MOTHER LOVE, DEADLY LOVE by Anne McDonald Maier

MOTHER LOVE, DEADLY LOVE

The Texas Cheerleader Murder Plot

KIRKUS REVIEW

 The case of the Texas woman who tried to hire a hit man to kill the mother of her daughter's rival for a spot on the cheerleading team. People reporter Maier relies on transcripts and clichÇs to tell a true-crime tale noteworthy mostly for its inanity. Wanda Holloway was born on the wrong side of the tracks in Channelview, a petrochemical-industry center outside of Houston. (In what passes for interpretation here, Maier speculatively connects Wanda's adult typing skills to her childhood piano lessons.) After an early marriage ended in divorce, Holloway's upward mobility began in earnest. By her third marriage, she was not only living in the better part of Channelview but was obsessed with seeing her daughter, Shanna, reach the social heights by becoming a cheerleader. Convinced that a neighbor and her daughter stood in Shanna's way, Holloway asked her ne'er-do-well former brother-in-law to arrange a hit. He nervously went to the sheriff and later recorded conversations that led to Holloway's arrest. Maier explores the self-evident significance of cheerleading at numbing length and--though she's an attorney--is equally unenlightening about legal strategy and courtroom atmosphere (``It is a whole lot better to have a priest for a witness than a jailbird,'' she points out; the defense attorney, she explains, ``artfully attempted to cast the action in a new light, one more favorable to Wanda''). Holloway was convicted but released, pending appeal; her conviction and 15-year sentence were then voided due to a technicality, and the case is still in court. No psychological tangle here, just a pathetic chronicle. Skip it. (Fifteen pages of b&w photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 1-55972-137-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Birch Lane Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1992