by: Steven Jackson
Publisher: Pinnacle Books (Kensington Publishing Corp.)
Reviewed By: Lynard Barnes, January 24, 2004
Summary: Little crimes leading to a “big” crime. Thought provoking: maybe the little crimes should have been viewed the same as the “big” crime.
Okay, so this is a typical true-crime book. The redeeming quality of this book however is the absence of insight the author gives us into the mind of William Neal.
Neal killed three women in July 1998. The murders were senseless in every meaning and connotation of the word. However, that leaves open the word-gates for someone to come up with a meaning. Steve Jackson does not do that. Instead, he does an excellent job of providing us the rational of William Neal himself for his crimes, and the suspicions of the police and, more importantly, the rationale of the remaining family members of the victims as to why the three women ended up dead at the hands of a con-artist turned killer.
LOVE ME TO DEATH is not a must read book. It does a better job than most in this genre of exposing the interlocking web of people as products of social conditioning. The stark world of victim and predator does not exist. Yet, our senses rebel at the notion that extraordinary predators, like murders, and extraordinary victims like those murdered, are extraordinary because they are locked into a mindset by social conditioning. Steve Jackson does not address these issues head-on. The approach is oblique: Hints and innuendo.