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review 2018-06-19 17:40
An Intimate Look at the Victims
Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer - Ann Rule

This was a really good true crime book, the main reason why I didn't give it five stars is that there was too much filler in here for me towards the end. A good 20 percent of this book could have deleted (after we get into the 1990s) since we all should know at this point that Ridgway (the Green River Killer) didn't get arrested until 2001 and was not convicted until 2003. Depending on the book I don't mind when Rule segues into the lives of the police officers who are responsible for apprehending these killers, this time though there was a lot of repetitiveness that ended up boring me to tears. 

 

"Green River, Running Red" is a look at the Green River Killer who murdered 71 women in Washington State in the 1980s and 1990s. Rule gives us an intimate look at these women and in some cases teens. We find out what drove many of them to the streets and how they got involved with prostitution. I find it appalling how little people seemed to care that prostitutes were being murdered. Ridgway purposely chose women in this profession since besides hating them, he thought no one would notice them going missing and if they did, would not care. Rule manages to have you feel nothing but sympathy for these women and their family who would not know for years or decades in some cases about what happened to their daughters/mothers/sisters. I loved that Rule added in pictures before she got into the history of each woman. I also found myself hoping for a different outcome once I got caught up in all of their lives. 

 

Rule smartly does not make Ridgway the focus of this book. Every couple of chapters or so we peek back in at Ridgway to see where he is in his life, but he is depicted as a malevolent ghost for most of the story before Rule goes into how he was finally apprehended. 

 

I do think in this case going into the Green River Task Force could have been cut way down in this final book. They really didn't find anything to go on with Ridgway for a long time, so reading about other suspects wasn't interesting. I also thought Rule carried the water for the police a bit too much in this book. She also weirdly takes potshots at Robert Keppel who enlisted Ted Bundy who provided some insights into the Green River Killer before his death. Keppel even wrote a book about it entitled "The Riverman". 

 

The ending of the book goes into Ridgway going out with law enforcement and finding the locations of other victims and him recounting how he murdered them.

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review 2018-06-19 17:26
A Look at a Real Life Point Break
The End Of The Dream The Golden Boy Who Never Grew Up : Ann Rules Crime Files Volume 5 - Ann Rule

So this was a welcome take from Rule's usual look at murderers and serial killers. Rule looks at the backstory behind a man who was responsible for robbing 17 banks in the Seattle area over a period of four years back in the 1990s. I weirdly found myself completely taken in by Rule's recounting of the childhood and later life of the man whose plan it was to rob banks, Scott Scurlock.

 

"The end of the Dream" talks about two families who were apparently destined to live in each other's pockets, the Scurlocks and the Meyers. Both families ended up settling in Reston, VA and from there two of the boys, Scott Scurlock and Kevin Meyers would be life long friends who seemed to follow each other all over. Rule obviously interviewed members of both families and from Kevin you start to get a sense that he realized that over time something in Scott became bent.

 

Scott seemed more intent on making sure he didn't have to work a "straight" job. He eventually moved from Virginia, Hawaii, and then to Washington State. While in Washington state he started to become a meth dealer. 

 

I wondered while reading how so many people obviously realized that something (not legal) was going on with Scott, but ignored all of the red flags that were being thrown up. I do laugh at Rule though, she always describes these people as being handsome, attractive to women, etc. and I saw pictures of Scurlock and just kind of shrugged.

 

When Rule goes into the rift that eventually happens between Kevin and Scott, and how Scott pulls in Kevin's brother and another long-time friend to start robbing banks you start to realize that this story is not about to have a happy ending.


Scott's plan to rob banks seemed pretty smart, but he obviously had a spending problem that needed fixed. Rule at one point asserts that he spent something like $300,000 in one year. Though you may start to have sympathy at a certain point for Scott, the way he treats women and others around you will start to turn you off. He seemed to have a sixth sense on how to draw people in and have them owe him favors. 

 

I thought Rule did a great job of showing the backstory to Steve Meyers (Kevin's brother) and Mark Biggins. These last two men Rule doesn't skimp on details. Both men get into bank robbing because they want their daughters to have a better life. I would of course respond that they would probably prefer their dads not doing something illegal.

Rule eventually gets to the tragic end of Scurlock and what happens to Meyers and Biggins. The book does falter in the end a bit as if Rule didn't quite know how she wanted to tie this up.


Rule provides details on the police which I would happily have preferred to be left out. I didn't care about the police hunting the robbers. It ended up reading as filler after a while and ruined the flow depicting Scurlock's chronology along with everyone else. 

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review 2018-06-14 19:07
Green River, Running Red by Ann Rule
Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer - Ann Rule

This was my first time reading Ann Rule and for the most part I liked it. First published in 2004, this was a book that took a long time to write because it took decades to solve the murder cases.

