well, if you like poking around the mind of a serial killer -- in this case, a mother who murdered/attempted to murder her 3 children -- then this is the book for you. having said this, however, i must acknowledge that "small sacrifices" is much more than a sensationalist account . for one thing, it is a compelling story of how forensic science helped to catch and convict a killer. for another, it is an inspiring account of how one man -- in this case, the prosecuting attorney -- not only persevered against strong odds to win a conviction, but -- and this i found practicially unbelievable -- afterwards adopted the 2 survivng children of the perpetrator, despite the fact that each child was seriously damaged by his/her experience. but there's no question that the "star": of the show is the mother herself whose story is as chilling as it is absorbing. for those of us who think of ourselves as "normal," it's always intiguing , as well as chilling, to venture into the mind of a psychopath. but having said all this, i must add than ann rule manages to tell the story in a thoughtful, sensitive way, avoiding the pitfalls of "tabloid journalism." in short, though i wouldn't necessarily recommend that you take this book on a carribean vacation, if what joseph conrad calls "the fascination of the abomination" is your "thing," then you'll probably want to read "small sacrifices".