Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession

Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession Review

A provocative and original investigation of our cultural fascination with crime, linking four archetypes—Detective, Victim, Attorney, Killer—to four true stories about women driven by obsession.

In this illuminating exploration of women, violence, and obsession, Rachel Monroe interrogates the appeal of true crime through four narratives of fixation. In the 1940s, a bored heiress began creating dollhouse crime scenes depicting murders, suicides, and accidental deaths. Known as the “Mother of Forensic Science,” she revolutionized the field of what was then called legal medicine. In the aftermath of the Manson Family murders, a young woman moved into Sharon Tate’s guesthouse and, over the next two decades, entwined herself with the Tate family. In the mid-nineties, a landscape architect in Brooklyn fell in love with a convicted murderer, the supposed ringleader of the West Memphis Three, through an intense series of letters. After they married, she devoted her life to getting him freed from death row. And in 2015, a teenager deeply involved in the online fandom for the Columbine killers planned a mass shooting of her own.

Each woman, Monroe argues, represents and identifies with a particular archetype that provides an entryway into true crime. Through these four cases, she traces the history of American crime through the growth of forensic science, the evolving role of victims, the Satanic Panic, the rise of online detectives, and the long shadow of the Columbine shooting. In a combination of personal narrative, reportage, and a sociological examination of violence and media in the twentieth and twenty-first century, Savage Appetites scrupulously explores empathy, justice, and the persistent appeal of violence.

Title:Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession
Edition Language:English

    Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession Reviews

  • Olive (abookolive)

    Check out my review/discussion video on booktube: https://youtu.be/TJnfyql0SY4and the below review first appeared on Open Letters Review:In early 2017, the American cable television network Oxygen off...

  • Valerity (Val)

    Rachel Monroe’s book delves into the issue of women and their obsession with true crime. As if that’s always a bad thing. This is basically divided into four sections relating four different cases...

  • Jessica Woodbury

    Let's just start with all the ways in which I have specific, subjective opinions about this book. I hate the true crime trend. I specifically hate the fandoms that have grown up around true crime. For...

  • Emily

    My standard procedure is not to give star ratings to books I don't finish, but I'm so annoyed by this book that I'm doing it anyway. Savage Appetites is a convoluted mess of a "true crime" book. The s...

  • Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)

    3.5 starsOur society has become obsessed with true crime.  Podcasts, books, TV shows, websites, and TV channels devote hours to discussing crimes.  Statistically speaking, it's women who are fueling...

  • Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)

    This is one hot mess of a book.The introduction reads like a bad article someone with an interest in true crime might dig up on the internet, read a little bit of, click elsewhere, and then forget ent...

  • Kristy K

    While definitely interesting, this wasn’t what I expected when I went into it. This reads as a part-memoir, part-biography of women who obsessed over crime. This will appeal to the niche of true cri...

  • Emma Eisenberg

    If I could give this book 6 stars, I would--it is the book I have been waiting to read all my life <3Monroe asks the questions about gender, sex, power, violence, and technology that I have long been ...

  • Chermaine

    I'm finally glad to see a true crime book that talks about the complexities of people's interest in death and murder and all those things and even how many women aren't just some mindless creatures wh...

  • Mary

    Savage Appetites is a unique look at women's obsession with True Crime, and four women who took that obsession to an extreme level. Writing with a journalistic prose, author Rachel Monroe has given th...