired by Belle Gunness or The Black Widow of La Porte. The author does an amazing job at getting into the head of a serial killer. She gave her a villain origin story so to speak. The story stays pretty true to the history that we are aware of when it comes to Belle Gunness. There is a brief introduction to social issues in Norway and then jumps into one of the most intriguing time periods of Chicago. While she was killing in La Porte, Indiana. HH Holmes was busy with his murder hotel in the White City. Fun fact: Belle Gunness was never apprehended nor was her death confirmed. Here you go, conspiracy theorist fans, did she die or escape?
I could have done without her sister’s point-of-view. It slowed down the story and just felt unnecessary and repetitive. BUT I loved reading from Belle’s perspective. Which each death, she always has a reason. Until the end—when she finally accepts her want to kill. It is definitely eerie and I could totally see this being a terrifying Netflix series! Pretty please, Netflix? I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars!