Reviewed by Kim Harris Thacker: writer, mommy, and Bookshop Talk host
Former Miss Mississippi Julie Patterson knew moving to another state would be difficult, but she never anticipated the horrors she and her family would endure at the hands of a neighbor. At first, Lynn seems to be the friend Julie has always wanted: someone who truly understands how difficult it is to lose a child because she lost two babies of her own. Even when Julie learns that Lynn lied about her losses, she gives Lynn the benefit of the doubt, as she believes a true southern lady would. But then the lies begin to multiply, and Julie learns from others that Lynn has a propensity to lie about everything, often changing her stories in order to appear more pitiable or, at times, even more heroic, than her neighbors. Unfortunately for Julie, Lynn has chosen her as her new favorite target, because Julie fights back. But will Julie’s efforts to protect her family from Lynn be enough?
FALSE VICTIM is based on true events that took place in the life of the author, Kathie Truitt, a former Mrs. Missouri America. Truitt builds her story gradually, but the pacing is excellent and perfectly suited to a contemporary psychological thriller.
Advice to Readers: Read FALSE VICTIM on a weekend! It’s certain you’ll be up all night, engrossed in this shocking tale.
Market: Adult Fiction
Language: none (There is one scene in the book where the horrid neighbor shouts at Julie, but the publisher chose to omit the actual swearwords, leaving only the first letter of each of the words, followed by typed symbols such as these: #$%@&).
Sensuality: none (though the horrid neighbor does dress in a “provocative” manner, which is occasionally described)
Violence: moderate (more threatened than anything)
Mature Themes: manipulation, deceit, hatred, jealousy, psychological disorders