American Black Widow Book Review

American Black Widow Book Review

Title: American Black Widow: The shocking true story of a preacher's wife turned killer
Author: Gregg Olson
Published: July 13, 2023, Thread
No. of Pages: 370
Cover Price: $.99 Kindle

Anyone who has lived with a narcissist will be able to relate to the true-crime thriller, American Black Widow: The shocking true story of a preacher's wife turned killer. Sharon was brought up in a very staunch Seventh Day Adventist home with a mother who expected and demanded perfection. Although she didn’t want to marry Mike Fuller, she did anyway; he was difficult and cold and was sent to several different congregations taking Sharon with him. In 1976, they were sent to Colorado and that’s when the troubles started. Sharon, who was sociable and outgoing (unlike her husband) was one of those women who got what she wanted no matter what the cost, and when she met optometrist Perry Nelson, dragged him into an affair that broke up two families and ended up in his death. Narcissists are manipulative and able to influence those around them, and that’s just what Sharon did, causing Nelson to be seemingly under a spell where he couldn’t get enough of her. To make matters worse, she was absolutely beautiful and able to manipulate other men whom she wanted.

Olsen has done a good job of developing the characters and showing their true selves. The story goes back and forth from 1976 to later times, and is a bit confusing. However, the story is fascinating, and most readers will be surprised that someone like Sharon could literally get away with murder and use people without caring.

All told, readers who like true crime thrillers will like this novel. It could be called “portrait of a narcissist” because Sharon is definitely one and most of the time comes out ahead. Olsen does use profanity when characterizing Sharon, so if that is offensive, skip it.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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