Saturday, January 1, 2011

True Crime and Ann Rule

Every Breath You Take: A True Story of Obsession, Revenge, and Murder by Ann Rule
Weight: 12 oz
Method of Disposal: Donated to the AKF

I tend to inherit Ann Rule books from my stepmother. She reads everything the woman comes out with, but she is not interested in clutter so she passes the books on just as soon as she completes them. I am not sure that I had ever heard of Ann Rule before I met my stepmother. That is pretty impressive since she is the most well-known true crime author around.

I have mixed feelings about true crime that grows less mixed as I get older. I am not sure if I should have so much insight into all the violence. At what point do I cross the line between natural interest, education, and compassion to using tragedy as entertainment?

This book is somewhat unusual in that the woman who died told her friends to contact Ann Rule to write her story if her ex killed her. She knew it would probably happen. How painful and hopeless to know in your heart that you will be murdered but to not know when or how it will be done. This is one of the many horrors of domestic violence. I think that is where the value of this little mass market paperback lays. It shows the world how serious, how scary, and deadly it really is to be in an abusive relationship. It shows people how dangerous it can be to leave the relationship that is killing you. It forces the reader to recognize a very real problem in the world. There are other ways to get this information, but this book may get to people who are not looking for it. I hope it does. The book does not offer information about dv outside this one woman’s experience so its lesson only goes so far, but it is there.

Ann Rule books are not the type you read again. I am always surprised I made it through it—not due to her writing or research, but because of the terrible things she writes about. I am passing it on now, as I should have done long ago.

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