 

What I liked: Rule goes to great lengths to humanize the numerous victims. Each victim gets her back story told as well as when she was last seen. I liked how she also wrote in the killer's backstory/where abouts when the murders happened, so the reader was given a full view of events and how he was ultimately found. Rule also wrote the story in a way that helped the reader define each of the law enforcement personnel named in the story so that they didn't blend into one super cop. The world building of late 1970s/1980s Seattle was detailed enough to understand the community of that community. The detective work was interesting, especially as technology advanced in areas such as DNA testing.

 

What I didn't liked: First, Rule wrote herself into the story way too much - and Rule thinks Rule is amazingly awesome.....*eyeroll*. Although Rule and the police insist that the killer didn't have a type of victim he favored, it was clear he did after reading the third or fourth victim's back story - abusive home life, early drug use, teenage prostitution, etc. After reading 10 painful upbringing background leading to life on the streets stories, the victims start to blend in together despite Rule giving each victim their own spotlight. It didn't help that the backstory and abduction took place sometimes months prior to finding the bodies/skeletons. So the reader gets three or four victims' stories, then 20 or so pages later a body/bones are discovered. It makes for choppy reading. I think Rule also gives the county and small town police too much of a pass when they were definitely wrong/going in the wrong direction with the investigation - there was no analysis or criticisms but lengthy reasoning why law enforcement thought they were one the right track and how disappointed they were when they were proved wrong. She was just too friendly with the police to write with some distance that a more impartial writer would be.

 

I would be open to reading more from Rule, hopefully with a case that she has some distance on so that I don't have to read over and over again how awesome Rule is.

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review 2018-06-13 15:42
The Axeman of New Orleans: The (boring) True Story
The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story - Miriam C. Davis,Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I am DNFing this book. For a story about the axeman, it is so incredibly dull. The author has clearly done her homework but she's included too many sidelines that have nothing to do with the murders. If I wanted to learn about the origins of the Italian Mafia in New Orleans I would've picked up a different book.

 

This story was also one of the subplots in American Horror Story’s season of “Coven”. The "axeman" is the guy Jessica Lange gets cozy with. The gals over at MY FAVORITE MURDER also covered the case in one of their many disturbingly amusing podcasts. I’d say listen to that instead. Life's too short and stressful so I'm picking up something else rather than struggling to stay awake during this one.

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text 2018-05-30 22:25
May 2018 Reading Wrap Up
To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 - Adam Hochschild
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer - Michelle McNamara,Patton Oswalt,Gillian Flynn
The Case of the Missing Cross - Felicia Rogers
Alejandro's Sorceress: A Cardinal Witches Novella (The Cardinal Witches Book 1) - Alyssa Day
He's So Fine - Jill Shalvis

Bout of Books 22 jolted my reading and my NOOK is feeling lighter. Worked my way through some series and knocked out one WWI reading list book. I challenged myself to read 100 pages a day from Memorial Day to Labor Day (99 days if my math works); so far, so good. 

 

One week to the start of COYER Big Summer Birthday Bash (June 9th) and my base library's Summer Reading Program starts the 19th, but reading from the first of the month counts. 

 

Challenges:

BL/GR: 61 / 75

Pop Sugar: 3/50

BoB 22: 12; 607 pages read

SBTB GR Quarterly Challenge: 15/15 prompts filled a month before the challenge ends!

 

Read:

1. The Miner's Lady (Land of Shining Water #3) by Tracie Peterson - 3 stars

2. Harmony Cabins (Finding Home #2) by Regina Hart - 3.5 stars

3. When Snow Falls (Whiskey Creek #2) by Brenda Novak - 3.5 stars

4. He's So Fine (Lucky Harbor #11) by Jill Shalvis - 4 stars

5. To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild - 5 stars

6. Serpent's Kiss (The Beauchamp Family #2) by Melissa de la Cruz - 3 stars

7. White Witch (Texas Devlins #0.5) by Lyn Horner - 3 stars

8. Stardust (Circus Macabre #1) by Kristen Strassel - 2.5 stars

9. Katie and the Marshal (Montana Women #1) by Nancy Pirri - 3.5 stars

10. Pride of Africa (Hotel Safari #1) by Tori Knighwood - 1 star

11. Hunter of the Night (Lark Nation #0.5) by Clara Coulson - 3 stars

12. A Bride for Carlton (Sun River Brides #1) by Karla Gracey - 1 star

13. Mail Order Bride Amelia (Silver River Brides #1) by Karla Gracey - 4 stars

14. Valentine's Day at the Star and Sixpence (Star and Sixpence #1.5) by Holly Hepburn - 2 stars

15. Alejandro's Sorceress (Cardinal Witches #1) by Alyssa Day - 4 stars

16. Dialing Dreams (Sweethearts and Jazz #1) by Jessica Eissfeldt - 1 star

17. The Case of the Missing Cross (Justice and Miss Quinn #1) by Felicia Rogers - 4 stars

18. The Locked Room Murder (Bluebell Knopps #1) by Nancy McGovern - 2 stars

 19. I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara - 4 stars

 

DNF: None this month

 

 

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