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SEDUCED BY MADNESS:
THE TRUE STORY OF THE SUSAN POLK MURDER CASE
By Carol Pogash
Harper True Crime, September 2008 ($7.99)
Reviewed by Cherie Jung
Dr. Felix Polk was stabbed to death by his wife Susan. Dr. Polk was a therapist. In fact, he had been Susan's therapist when she was a teenager. He was also the father of their three teenage sons. Susan claimed that she killed him in self-defense, that he had been abusive to her for years, that he was controlling, and that on that fateful night, he had attacked her and she had feared for her life.
On the surface, it certainly sounds like a situation that might lead to disharmony, conflict, and death. Toss in repressed memories, satanic rituals, unethical behavior, and a heaping dash of dysfunction and you have the recipe for a bizarre tale of madness.
Following her arrest for the murder of her husband, Susan Polk chose to act as her own defense in an unforgetable trial that at times, seemed almost as bizarre as the events leading up to it.
As I read through the account of this crime and subsequent trial, I kept thinking two thoughts. One, "only in California" and to paraphrase a line from one of the Jason Bourne movies, "You can't make this stuff up!"
Riveting, compelling, and insightful are words that barely convey the sharpness of the author's writing. Once you begin reading you will be mesmerized. I dare say, you won't be putting this book aside until you've finished reading every page.
For true crime fans, this is true crime writing at its best!
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