The Angel Makers by Patti McCracken
First line: Anna Cser lay on the floor of her living room.
Summary: In the 1920s a shocking story of a murder ring surrounding a Hungarian midwife drew the eyes of the world. A small village had been experiencing a number of unexplained deaths of the local men. As more and more people died the authorities centered in on Auntie Suzy who was dispensing arsenic to patients. With the question of “Why are you bothering with him?” she convinced the women of the village to do away with their troublesome husbands, sons and fathers.
My Thoughts: Before having this book cross my desk I had never heard anything about these events. It was completely shocking as I read the synopsis and I knew I had to read this story. I was instantly hooked by the events that took place in the small Hungarian village. These women dispensed their own justice. And for years without being discovered!
Even though I found the story and history fascinating, I struggled with the format. It was written as if it was a fiction novel. The main characters were portrayed with their emotions and thoughts rather than just facts. It seemed rather odd and I kept having to remember that this was a true story based on facts.
However, the author does a wonderful job describing life in the years following the First World War in a rural village. They dealt with loss of men to the war, deprivations and occupation by victorious soldiers. The town was filled with poor farmers who stilled believed in the old folktales. It made for the perfect setting for such sinister events.
FYI: Murder of children, suicide and abuse.