Little Deaths

Little Deaths

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"It's 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone--a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress--wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day, Cindy's body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later, Frankie Jr.'s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth. As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth's life is exposed. Seen through the eyes of the cops, the empty bourbon bottles and provocative clothing which litter her apartment, the piles of letters from countless men and Ruth's little black book of phone numbers, make her a drunk, a loose woman--and therefore a bad mother. The lead detective, a strict Catholic who believes women belong in the home, leaps to the obvious conclusion: facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children's lives. Pete Wonicke is a rookie tabloid reporter who finagles an assignment to cover the murders. Determined to make his name in the paper, he begins digging into the case. Pete's interest in the story developsinto an obsession with Ruth, and he comes to believe there's something more to the woman whom prosecutors, the press, and the public have painted as a promiscuous femme fatale. Did Ruth Malone violently kill her own children, is she a victim of circumstance--or is there something more sinister at play? Inspired by a true story, Little Deaths, like celebrated novels by Sarah Waters and Megan Abbott, is compelling literary crime fiction that explores the capacity for good and evil in us all"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Hachette Books,, 2017
Edition: First U.S. edition
Copyright Date: ♭2017
ISBN: 9780316272476
Characteristics: 311 pages


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JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Aug 13, 2018

An interesting twisty mystery, set in the sixties. Lots of hard boiled detectives and journalists swarming over a woman to try to prove she killed her children, because they can't see past her partying ways. Interesting commentary on how mothers are perceived by media.

May 30, 2017

This book was well written and takes you back to a different time through the writing and descriptions. You could see this story as it was told being presented as a black and white movie, shadow and filled with cigarette smoke. You feel for Ruth as she is hounded by the police as the guilty person basically because of her job, dress and actions not because of proof.

May 09, 2017

The author does a brilliant job contrasting the judgments and projections of others with the internal state of the protagonist - a moral parable that ought to be more widely considered. I loved finding out that this was based on a real case.

SCL_Tricia Feb 03, 2017

Inspired by the true story of Alice Crimmins, this is a good literary crime novel. Author Emma Flint tells the story of Ruth and the murder of her two children. You can feel the heat, the limitations that Ruth feels and, most of all, the judgement. When the children go missing, the police look at the empty liquor bottles and the letters from men and draw the conclusion that Ruth is implicated in her children’s disappearance. As time goes on, all Ruth knows is to pull herself together, to paint her face and present a face to the world – even if she is crumbling inside. However, her lack of obvious emotion and grief, is simply seen as more evidence of her guilt. The ending of this one was dramatic and unexpected and you do find out what really happened to the Malone children, but there is no real sense of justice being served. This made it all the more honest and true to life as in reality, things are often left messy and unfinished.

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