The Love of a Bad Man
Laura Elizabeth Woollett
A schoolgirl catches the eye of the future leader of Nazi Germany. An aspiring playwright writes to a convicted serial killer, seeking inspiration. A pair of childhood sweethearts reunite to commit rape and murder. A devoted Mormon wife follows her husband into the wilderness after he declares himself a prophet.
The twelve stories in ‘The Love of a Bad Man’ imagine the lives of real women, all of whom were the lovers, wives, or mistresses of various ‘bad’ men in history. Beautifully observed, fascinating, and at times horrifying, the stories interrogate power, the nature of obsession, and the lengths some women will go to for the men they love.
This is a very very dark read. The premise is tantalising – who doesn’t wonder about the partners of some of the most diabolical murderous and sadistic killers in history – how they got together, why they stayed together, how the relationship worked, how much were they involved with the crimes? Who lead who on? Who was the mastermind? These mesmerising short stories are compelling and fascinating, yet simultaneously repulsive – magnetic in effect, tempting the voyeur hidden deep in all of us yet making us shudder as we read on. What powerful reads! The short story has been reborn! Fascinating scenarios and great writing – how did this author develop such a powerful and wicked voice?
This is an author to watch out for! Read if you dare!
Ooh, sounds really creepy and dark, Carol. And yet, as you say, those speculations can be intriguing. Interesting she chose the short story format, too; it makes for a more flexible way to tell those different stories, I think.
Margot I have read some great short stories recently and this collection in particularly is so dark and creepy yet you cannot put it down…I would like to see this author write horror stories I think she knows how to tell a really good horror story…not do much the violence but that capability for violence…compelling reading here