Ann Rule's recent passing was very sad for me, as I was hoping to one day get her to write my own true crime story (in conjunction with my Dateline episode). Alas, that is not to be. On vacation recently I picked up Volume 4 of her crime files, In the Name of Love.
I think the thing that I love most about Ann Rule's Crime Files is that it gives me access to several stories at once; one longer one and several short ones. It gives me a wide range for my murder-and-mayhem fix. The short story, "The Most Dangerous Game," was one of the most affecting stories I had read in a long time. Two young girls think they befriend a man in the woods, only to play, quite literally, the most dangerous game to stay alive. I still shiver when I think about it. Ann has this way of starting her stories so that they sound like great intros to a television show, and I think that's a part of why I keep coming back to her books.
In, "The Killer Who Never Forgot...or Forgave," I found myself actually questioning my own sanity. A woman and her baby are strangled in their own home while her husband and older child slept in the next room. How is that even possible? Well, you know how that's possible, folks. The bigger question is: Why did he do it? The thing with Ann's stories is that they are very rarely whodunit's. Don't come into these books thinking you are going to get a thriller. Instead, you are going to get more of a psychological study as to what the motives are behind why people kill. (My favorite!)
The main story of jealousy and intrigue was about Jerry Harris, a wealthy man who married a younger woman, only to find himself murdered in cold blood. Except this isn't the kind of story you think it is. Jerry and Susan were actually in love, and there was never a question that she was a grieving widow on a mission so solver her husband's murder, come hell or high water. As Ann digs into the case (as solved, of course, by investigators), we see a complex web of jealousy and greed. Can you really trust your friends? Are you sure about that?