“A dark jewel” – Jacquelyn Mitchard,
bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean
Mothers & Murderers: A True Story of Love, Lies, Obsession … and Second Chances takes readers on a wild tragicomic ride from the criminal courtrooms of California’s Silicon Valley to the Himalayan mountains of Pakistan to the deserts of Ethiopia.
In delightful, insightful prose, Ellison reflects on her mistakes and her triumphs as she weaves together the stories of how her Pulitzer Prize-winning career almost ended before it began, how she nearly missed marrying the love of her life, and how she unwittingly got drawn into a stranger-than-fiction murder case. Rich in drama and self-reflection, replete with unique characters –including two bumbling hitmen, a rodeo-riding prosecutor, a flamboyant Beverly Hills defense attorney, and a charismatic stay-at-home mother-of-three who is keeping outrageous secrets– Mothers & Murderers is a mashup of “Fargo,” “Body Heat,” and “Eat, Pray, Love.”* It’s guaranteed to make you laugh, cry – and think.
“Ellison is wickedly funny, and her writing is irreverent, mordant, and always compelling.” —Literary Mama
From The Book:
Before he agreed to murder Howard Witkin, Andy had never shot anyone or anything other than pheasants, while hunting in Michigan with his Uncle Stu. His criminal experience amounted to a single charge as a juvenile, for destroying mailboxes with a steel pipe while joyriding with friends. After his arrest in 1981, Andy’s hometown newspaper quoted neighbors who said they’d seen the tall teenager playing with GI Joes in a sandbox in his mother’s front yard.
Still, what Andy lacked in experience he made up in determination. At his first sight of Howard, he fell into a crouch, a posture he remembered seeing on TV crime shows. Raising his rifle, he closed his eyes and fired the first three shots.
Andy would later claim to have clear memories of that night, down to the scent of pear blossoms on the warm breeze as he walked past the redwood chips lining the concrete path to Howard’s front door. Still, by the time he reached Howard’s townhouse, he had to have been more than a little cognitively handicapped. He’d spent the last three days driving cross-country from Flint with his childhood friend and accomplice, Gary Oliver. As they’d waited out the hours before nightfall and their drive to Howard’s townhouse, they smoked joints and drank beer, after which, as Andy would confide to police, he’d attempted to further calm his nerves by taking five “microdot” tabs of LSD – a hefty dose by anyone’s standards. The drugs were just starting to kick in as he approached Howard’s door, cradling his .22-caliber Marlin-Glenfield semi-automatic rifle…..
“Gripping, surprising, and vividly told, Ellison’s true crime tale invites us on an intimate journey, not just to explore the soul of murderer, but to reckon with, and master, our own darker impulses.” –Dr. Craig Malkin is a clinical psychologist and Harvard Medical School lecturer, and the best-selling author of Rethinking Narcissism: The Bad — and Surprising Good — About Feeling Special