THE LOVE THIEVES by Peter Packer


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The Starr Faithfull case, which singed an avid audience in the early '30's, is here warmed over and definitely warmed up for present day readers. Not as fictionally free as its most famous version- Butterfield 8, nor as close to the actual facts as in Fred Cook's The Girl on the Lonely Beach in the Gold Medal Classic Murder Trials series, Starr here appears as Virginia Fuller and this concentrates on the libel suit brought by her parents (actually there were several suits) against a New York paper on some four counts from bribery to pimping. Libel lawyer Marcus Ross has the ungrateful task of clearing the paper, less guilty than the Fullers, but not above reproach. Fictional insets fill in Virginia's life; her early seduction at 11 by her cousin Lewis (actually a prominent Boston politician), her later desperate attempts to escape him, herself, her drinking, her addiction, her promiscuity, and finally her suicide. This rendition, focussing as it does on the trial litigation and Ross' attack against the Fullers who abused her and abandoned her, aligns the reader's sympathies along with the jury's on the side of the girl who was more of a waif than a wanton and leaves little room for a suspended judgment.... The publishers make the big comparison- Compulsion, which may not be quite justified, but there is no question of its flamboyant readability.

Pub Date: July 9th, 1962
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston