Living with the Devil by Lori and Cindy Hart

A chilling family life     

My rating:  4 out of 5     

This is an always fascinating, at times chilling, memoir of the authors’ lives.  Lori and Cinliving-with-the-devildy Hart were born into an “ordinary” American family, but this all changed when their mother moved in with the man she had been having an affair with.  The authors describe their new, very  unusual, living arrangements and refer to their stepfather as a sociopath, whose behaviour, which started off as being described as a little odd, gradually turns nasty and very frightening.  They describe many incidents that took place when they were growing up, not directly attributing all of them to their stepfather, but the reader is left in no doubt as to whom they suspect the perpetrator to be.  For example an incident is described when the hot water heater mysteriously had a hole poked through it, causing the basement to flood and become electrically charged.  2 of the children’s bedrooms were in the basement.

In the book Lori and Cindy accuse their stepfather of the murders of 4 people – none of which he has been convicted of.  There are also stories about his life as an attorney and deceptions they allege he carried out during this career.    If this was not a memoir, I would say that the events described are unbelievable, however the events portrayed in the book seem very believable and disturbing.

I found Lori and Cindy’s story a gripping and unsettling read about what it was like to live with a stepfather who was not “rational, logical or reasonable“.  It is a well written, and easy to follow book, that puts the facts as they see them; describing incidents that are needed to get their story across, but not going into unnecessary details. It shows how, despite all that was going on, the siblings stayed loyal to each other, giving support to each other (and their mother) as their stepfather’s actions spiralled out of control.

For readers interested in (alleged) true crime stories of the modern day this is a “must read”.  The version of the book I read was published in March 2016, there are many internet references to the authors’ stepfather dated later than this publication date.

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