ARC Review: Triflers Need Not Apply by Camilla Bruce

Morning Everyone,

Happy Saturday! It’s a Bank Holiday weekend in the UK and I’ve bookended time off work either side so I’m very happy to have some time to do with as I please. Fingers crossed the weather remains pleasant as I have a feeling this may be the last taste of summer that we have. Not that I’m complaining…I’m so excited for autumn!

Book 📖

Thank you to @millacream and @MichaelJBooks for this advanced copy of Triflers Need Not Apply in return for an honest review. Triflers Need Not Apply was published on 5th August 2021 and you can get a copy here.

Description 🔖

Bella Sorensen knows from when she is a little girl that the world is controlled by men. They own land, jobs and their wives. But Bella also quickly realises that she wants that same power and knows that she can get it because men have one weakness; women.

Bella’s first husband Mads does not live up to her expectations so she decides that he has to go. Once his life is no more, Bella sets off on a killing spree, seeking to quench her limitless thirst for death and power. Meanwhile her older sister Nellie looks on in fear and horror; unable to stop her sister’s rampage through the male population.

General Thoughts 🤔

Firstly, I love that this book was based on the true story of Bella Sorensen. There were characters and events added for dramatic effect of course and they made for a fantastic story. Bella’s actions were horrific and gruesome and for some sick reason, I loved reading about them. The author didn’t dwell on every single detail of the murders and they were written in a very matter of fact way which I think spoke to how Bella saw the killings. She was doing a job, completing a task and it was as simple as that.

I did find myself wondering how Bella got away with what she was doing for quite so long. I appreciate that it was a very different time, but authorities were involved on more than one occasion and still she was free to continue her spree. That said, I’m sure a huge number of women went missing during the Victorian era and not an eyelid would have been bat.

Characters 👫👭👬

Of course I have to start with Bella. What a complicated and incredibly fascinating character she was. She had a difficult childhood and I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her when she lost her first baby. Though I’m not convinced that that sole event was what made her into the murderous woman she ended up being. It played a part of course and was probably the straw that broke the camels back, but I think her mind already worked in a very different way to other women at that time.

I thought that James was an interesting character and I wonder how many of the murders would have happened if he hadn’t come into Bella’s life. They both had the same “need” for blood and I think that they spurred each other on. In some sort of sick way, they had a very strong friendship. James was there for Bella whenever she needed him and I wonder if James harboured a secret love for her, rather than just lust.

Writing Style ✍️

The book was told from the perspectives of Bella and her sister Nellie and I thought that it was really interesting to have the story told from two very different points of view. I found that it evened the playing field for me. I may have been persuaded that what Bella was doing was for survival and some kind of perverted fight for female empowerment if it wasn’t for Nellie’s side of the story bringing me back down to earth.

I loved the authors note at the end of the book. I love how she came upon this story and decided to research and run with her own version. I think that the changes and additions that she made to what was known to be factual were perfect and she did a great job of plugging the gaps where there were unknowns. I liked that the story wasn’t brought to a neat conclusion; just as the true story doesn’t seem to have been either. I have taken it upon myself to come up with my own little fantasy about what truly happened to Bella Sorensen.

Conclusion & Scoring 🎖️

I have had this book sitting and waiting to be read for months and I wish I had picked it up sooner. I was glued to every single page and loved switching my usual reading up for a bit of historical fiction. I anticipate that I’ll be thinking about Bella Sorensen for quite some time and I owe that to a story that has been written brilliantly well.

😍😍😍😍😍

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