Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyA sensitive study of a San Diego socialite convicted of murdering her ex-husband and his new wife. Photos. (July)
Ilene CooperShe's been written about in countless articles; she's been interviewed by Oprah and "20/20"; she's even been played by Meredith Baxter in "two" TV movies. She's Betty Broderick, murderer of her ex-husband and his young second wife, and she's definitely gained the nation's attention as the ultimate woman scorned. Since Broderick, who is now serving two consecutive sentences on charges of manslaughter, loves talking to the press, there will no doubt be more articles and books about her. (Schwartz-Nobel's "Forsaking All Others" started the hardcover parade.) This one, however, is likely to remain the definitive account, not only because it's been meticulously researched and rivetingly written, but also because Stumbo understands the main characters so well and recognizes the mythic proportions of their story. For those who don't know the tale, Betty Broderick was living out her fantasies in beautiful La Jolla, California, as the wife of one of the city's most successful attorneys and the mother of his four children. But when Dan Broderick decided he preferred his young assistant to Betty, her world came crashing down. Soon the fighting escalated, with each side becoming madder (in both senses of the word) and more entrenched in their positions until, finally, Betty snapped--murdering both Dan and his new wife as they slept. Stumbo interviewed many of the main players in the drama--family, friends, lawyers, and, of course, Betty--and she seems to have a grasp of exactly why this tragedy occurred and at what points in the course of events things might have gone another way, if only the main combatants had been able to see things just a little bit differently. For anyone who wants to know the real story of the Brodericks, this is the book to read.
- Atria Books
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