Shocking true story of a stalker/murderer and the woman who refuses to let him go free.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyReaders who can take an unrelieved diet of misery will feast on this story of a woman whose second husband shot her first husband in the presence of her two daughters. Jane married Johnny when she was in high school; after having one child, they divorced because he was a poor provider, although they still loved each other. She then wed Michael, a violent, abusive man whose every punch and kick, with little interference from the Lexington, Ky., police, is detailed here. When Johnny tried to help Jane move out, Michael killed him and received a prison term requiring him to serve only six and one-half years. Jane is now completing college. As depressing as her personal history is the picture of life in Appalachia, where every man is a king, notes the author, and every woman must marry lest she become a pariah, shunned by other women as a sexual threat. Jane now lives in the Midwest, her exact location a secret, and works with battered women. 20,000 first printing; author tour. (Apr.)
Library JournalWells was abused by her second husband, Michael, who eventually killed her first husband, Johnny, in front of her and her children. The legal system repeatedly failed to protect her, and even after Michael was convicted and sent to prison (only for manslaughter), he continued to harass her, eventually forcing Wells to pay part of his legal fees. Wells is not a professional writer, and at times she strays into extraneous detail. But as a result the reader is given a close look at a life of fear, uncertainty, and frustration, made even scarier by a legal system that seemed only able-or willing-to work for those who knew how to manipulate it. In this case, the manipulator happened to be a murderer. For true crime collections.-Christine A. Moesch, Buffalo & Erie Cty. P.L., N.Y.
Zom ZomsIn this story of a horrific crime and its aftermath, Wells rivetingly recounts the murder she and her children witnessed when her abusive estranged husband killed her ex-husband, who was visiting his daughter. The resilient Kentuckian then turns to how she emerged from this tragedy and sought a better life for herself and her young daughters. She also recalls events leading up to the murder, and the trial that succeeded it, which brought her husband conviction for manslaughter and a paltry 13-year sentence, and, vividly, her shaky emotional state and inability to cope, both of which conditions were exacerbated by continued harassment from the incarcerated killer. Wells and her children eventually left Appalachia, and her life finally took a positive turn when she found work and enrolled in college. Her sterling memoir is a fine testament of one courageous woman's will to survive.
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