Starvation Heights

  • by Gregg Olsen
  • Narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck
  • 13 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1911 two wealthy British heiresses, Claire and Dora Williamson, came to a sanitorium in the forests of the Pacific Northwest to undergo the revolutionary fasting treatment of Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard. It was supposed to be a holiday for the two sisters. But within a month of arriving at what the locals called Starvation Heights, the women were emaciated shadows of their former selves, waiting for death. They were not the first victims of Linda Hazzard, a quack doctor of extraordinary evil and greed who would stop at nothing short of murder to achieve her ambitions.
As their jewelry disappeared and forged bank drafts began transferring their wealth to Hazzards accounts, Dora Williamson sent a last desperate plea to a friend in Australia, begging her to save them from the brutal treatments and lonely isolation of Starvation Heights.
In this true story, a haunting saga of medical murder set in an era of steamships and gaslights, Gregg Olsen reveals one of the most unusual and disturbing criminal cases in American history.


What the Critics Say

“A fascinating turn-of-the-century story of medical malpractice and murder. If you liked The Alienist, you'll find Starvation Heights all the more gripping because this story is true.” (Michael Connelly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A chilling true story told very well

This audio book gripped me from the start, based on a true story and incredibly well researched, this is an oftentimes chilling tale but in no way sensationalised. The narration is unobtrusive, not in the least bit annoying or over-dramatic (as some can be). I highly recommend this audio book.
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- Anne

Really good, fascinating historical true crime

Would you consider the audio edition of Starvation Heights to be better than the print version?

Don't know, only have experience of the audio version

What was one of the most memorable moments of Starvation Heights?

The scene where Dora crawls from her bedroom to Claire's and is so emaciated her knees bleed.

Which character – as performed by Jennifer Van Dyck – was your favourite?

She performed all the characters well, but my favourite was Linda Burfield Hazzard, because I really got the sense of her dominating controlling character.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I felt very sad for the sisters that they could be so easily misled. They seemed to be very vulnerable, although both in their 30's when they had the misfortune to come across Linda Burfield, they were dangerously naive

Any additional comments?

This is a fascinating story and demonstrates what a person can get away with when they have a cunning nature, false title and a complete lack of compassion. I think over time Linda Burfield actually believed her own spin. I find it absolutely incredible that this women managed to hoodwink so many and operate as a 'doctor' over such a long period.

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- Suzy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 30-04-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios