I thought that A Delusion of Satan was perhaps the best book on the Salem Witch Trials that I have ever read. I learned *tons* from this book, and it really expanded my impression of what these trials were, and of what society was like in Massachusetts during this time.
It also renewed my interest in my own family tree, and made me wonder if my Massachusetts Puritan ancestors would have experienced the frenzy of these times, or would have had freinds, family, or neighbors swept up in these events, too. The book also gave me some historical context as I work on my family tree from this time period.
This book was well written, informative, and it almost read more like a novel than like a history lesson. I could see true crime buffs finding enjoyment out of this book just as easily as history buffs could. The only thing that I wasn't so impressed with with regard to A Delusion of Satan is that the author did try to draw parallels between the wave of recovered memories of sex abuse that many people experienced many years ago and the frenzy of these witch hunts and subsequent trails. In my opinion, the comparison was not apt, and I'm sure that a much closer comparison could be made now between the witch trials and the hunt for terrorists, but this book was written well before September 11, 2001. I would not say that the author was guilty of overkill with these comparisons, but I did find them to be misplaced, and frankly, unnecessary, in this story.
This was a very informative, well written, interesting book, and I'd not hesitate to recommend it to anyone interested in these particular events, history, religion, criminal justice, psychology, or true crime. A Delusion of Satan is an excellent read.