Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Sleeping With the Devil

Sleeping With the Devil
Suzanne Finstad
ISBN-10: 0380719320
ISBN-13: 978-0380719327


This is not your average true crime book! The story of Barbra Piotrowski and Richard Minns is the quintessential narcissistic relationship. It is fascinating to see just how manipulative and successful a narcissist can become, using family, friends, strangers, hired thugs, the legal system, and law enforcement to seduce, posess, and nearly destroy the life of his victim. A self-made local celebrity, Minns lived the ultimate narcissistic existance, honing his body at the gym (which he owned), bleaching his hair at the beauty shop, keeping a wife and kids in one house while openly escorting his much younger, blonde, beautiful "fiance" around the same town, in front of his own kids and friends of his real family. As other reviewers pointed out, Barbra, though the victim of monstrous and unbelievable manipulation, was too much of a user to be a truly sympathetic character, as the author attempted to portray her. She was definitely an opportunist. I don't think this hurts the book, though. The reader obviously draws her own conclusions about the character of Barbra and will not be led by the author. And, ultimately, no one deserves the mind-bending gaslighting and physical abuse Barbra went through, let alone the horrible crime which finally ended the relationship. This book is truly riveting. The term page-turner could have been invented to describe this book. It stacks up to the best of Ann Rule, which from me is the ultimate accolade. - Sammy Madison

As a professor of Women's Health, I want to be sure to remind all women to read "Sleeping With The Devil" by Suzanne Finstad. It is one of the best texts out there that describe in mind-shattering detail the intricacies and hidden subtleties of toxic relationships. I have found Ms. Finstad's meticulously researched story of Barbara Piotrowski to be one of the best educational and life-saving assignments that I can give to my students. Thank you, Suzanne. Your insight and biographical genius continue to amaze me. - Amanda Caldwell

Heard the taped version of SLEEPING WITH THE DEVIL by Suzanne Finstad, a true crime story about a Texas beauty queen and the self-made millionaire who loved her . . . or so it seemed . . . then his world fell apart and he blamed her . . . that is, before he attempted to kill her . . . I now see why I like these type books better than typical mysteries . . . I'm reading one now (the latest by Mary Higgins Clark), and there is just no comparison . . . this is so much better! . . . it makes you feel like you really know the characters, and you find yourself hoping--against all odds--that the ending is going to differ from what really happened . . . my only disappointment was in the ending,but that was not because of the author; rather, somebody seemed to get away with murder--or something very close to it . . . if you're in the mood for a gripping tale of obsession and murder, this is the book for you! - Blaine Greenfield

I have mixed feelings about this book; while it is well written and interesting (I love true crime), I became increasingly angry and finally lost interest because of the Barbara and her incredible inability to see reality; Richard Minns beat her up;she saw how he lied and manipulated to get what he wanted and SHE COULDN'T LEAVE HIM- Puh-lease---I usually have a degree of empathy with a character who is treated badly but not this one; She is very lucky she isn't dead---I am also disappointed that justice in this case did not prevail and that weasel sociopath got away with his crime. - Marilyn S. Shively