Friday, December 9, 2011

My take on: Poisoned Love

I must have missed the Snapped episode on Kristin Rossum. Whenever Oxygen airs a marathon, I'm right there. So it was quite easy for me to get sucked into Poisoned Love by Caitlin Rother.

The book opens with the death of Kristin Rossum's husband Greg de Villers. Before Rother even delves into the details of his death, I was suspicious of Kristin's "story." She alleges Greg must of have committed suicide. He was also covered in roses. Which sounded very strange. What guy is going to kill himself that way? He also didn't leave a note, while not extremely suspicious, but why be so dramatic and not leave a note? Plus the grieving widow was also a toxicologist. Hmmmmmm. No way she would know what can kill a person.

Rother then details how Kristin and Greg found each other. Kristin seemed to have it all. She came from an affluent family. It was also a family that seemed to obsessed with social standing and appearances, especially her mother. But in her late teens she went off the path. She became addicted to crystal meth, maybe that was her way to take some control away from her parents. I wondered if the details of her addiction were supposed to make readers feel sorry for Kristin? I tried to have sympathy for her, but I just couldn't. She just comes off as a spoiled brat. Her parents were no better. They were in such deep denial. They seemed to feel that an education and a career would fix everything. Those are certainly great goals, but they didn't solve Kristin's problems.

In addition to her meth addiction, she seemed to have an addiction to men also. She used a lot of men to get what she wanted. Whether it be housing, food, money or drugs she found a way to get it.

In the beginning, she used Greg. It wasn't love that drew Kristin to Greg. He had an apartment and she needed a place to live. But as the relationship grew, he helped her get off drugs -- something her parents were grateful for. Just before they got married Kristin tried to call off the wedding. If she did, her husband would still be alive.

She tried the marriage route for awhile, but Kristin was tempted once again. Not just by drugs, but also by another man. She had an affair with her boss Michael Robertson. An affair they didn't try to hide very well even after Greg's death. People who knew Greg refused to believe the suicide story, especially his brother Jerome. Greg was the type who didn't even like to aspirin. For him to commit suicide with, fentanyl -- a drug generally used in surgical settings and for cancer patients, didn't make sense. But it makes a lot of sense for a toxicologist for the Medical Examiner's Office with ample access to drugs could kill her husband. I don't understand people like this. Why is murder the answer? Why is divorce off the table? Is it really worth your freedom?

Overall, I must admit there is reasonable doubt. There is no proof that Kristin stole drugs from her office, but it's just too big of a coincidence. Most of the true crime books I've read have been by Ann Rule (Dead by Sunset, Small Sacrifices and If You Really Loved Me), so it's nice read another author's take on the genre. The book is very detailed. Kristin's side is told and Greg's side is told. Her parents talked a lot to the press, perhaps too much. Greg's family, especially his brother, refused to let the police give up. Fans of true crime should definitely pick this one up.

Rating: Superb

Note: I received a copy of the book from (Pump up Your Book) as part of a blog tour