Books from the Backlog: Practice to Deceive by Ann Rule

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf or e-reader unread. If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link at Carole’s Random Life, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.


This week's neglected book:

Practice to Deceive by Ann Rule
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published October 8th, 2013 by Gallery Books

In Practice to Deceive, her first book-length investigative chronicle since In the Still of the Night, Rule unravels a shattering case of Christmastime murder off the coast of Washington State. presented with the clarity, authority, and emotional depth that Rule's readers expect. It's a case with enough drama, greed, sex, and scandal to be called "The Real Housewives of Whidbey Island"; but this was not reality television. This was murder: pure, cruel, ugly, and senseless. And someone had to pay the price.

Nestled in Puget Sound, Whidbey Island is a gem of the Pacific Northwest. Accessible only by ferry and the soaring Deception Pass Bridge, it is known for its artistic communities and stunning natural beauty. Life there is low-key, insular, and the island's year-round residents tend to know one another's business. But when the blood-drenched body of Russel Douglas was discovered the day after Christmas in his SUV in a hidden driveway near Whidbey's most exclusive mansions, the whole island was shocked. A single bullet between his eyes was the cause of death, but no one could imagine who among them could plot such a devious, cold-blooded crime. At first, police suspected suicide, tragically common at the height of the holiday season. But when they found no gun in or near the SUV, Russel's manner of death became homicide. Like a cast of characters from a classic mystery novel, a host of Whidbey residents fell under suspicion.

Brenna Douglas was Russel's estranged and soon-to-be-ex wife, who allowed him to come home for a Christmas visit with their children. The couple owned the popular Just B's salon. Brenna's good friend Peggy Sue Thomas worked there, and Brenna complained often to her that Russel was physically and emotionally abusive. Peggy Sue's own life has been one of extremes. Married three times, hers is a rags-to-riches-and-back-again tale in which she's played many roles: aircraft mechanic, basketball coach, the "drop-dead gorgeous vamp"; beauty queen as a former Ms. Washington, Las Vegas limousine driver, million-dollar horse breeder, wealthy divorcee. But in 2003, her love affair with married guitarist Jim Huden led the two Whidbey Island natives to pursue their ultimate dreams of wealth and privilege; even at the expense of human life.

Unravel the tangled web woven by Russel Douglas's murder in Practice to Deceive, the newest heart pounding true-crime tour de force from Ann Rule.

Why did I add Practice to Deceive to my bookshelf?

Ann Rule is my favorite author of true crime and I’ve read almost all her books. Her Crime Files series and her standalone books are well worth the read. My mom read all her books and over the years we would borrow each other’s books. My mom read this one and said it was okay and didn’t say more. I’m pretty sure I purchased Practice to Deceive when it was released, so it’s been sitting on my shelf for about five years. We were both very sad to learn that Ann Rule passed away in July of 2015 at the age of 83.

Did you know that Ann Rule’s close friend was Ted Bundy? She had no idea that he was the brutal mass murderer that the police were hunting for? If you’re interested in reading about true crime I would recommend starting with her books.

With more than 50 million copies of her thirty-four books in print, from The Stranger Beside Me, her chilling personal account of knowing Ted Bundy, to fourteen hardcover books, including Small Sacrifices; Green River, Running Red, Too Late to Say Goodbye and sixteen collections in her #1 bestselling Crime Files series, "Ann Rule is without a doubt America's best true-crime writer" (Kirkus Reviews).

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book or any books by Ann Rule?

10 comments:

  1. Ugh what?! That's scary about Ann Rule being Ted Bundy's friend. What a terrible friend to have though. yikes. I've never heard of Ann Rule but it sounds like you are a fan. I haven't read too many crime novels except that Robert Galbraith's Cormoran Strike just keeps getting better I hear, so I can't wait to read her latest Lethal White. Thanks for visiting

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're the second person today that has mentioned the Cormoran Strike series. I've only heard of the first book, The Cuckoo's Calling. The person who mentioned it said they were starting on the fourth book Lethal White. I'm going to add the first book to my list.

      Oh my, I could only imagine how Ann Rule felt when she discovered who her friend really was.

      Have a great day Jackie.

      Delete
  2. I've read only one true crime book, but I like to watch the true crime shows so I do find it fascinating. Too bad she passed away. Hopefully you will get into this one when you get the chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also enjoy watching true crime shows. Forensic Files & The First 48 are my favorites to watch. Thank you Sophia, I do hope I like it.

      Delete
  3. I went through a period where I was reading a lot of true crime. I haven't picked up a true crime book in years. This one does sound really interesting and I do want to read Ann Rule's work at some point. I had no idea that she was friends with Ted Bundy...I can't even imagine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be so strange to have a friend and not know. She did write a book about her friendship, The Stranger Beside Me. I do hope you have a chance to read at least one of her books. Thanks for hosting Books from the Backlog Carole.

      Delete
  4. I haven't read this author before--but now I want to take a look aa her back list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is great Catherine, she has many to pick from if you're interested.

      Delete
  5. I have heard such good things about Ann Rule over the years and kept meaning to give her a try. I don't read true crime very often though, and so her books always keep being pushed down my to read list. One of these days! This one sounds really interesting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for my mother who introduced me to Ann Rule books, for the longest time her books are the only that I've read. Have a great day and I do hope you pick up one of her books in the future.

      Delete