Wednesday 10 August 2022

Triflers Need Not Apply by Camilla Bruce Book Review

 I've been wanting to read Triflers Need Not Apply for quite some time. This reading experience was made even better when I was offered the chance to take part in a buddy read. My partner, the lovely Preena (@bookshortie1 on Twitter).

We decided to read the book over 5 days and what a good choice that was as it really added to the tension. Our breaks seemingly ending on a cliffhanger each time.

If you didn't know, this novel is based on the true story of Belle Gunness whose murderous rampage began in Chicago in 1900, and after finishing the book I'm now keen to find out more facts about this quite honestly scary woman.


Early in life Bella Sorensen discovers the world is made only for men. They own everything: jobs, property, wives. But Bella understands what few others do: where women are concerned, men are weak.

A woman unhampered by scruples can take from them what she wants. And so Bella sets out to prove to the world that a woman can be just as ruthless, black-hearted and single-minded as any man.

Starting with her long suffering husband, Mads, Bella embarks on a killing spree the like of which has never been seen before nor since.

And through it all her kind, older sister Nellie can only watch in horror as Bella's schemes to enrich herself and cut down the male population come to a glorious, dreadful fruition . . .

What a book.

When we first began our buddy read we both initially said that this was going to be a slow burner. Intrigued by Bella's actions, it became apparent early on that she was a determined woman, one who faced much hardship early on in her life and this perhaps led to her truly terrifying actions as she grew up and became more independent.

One of many siblings - not quite sure how many as some were no longer alive - Bella proves herself to be resourceful and a little bit manipulative as she knew early on just how to get her sister to feel sorry for her (even though it turns out that Bella is the least helpless woman around).

Told from two points of view. We had Bella, who was more the troublemaker and then there was her older sister Nellie, who tried to remain the peacekeeper. A start contrast between the two. Bella, spoilt and Nellie eager to please. 

As the book progressed, so did the death, destruction and desires. By the half way point things really began to escalate quickly.

More secrets and lies led to increased suspicions with any initial trust between the sisters slowly dissipating.

This made for a great read-along. So many discussion points. We talked about the emotions behind the actions, the reasoning behind Bella's choices, possible next victims and so much more.

Bella always wanted the finer things in life (wanted her cake and to eat it too) but nothing seemed to satiate the lust that she held within. A spectacularly dangerous character, not only with the murders but with her powers of persuasion too.

It wasn't just the men that needed to watch their backs.

My lovely buddy and I were left contemplating just how many murders would take place and by what means as it was apparent that the initial poisoning method was no longer satisfying this now terrifying woman. 

Preena summed it up perfectly. 

It all boiled down to men, murder and money. The three ms.

Although a fictionalisation of true crime story, I found what Camilla wrote to be cleverly compelling. I was eager to find out more about this serial killer and the facts of which this story derived from. A sign of a good book.

Dark and disturbing. Triflers Need Not Apply shows just what a dose of anger and resentment can do to a person. Ruthless both in its content and its delivery. This is a piece of historical fiction that is intelligent and incredibly intense.

Highly readable and much recommended. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love hearing from my readers so please feel free to leave comment.