But as the recent Amanda ‘Foxy Knoxy’ Knox case proves, that’s not the case — making Emma Flint’s debut novel sharply relevant.
Set in 1965, it tells the story of suburban wife and mother Ruth Malone.
When her two children go missing from the family’s New York apartment and are later found dead, her refusal to show grief arouses suspicion and quickly establishes her as prime suspect.
Her excessive drinking, heavy make-up, cocktail waitressing job and multiple extra-marital flings see her condemned in the eyes of investigating detectives, journalists and the public.
Among those watching Ruth’s every move is tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke, who is torn between condemnation and obsession.
Newcastle-born author Flint was inspired by the 1965 case of Alice Crimmins, whose brassy looks resulted in trial by media 50 years ago.