It’s a chilling reality that homicide investigators know all too well: The last face most murder victims see is not that of a stranger, but of someone familiar. Whether only an acquaintance or a trusted intimate, such killers share a common trait that triggers the downward spiral toward death for someone close to them: They are masters at hiding who they really are. Their clever masks let them appear safe, kind, and truthful. They are anything but - and almost no one can detect the murderous impulses buried deep in their psyches.
These doomed relationships are the focus of Ann Rule’s 16th Crime Files collection. In these shattering inside views of both headlined and little-known homicides, Rule speaks for vulnerable victims who relied on the wrong people. She begins with two startling novella-length investigations.
In July 2011, a billionaire’s Coronado, California, mansion was the setting for two horrifying deaths only days apart - his young son’s plunge from a balcony and his girlfriend’s ghastly hanging. What really happened? Baffling questions remain unanswered, as these cases were closed far too soon for hundreds of people; Rule looks at them now through the eyes of a relentless crime reporter. The second probe began in Utah when Susan Powell vanished in a 2009 blizzard. Her controlling husband, Josh, proved capable of a blind rage that was heartbreakingly fatal to his innocent small sons almost three years later in a tragedy that shocked America as the details unfolded. If anyone had detected the depth of depravity within Josh Powell, perhaps the family that loved and trusted him would have been saved.
In these and seven other riveting cases, Ann Rule exposes the twisted truth behind the facades of Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors.
©2013 Ann Rule (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Based on facts.
The inner evil contained in the hearts of human beings.
I enjoy everything that Ann Rule writes. Would love to see some movies based on her stories.
The first case had so many details. It was shocking and unbelievable. I haven't been so engrossed in a true crime story before. Great Job Ann on the detail and investigation. That story originally disgusted me.....but wow...it makes me want justice for the victims more than ever....even though that obviously won't happen now.
Great book. I have suggested to friends already. You won't be disappointed.
Narrator was ok...
struggled to listen because narrators voices were comical, most stories not interesting except first one.
I always find that Ann Rule has a great way to recreate true crime stories, but unfortunately, this can all be lost if the narration is sub par. I personally could not deal with the overly dramatic interpretations as the voices of little kids, frightened victims, authority, etc.
This is probably the 3rd of top 5 true crime books I've EVER read...this was my first Ann Rule.
Laural Merlington does a job with the narration that I can just not put into words, except for saying (as shed change into different character voices-especially suspects) IT WAS DOWN RIGHT CHILLING!
No I have not. I can only wonder how I've gone this many books (17) without her narration! The woman is amazing!
Narrators ability to catch all tones of all personalities was just a wonder in and of itself! I would and am going back to more Ann Rule just to listen to Merlington play out the characters!!
if you're the type that wants to read a book that will leave you paralyzed with fear, as apparently I am, this will do the trick.
Adore true crime, mystery--a story of fact, full of twists that are fair and keep me challenged and a step behind the gifted writer.
As much as her research is hard-sought and extensive, I'm finding that Ann Rule's novels have started to feel formula-driven and lacking in variation except for the names and places. Fatal Friends.is no exception in a rapid procession of releases of true accounts that start to overlap and merge into one fairly forgettable story. But "The Stranger Beside Me" and "Small Sacrifices" are well-written and distinctive portrayals of ice cold killers, the first of whom was once considered a good friend of the author, the 2nd a marvel at manipulation and bearing a striking resemblance to recent Jodi Arias. One of the things I admire about true crime writers is the honor they bestow on the victims and the families who might otherwise disappear as news stories fade., If the writing is good--if the entertainment sustains our interest, we are informed and we certainly do get to know the human beings and the lives of those forever impacted by the crimes--of people like Ted Bundy and Diane Downs I'm sorry this review has veered off the actual audio book and into examples of what I like from Ann Rule. Sorry--I hope it's helpful in some way. What I really hope is that the author considers releasing a new version of "Small Sacrifices" with a narrator other than herself who is just terrible at it. Almost ruins the enjoyment of the story. If she would have Kevin Pierce, for example, narrate a new version, now THAT would do the work justice. I'd definitely buy it again and give it another try. This book? If the routine style of her narratives appeals, then it's worth it. If you're spoiled by Jack Olsen like I am, I don't recommend it.
The shallow character development and repetitive sentence structure. Doesn't set this story apart from another...
Laura is okay -- much better than Ann Rule narrating herself. But there's a tone that almost over-acts at times that I don't see at all in the very good narrators like Kevin Pierce who vary it up enough yet don't attempt to make themselves the star, only to enhance the enjoyment of someone else's creation. The biggest (best) thing is when you know Kevin Pierce is paying attention to the words he's reading... he's right inside the story with us.
The unnecessary adverbs ... just simple adjectives if they're original once and a while is plenty to give a good picture .... not so much flowery vocabulary that's trite.
Small Sacrifices with a new narrator But if the formula that usually defines her stories works, then I'm sure it's a good choice. I think I've been spoiled by Jack Olsen. Before that, Truman Capote. At least Jack Olsen came along
Ann rule does an amazing job telling the back story of all the people involved
The victim. So loving and too giving.
Wish Ann Rule would do us fans the honor of narrating one of her own books:-)
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