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New Hansen Novel Based on Real Jazz Age Scandal

Acclaimed author Ron Hansen uses the salacious details of the 1927 Snyder-Gray homicide case for the basis of his new novel A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion (Scribner, 256pgs). Mixing historical fact with fictionalized dialogue, he spins a titillating tale of lust, murder and human tragedy. A chance meeting of stylish lingerie salesman Judd Gray and oversexed housewife Ruth Snyder in a Manhattan diner, sparks a torrid, secret affair. The wild and vengeful Ruth wants not only to be free of her husband Albert, but wants him dead, and uses her sensual wiles to manipulate Judd into executing her plan. The police investigation and the murder trial that follows reveal the ruinous hold Ruth has on Judd and his inability to escape the “death spiral” the two have created. In the end both must face the harsh consequences of their cruel actions.

“The title of the novel does not disappoint. From the femme fatale’s need for adoration to the lust-filled, drunken decline of her lover, to the titillating trial attended by celebrities – reading this novel is like running downhill through a maze of the seven deadly sins,” writes Christine Brunkhorst in a review for the Star Tribune.

“What resonates in this novel is not so much what happens – it is no secret that the lovers are tried and executed – but rather, its triumph is in Hansen’s convincing re-creation of human frailty and the tragedy that can ensue.”

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  1. kim
    August 9th, 2011 at 04:04 | #1

    I’m a big fan of these police novels! I must read ‘A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion’ by Ron Hansen. Two days ago, I purchased the police novel of Elizabeth K Lee and I can’t wait to read it! It seems to be a very interesting and captivating book!

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