- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Signet; First Signet Printing edition (October 1, 1976)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0451099974
- ISBN-13: 978-0451099976
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,800,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Prescription Murder Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1976
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*No fiction can match the horrors of the story this woman has to tell *Today Ann Kurth lives near Austin, Texas, hoping she is free at last from the nightmare that was her life. Just a short while ago she was a woman in love with her husband, Dr John Hill, a brilliant plastic surgeon. It was from the lips of this man that she learned how he had murdered his beautiful socialite first wife and possibly others who stood in the path of his greed and desires. It was in his hand that she saw the instrument of her own planned death. It was from his clutches that she escaped-later to hear of his savage murder at the hands of hired killers, a murder she questions as ever having happened. Now she tells the whole, incredible, nerve shattering story of this modern Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, who fed his monstrous ego on the love of helpless women, and used his brilliance and charm to serve the demonic forces that drove him. *PRESCRIPTION: MURDER
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The book starts by recounting John Hill's upbringing in hardscrabble rural Texas by a passive father and domineering mother. Both John and his younger brother Julian were intelligent and talented, so were able to escape to Houston for higher education and a better life. But when John abruptly married attractive, twice-divorced Joan Robinson, the rest of the family was shocked. Joan's father was an oil tycoon while Joan was an accomplished equestrian. In the meantime, handsome but reserved John didn't seem like a good match for her. Nevertheless, they had a child and John's career as a plastic surgeon blossomed.
The Hill's expensive home and seemingly good life soon soured as John resented his wife's obsession with show horses, her father's constant meddling in their affairs, and his own desire to see other women. In a chance encounter, John Hill met Ann Kurth, who was divorced and busy raising 3 children. After a whirlwind romance Hill decided to divorce Joan so be could marry Ann. But Joan and her father vowed to make life miserable for him for seeking a divorce. One day Joan fell ill and her condition worsened quickly. John downplayed her illness, but in a matter of days she was overcome by a massive infection of undetermined origin, and died at age 38.
What follows is how Ann Kurth and John married soon after, and for a brief period of time had an idyllic life. But that soon unraveled as a dark, menacing side of John emerged. Kurth soon suspected John Hill had deliberately killed his first wife, and may now be trying to kill her. The story covers in quite a bit of detail about the awful 6-month period of time that Ann Kurth and her children lived with Hill and feared him at every moment.
The book is quite interesting and does grab your attention. But one reason I only give it 3 stars is it's pretty unbalanced. There are excessive details about some incidents, and others are scarcely touched upon. Kurth also quotes some conversations at length, but I don't see how she could have obtained such conversations in such detail. There are also some hair-raising incidents mentioned at the end of the book that seem far-fetched to me. But, we only have Kurth's version of events in this book.
Some of the loose ends in the book involve her suspicions about other deaths that John Hill may have had a hand in. His brother Julian allegedly died of a suicide and his father died suddenly, which John joked about causing. A male acquaintance of Ann's that made John Hill jealous also died suddenly, as did a maintenance man who may have crossed paths with John Hill while he was planning Joan's death. But few details of the deaths are examined in this book.
Kurth did write a follow-up to Prescription Murder called 'Missing Pieces'. However, she died in 1990 without ever having it published. Despite any shortcomings, the book is worth reading if you are interested in the case of Joan Robinson-Hill's untimely death and the well-publicized events that followed.