by Sukey HowardApril, 1998
If this were a novel, most readers and listeners would dismiss it as too far-fetched, too cruelly savage. Yet, the bizarrely awful happenings that Ann Rule, noted narrator of true crime, details in Bitter Harvest (4 hours) are all too real. On an October night in 1995 in an affluent Kansas City suburb, the luxurious home of Dr. Debora Green and her husband, Dr. Michael Farrar, went up in flames. Two of their three children died in the fire. The events that led up to this catastrophe, Debora's gradual decline, the disintegration of the marriage, and the denial on all sides of the extent of their troubles, makes for compelling listening. Mary Beth Hurt's finely tuned reading makes this modern day Medea, and the people she destroyed, palpably real.
Reviewed by Sukey Howard.