American Mother by Gregg Olsen
Published: November 8, 2022
Genre: True Crime/Non-Fiction
KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.
Gregg Olsen lives in rural Washington State (about a mile as the crow flies from Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard’s infamous Starvation Heights sanatarium). His thriller, THE LAST THING SHE EVER DID was an Amazon Charts bestseller. LYING NEXT TO ME was a reader favorite, charting at No. 1 in the Kindle store and hitting the bestseller’s list at the Washington Post. His true crime book, IF YOU TELL, found a home on Amazon Charts for more than 125 weeks. In fact, it was the bestselling Kindle ebook of 2020. Gregg Olsen has been a guest on Dateline NBC, NPR, Good Morning America, The Early Show, FOX News, CNN, Anderson Cooper, Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, Extra, Access Hollywood, 20/20, Snapped, Deadly Women, William Shatner’s Aftermath, and A&E’s Biography. I live in rural Washington State (about a mile as the crow flies from Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard’s infamous Starvation Heights sanatarium). My thriller, THE LAST THING SHE EVER DID was an Amazon Charts bestseller. LYING NEXT TO ME was a reader favorite, charting at No. 1 in the Kindle store and hitting the bestseller’s list at the Washington Post. My true crime book, IF YOU TELL, found a home on Amazon Charts for more than 125 weeks. In fact, it was the bestselling Kindle ebook of 2020.
“And sometimes dreams morph into nightmares.”
When Bruce Nickell died suddenly, people were shocked. Several people close to the man were taken aback by his wife, Stella, seemingly stoic behavior. When Sue Snow died suddenly, her daughter, Hayley, was distraught. No one could have imagined these two people being connected in death. No one could have anticipated the hurt to come. No one would have suspected a mother of murdering her husband only to be turned in by her youngest child. But that’s what happened.
This was unlike any true crime book I’ve read. There is so much to this case, and it is evident that Gregg Olsen has spent decades complaining about what he could.
It’s scary to know that there is still so much we don’t know. The cast of characters is long, and the case facts are dense.
This is not light evening reading. You have to pay attention, and even then, trying to process the facts as they are presented is a lot.
My heart aches for Hayley. She and her family are genuinely victims in this situation. Part of me thinks Cindy knows more than she admitted to and that she withheld a lot of information.
But part of me also wants to empathize with her. Turning your mother in, testifying against her, and ultimately being the cog that started the legal process resulting in Stella going to prison has been devastating.
The loyalties in this novel are intense and deep. Those who claimed allegiance to Stella are unwavering in that support. But I also think those people have opinions that might not match their actions.
The writing for this book was fantastic. Heavy and deep as the case was, Olsen presented an unbiased look at the story from start to finish.
I appreciate how Gregg approaches a case; he truly doesn’t present his personal thoughts, so he isn’t influencing the reader at all. The research was beautifully done and eloquently presented.
I found the emotion presented fairly and honestly, and I don’t think anyone was made to be anything they aren’t. I genuinely hope Stella never gets out of prison.