With the name "Patricia Cornwell" prominently displayed on the cover's flap, my wife just had to read this book. And the subtitle, "A Famous Crime Writer, a Lesbian Love Affair, and the FBI Husband's Violent Revenge!" Yeah, my wife needed to read this book. And she's a pretty fast reader. But I was still a little surprised when she had apparently finished it in one night. Usually, for a nearly three hundred page book, it takes her two to three nights. "Did you read the book?" I asked. "Are you going to read it?" she replied. I told her that I was and she said that she didn't want to discuss it until after I had read it. We do that occasionally when we don't want to influence each other's opinions.
Well, I did read it cover to cover and I have to say this: my wife and I are both bibliophiles and we read books on a multitude of subjects, including many, many books by people we don't agree with. Neither of us, regardless of poor writing or bad content, have ever read a book that we didn't get at least something out of. That is up until reading this. Truly, this is the worst book either of us have ever read. In a nutshell:
Once upon a time, in far, far away place; there lived a handsome prince and beautiful princes named Gene and Margo. They had two lovely children, Allison and Lindsey. The handsome prince and the beautiful princes were not just ordinary monarchs of the realm. No, they were both FBI agents and she was stationed at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Along comes a famous writer who visits the academy and in the dark of the night, she sneaks away and seduces the princess. The princess is enraptured in exquisite ecstasy. The warm embrace of another woman. The pulsating kisses. The wetness of another woman's tongue running along her quivering body. And the explosion of an orgasm, the likes of which she had only dreamed about, but had never experienced. It had radiated throughout her body, leaving her a mound of exhausted pleasure. She had no choice. Her mind was made up. The prince needed to be told.
Now, the prince was not an understanding type of guy and didn't take it well. So he toiled deep within the castle's chambers, brewing a sweet smelling poison made from the fangs of a thousand snakes. Placing the concoction in an apple, he knelt beside the princess, waking her gently as he offered her the poisoned fruit. Suddenly, the kingdom's knights raced into the room and arrested the prince on orders from the Crown. He was taken away to rot in the dungeons and the princess returned to her dreams . . . and to the famous writer. The end.
Okay, there was some stuff that I left out. Soon after Gene and Margo married, the FBI transferred them and both - yes, both - defrauded the government out of several thousand dollars in relocation expenses. Later, both defrauded an insurance company in falsely reporting some jewelry stolen. About ten years or so later, according to Caitlin Rother and John Hess, the authors, Margo regretted her participation and reported both incidents to the FBI. Margo's sudden regret, interestingly, coincided exactly with her decision to divorce her husband. And in reporting the thefts, she had negotiated an immunity deal for herself. Gene wasn't that lucky. He was convicted and sentenced to prison.
While freed from any criminal consequences, the FBI terminated Margo's employment and she was stunned! She believed that because she had reported the crimes, that that should have been the end of it for her. The fact that she was equally guilty and had equally benefited from the stolen money was something that she was unable to understand. After leaving the FBI, she obtained employment as a campus police officer at a local college. Interestingly, the fact that she had been fired by the FBI for theft and lying, to say nothing of her massive financial problems that she caused herself, didn't impede her law enforcement career.
Gene, on the other hand, was a ruined man. His career was destroyed. He was a drunk. He was unemployed and destitute. He was a convicted felon. He was also losing his grip on reality, something that Margo mocks. Of course, because of her immunity deal, she wasn't an ex-con so we don't how she would have fared. After Gene got out of prison, according to Margo, he tried to kill her. Gene said that he was simply trying to talk to her. I have no idea what's true. I would have a hard time believing either one of them. It is interesting, however, that rather than simply walking up to Margo and blowing her away, Gene came up with a convoluted, nonsensical, ridiculous plan in which he allegedly tried to kill her. Gene was a college educated FBI agent who specialized in conducting complex undercover criminal investigations. The absurdity of this supposed plan, to me anyway, was clearly evidence of a person losing his mental faculties under enormous strain even though in many respects, it was strain that he had caused himself. In any event, Gene was convicted and received a long prison sentence.
The worse part of the book, though, is that throughout, the authors obviously distort the story to paint Margo out as some sort of heroine. It is shamefully, in-your-face obvious. Both authors admit that they are friends with her and she was the primary source of the book. And Gene had declined to cooperate. Nevertheless, the complete lack of objectivity is something that neither my wife nor I have ever read in any book, particularly one dealing with this type of subject. Any reasonably thinking person would conclude that Margo is a disgusting, despicable person. And what she did to her children is unforgiveable.
While Margo had been left a mountain of protoplasmic delight after her sexual encounter with Patricia Cornwell, to the famous author, Margo was a one night stand. Cornwell also had declined to cooperate with the book and in the end, that's the extent of her involvement in the story irrespective of the subtitle. Soon after, when Margo decided to divorce Gene, she did so with the intent of destroying him. In accomplishing that, she and she alone, placed her two children right smack in the middle being more than willing to destroy them if it meant destroying her husband. And her children were irrevocably scarred. Both started using drugs and became promiscuous. Both suffered from serious mental illnesses. Both had their self-images shattered as their psychological states were bombarded with hate. And at least one engaged in self-mutilation. Repeatedly, Rother and Hess claimed that Margo "didn't want her children to live with the horror and torment that their father had (tried to kill) their mother." If that's true, Rother and Hess didn't read their own book. Margo drilled that very thing into her children and did so with great delight which is interesting because the reverse is never presented. That very sentence could easily read, Margo "didn't want her children to live with the horror and torment that their mother had destroyed their father." That's not in the book because Margo did want them to live with that very horror and torment and worked very hard to achieve exactly that.
During her husband's last trial, Margo started to experience anxiety dreams and says Rother and Hess, "[W]hen she woke up, she followed her therapist's advice and went back into her thought process to give the dream a good ending: she grabbed a knife and cut Gene's throat." She hated her husband and wanted their children to hate him too. That became the main obsession of her life. According to Margo, Gene was an evil man who didn't deserve to have his children. Taking her at her word, if that is true, my wife and I would both suggest that the only tragedy worse than having Gene as their father, was having Margo as their mother. And rather than portraying her as some sort of heroine, Rother and Hess should have tried to have remained somewhat objective. Having failed in that, the book is truly worthless. In essence, it's a book written by Margo. For people interested in this story, any other source would be better. My wife and I usually live be the rule, if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all. In this case, we just couldn't do it. This is truly a rotten book. Oh yeah, the reason that my wife seemed to have read the book so fast was because that after reading half, she was so repulsed that she couldn't read anymore. In eighteen years, that's the only time I have ever known her to do that.