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Quiet Dell

Quiet Dell: A Novel - Jayne Anne Phillips

Based on a true case that had haunted the author for decades, Quiet Dell is the story of the murders and investigation that took place during the 1930's, of a serial killer that preyed on vulnerable women. A subject that is not typical for this author, but something that she felt she needed to write.


I remember stories, told by my Aunt about the Lonely Hearts, widows who would write to men, a match up pen pal sort of thing, that has been replaced by computers today. Widows left in dire circumstances due to the depression and had very little recourse. Loved the black and white pictures that accompanied this novel as well as many of the details. My problem with this book, is that the main character is a woman, a journalist and so much of what she does and experiences just does not ring true. Not sure that a woman would have had the freedom at the time, or been so accepted by the men in professional capacities as is related here. Also her love affair with the bank manager just seemed awkward as did some of the dialogue.


That said, this is still a very good novel, a look back in history and a book that will find readers of many genres. How much harder it was to piece things together back then when one so relied on witnesses, paper trails in the truest sense, and just pure investigation and foot work. Though this killer had many different aliases, he was just pure evil.


My favorite parts are when the young girl Annabel is mentioned, the writing flows, becomes poetic and I felt she was a great favorite of the author. A bit of fancy.