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review 2017-04-10 02:39
Unsatisfying Ending
Practice to Deceive - Ann Rule

I found this book endless. I was bored from beginning to end probably because Rule tries to fit way too many things into this book. I think it's cause the case she focuses on (the murder of Russell Douglas) does not have a satisfactory ending through as a reader you can put two and two together.


I thought the book zigzagged way too much. We start off with the dead man and Rule works backwards but also alludes to some things here and there about the dead man's wife. And then we jump to a way too in depth look at the investigation team. We then run and focus on a woman who seems to be one of the people behind the murder and her family history. I don't know if Rule wanted readers to feel sorry for this woman or it was something interesting​ to add or what. Rule even adds a mini family tree at the front of the book, but I still had a hard time keeping people separate.


I think this may be one of the shorter Rule books I have read, but I still wish some things have been cut.


Rule adds lots of colored photos in this book, and they were okay, but I wish she had left some of them out since it just felt like padding after a while.  

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review 2017-04-10 02:30
Sad look at women who trusted the wrong man
A Rose For Her Grave (Ann Rule's Crime Files Book 1) - Ann Rule

The centerpiece to this look at murder cases is Rule focusing on the case of Randy Roth. Rule calls him a modern day Bluebeard and the comparison is apt. 



Roth we find truly hates women and woos with the plan to marry them in order to collect their insurance.


The first case is set up in typical Rule fashion. She goes into Roth and his victims background. This book differs slightly due to the time between two victims and Roth's apparent plans for more in between. Roth focuses on the women in this case more than usual and I think it's because of Roth's hatred towards women. I did like how Rule got into how hard it was and still is for female police officers and prosecutors due to them being seen as "bitchy" or mean if they raise their voices. Due to the high stakes with Roth when he is brought to trial it was very insightful to get into everyone's heads for this one.


After the main case then Rule goes into five bonus cases. Not all ended satisfactory (bad guys brought to justice) or I just wished for more details. 

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review 2017-03-23 19:16
Strong Collection of True Crime Stories
You Belong to Me and Other True Cases (Ann Rule's Crime Files: Vol. 2) - Ann Rule

"You Belong to Me" starts off with a longer story and then the anthology showcases other true crime stories. I didn't think that some of them fit with the overall theme I got from the first one though which is one reason why I lowered it half a star. And then I lowered it another half star when I realized one of the stories appeared in another collection before, and some of the stories to me, in my opinion felt like filler. 


"You Belong to Me" (4 stars)-This story is heartbreaking. Rule traces one man whose dream was to be a Florida highway patrol officer and his young family. At first you wonder what is going on, until you realize that the man (Tim Harris) is odd and then you realize he is very very angry. This guy gave off so many red flags I was astounded that no one saw how on the edge he was until the very end. We then transition to Lorraine Dombroski Hendricks life and you start to feel uneasy about how she was going to end up meeting Harris. I think what gets me the most about this story is how everyone ignored all that was wrong with Harris cause he was a police officer. He ends up abusing and stalking his wife while seeing another woman and it's not until his wife's brother in law (also a police officer) steps in that she can get actually get some help.


"Black Christmas" (5 stars)- This is seriously heartbreaking. A family is murdered over a misunderstanding. I just can't even get more into it than that besides don't always open your door to deliverymen.


"One Trick Pony" (3 stars)-I swear I read this story in another Rule anthology because I had it down cold from beginning to end. That's the main reason why I gave it 3 stars. I hate it when authors do this. 


"The Computer Error and the Killer" (5 stars)-Once again this was heartbreaking. Because of one computer error a man who had no business being allowed out in the public after being found criminally insane. I just shake at the things that used to go down in the 1960s and the 1970s. I hope things have gotten better with tracking people. I hope. 


"The Vanishing" (3 stars)- This case was a bust. You find out what happened, which made me wonder why Rule even included it in this collection. 


"The Last Letter" (4 stars)-This whole true crime was just sad from beginning to end. One woman who put her life on hold for a guy who wasn't worth it, who in the end goes and kills her rather than have her find out how worthless he really was in the end. 

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review 2017-03-23 18:51
Sad End to a Family
If You Really Loved Me - Ann Rule

I remember watching the Lifetime movie for this when I was a kid and becoming quite fascinated with Clancy Brown's voice. At the time I didn't realize that the movie was based on a true story. "If You Really Loved Me" by Ann Rule shows how David Brown was able to manipulate his 14 year old daughter (Cinnamon) and his wife's teenage sister (Patti) in a plot that would ultimately end in Linda Brown's death.


I think what gets me most about true crime books is that you have to wonder sometimes how can people be this awful to another person and you shake your head at the evidence that comes out via the investigators, forensics, and witnesses. 


I think the thing that gets me the most is that I thought that David Brown was very much a predator of children and it's terrible that was glossed over in a way by a lot of people that should have had some warning signs going off when a 20 year old guy was hanging out with pre-teens. I just can't imagine something going on like that today and one one saying a word. 


I have read Ann Rule's books before so they can get formulaic after a while. She tends to start with the crime for the most part and then jumps back to victim and murders beginnings. She adds in details from witnesses she talked to or even from the court cases she has sat in and gleaned from testimony. Then shes does this all over again with the police and those in the prosecution office and sometimes with the defense. Sometimes some of the detail tends to overwhelm you if you don't know exactly what she is talking about, but I found that she tries to break her writing down so a layman can follow.


What made this book so fascinating and what I can't recall if they showed in the Lifetime tv movie was that when David Brown gets sent to jail and is held for bail he digs his hole even deeper. You have to wonder about this man's intelligence when you read about what his plans were for getting out of the trouble he was in. 


She apparently updated this book at some point, cause there were several "endings" so to speak where she explains what happened to David Brown, Cinnamon Brown, Patti Bailey, and other people we are introduced to in this book.  


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text 2017-03-23 00:43
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
If You Really Loved Me - Ann Rule

Sometimes I get in a true crime mood. I recall watching the Lifetime movie about this when I was a kid. The whole case is tragic.

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