The Angel Makers: Arsenic, a Midwife, and Modern History’s Most Astonishing Murder Ring

Morrow. Mar. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780063275034. $29.99. CRIME
Award-winning journalist McCracken’s debut depicts the shocking true story of one of history’s largest murder rings. McCracken begins with the difficult job of midwives and mothers, as told through a story about a woman known as Auntie Suzy, the town’s midwife and de facto doctor, who used her position and access to arsenic to help the impoverished, overburdened women in her community handle abusive husbands. Startlingly, what started as a death here and there became one of the world’s largest mass murders with more than 160 male victims. McCracken’s background as a journalist is clear in her approach to the story and its telling. She brings to life a portrait of 1920s village life in modern-day Hungary. Readers will be transported through the story beginning with the issues plaguing local women, how the killers became emboldened over time, and the ways in which justice was brought forth, once an anonymous letter captured the attention of authorities.
VERDICT True crime readers are sure to enjoy this debut.
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