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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Too Late to Say Goodbye: A True Story of Murder and Betrayal

My Achilles heel is Ann Rule. I just love the detail she includes in her books, and she picks cases that are borderline unreal. This is Too Late to Say Goodbye: A True Story of Murder and Betrayal.

In 2004, Jenn Corbin was living with her two sons and her husband, Bart, in a suburban Georgia home. To outsiders she had an ideal life, but the truth is her world was coming undone. Her husband was far from the man she believed she married, budgeting her down to the last penny and following her every move. One December morning her seven-year-old son finds her dead of a gunshot wound on her bed, and Bart's perfect life starts to unravel. Soon Jenn's "suicide" as it was staged to look like is connected to another suspicious suicide in Bart's past -- his ex-girlfriend from dental school. Both women died as they were trying to leave a relationship with Bart. Could their deaths, 15 years apart, be intricately related?

I remember this case as it happened not far from where I grew up, and it happened not long after I graduated from college. The players are like so many I know from my past life, and it was spooky reading about places I know well -- restaurants, roads, houses, and neighborhoods. But even more than all of this, Bart Corbin freaked me out (and still does). He is a classic sociopath, someone who cares so little for the pain and suffering of others and lives under the delusion that everyone would just simply believe him if he staged his wife's murder as a suicide. The best part was his genuine belief that no one would connect it to Dolly Hearn's death a decade and a half earlier. This book is, as this story is, such a crying shame--two lives taken with no apparent reason other than a man's pride. Those two lives ripple out to so many others', including their sons, mothers, fathers, and sisters and brothers.

What I love most about Ann Rule is that when she finds a good story she gives you all of it, soup to nuts. She is such an astounding writer that I often find myself waking up in the middle of the night thinking about the case I'm currently reading about. When she gets her hands on something, she makes sure to explicate it so clearly and magnificently, and you are privy to the inner lives of so many without even having to try. It's really a treat to read, and she has become my guilty pleasure as of late. I am spending the upcoming break from school with the first four of her true crime compilations...so happy reading, all!

For purchase below.

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