Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mystery/Crime Reviews - Ann Rule and Anne Perry

Be careful who you trust. . .

Ann Rule
Don't Look Behind You




These are based on true stories. . .

A divorced father disappears after befriending two sharks: a woman and her daughter. They cruise the male world looking for a means to get rich without actually having to work. . . One daughter suspects something is amiss in the tale the two women provide to the police. 

A wife of a man who abuses her and threatens the children is gone without a trace.  The husband says she left him and the children to run away with another man. . .everyone believes him, almost. He tells the children she didn't care about them. Another cold case is logged. Several decades later, the dirty facts surface.

One section of the book includes several rape crime stories. A common theme flows through them all: be careful who you trust and always be aware of your vulnerability in any given situation. Avoid being distracted or alone in less populated areas after dark. Anyone can be a victim. 


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Anne Perry
Silence in Hanover Close
A Victorian Mystery






One man is murdered in his own home and several objects are missing from the room. Did an enemy or a friend commit robbery and murder? The killer came and went in the daylight in an exclusive neighbourhood. . .an inside job?

Pitt, the detective sent to deal with this cold case encounters hostility and distrust when dealing with the family. No one will look him in the eye. . . he must get someone to infiltrate the dinner gatherings and listen for clues. In the Victorian era, the social code was strictly enforced. A person needed connections, as well as poise, and social background to attend a society dinner, someone like his wife, Charlotte. She would be able to get an invite and blend in with the other guests.

Pitt takes care of the footwork and interviews the staff, while his wife tries to get inside knowledge of what occurred before the murder. There is one common thread voiced by the few that were interviewed by Pitts - an elusive lady in red. Who was she? 

I preferred the less-journalistic format and the Victorian time period of this second story. I read these two books as part of my research on characters. I would likely read Perry again.

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Do you read mysteries or do you prefer the adrenalin rush of thrillers?  What about true crime stories? Do you read to research?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by! I'll be posting a few more book reviews in the coming weeks: Diana Gabaldon, Jack Kerouac, and Christopher Moore. I'm trying to catch up on book reviews, before I let myself start a new book.

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27 comments:

  1. I occasionally read thrillers, but I prefer the stories to be fiction. I get enough scary reality in the news.

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    1. My thoughts exactly, Alex. Reality gives us lots of examples of how low the depraved human mind can go.

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  2. I love Ann Rule. I was bummed she passed away. She lived in Washington and wrote about Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgeway. This book you reviewed sounds great. I like true crime.

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    1. A couple of her cases kept me awake with the details. . .I knew she wrote about several well known killers. Too bad about her passing, but she left a legacy of work for fans like yourself.

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  3. Hi DG - I started with mysteries when I was in my teens and then moved on to thrillers - before really stopping altogether.

    Both these books sound fascinating reads - something I'd probably pick up somewhere to read - not to buy ...

    I enjoy hearing about cold cases and seeing what can be found etc ...

    It appears Rule had a very sorry life ... and lots could be written (no doubt in due time) about that.

    Thanks for these two new to me authors ... cheers Hilary

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    1. The technology for uncovering those facts is much better now, which explains why so many cold cases are easier to solve now than when they murders occurred. Some people are motivated to do what Rule did, by something that happens to them, or their loved ones.

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  4. I love mysteries. My grandmother read every Agatha Christie on the shelves.

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    1. 'Poirot' is a fave of mine, with his twirly little moustache.

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  5. I've traveled all over for book signings and speaking engagements and would often leave when it's dark. I'm always careful of my surroundings and try to leave with someone else. I don't want to be a story in a book like Don't Look Behind You.

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    1. Neither do I, LDW, women have to be cautious. I go with my gut instinct for safety. If it feels iffy, it probably is.

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  6. I write murder mysteries, but true crime is usually hard to digest. The stories are so gruesome and affect me too deeply. Ann Rule was a favorite though. We moved to Tacoma, WA in 1981 - so glad they caught him before then, but we were there when the Green River Killer was active. Such horrific men!

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    1. I think the Green River killer is mentioned in Rule's book. But it's not only men, there are horrific women in this book as well. . .

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  7. I'm totally a thriller gal. Mysteries are meh. Get my blood pumping, you've got my allegiance.

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    1. To each his own, and you can read most of them for me, too. Thrillers sometimes seem much too real, especially when they highlight the delicacy of the human mind and what it can imagine.

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  8. I'm scared by real life crime stories - they always seem to be so much worse than people can make up!

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    1. In the town where I grew up, a woman managed to poison several men, some of them husbands. And all of them ate at her restaurant. She was finally caught, and showed little remorse. . .

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  9. It's disquieting how many people there are in the world who do nothing but bad. True crime is always more shocking...to think something like this actually happened. I love 'em all--thriller (especially psychological), crime, mystery (especially cozy mystery)...Well, I like to read practically everything (but especially any stories set in Paris as you know D.G.) :-)

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    1. Like Natural Born Killers? Any story set in Paris catches my eye, too.

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  10. I read an Ann Rule book for a book group once. Creeped me out. It really doesn't help when it's true story. Similar to Alex's comment, I get enough detail from when I can bring myself to watch or read the news. I guess, fiction or true story, I'm not much of a thriller person. I much prefer a good mystery...that's fiction!

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    1. I guess I'm of the same ilk. Her books reminded me of the detective mags my mother used to read. Give me Poirot, I liked his little 'grey matter' solutions.

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  11. I like both mysteries and thrillers, but it depends on my mood. Silence in Hanover Close is going onto my tbr list, though.

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    1. That one is part of a series, Misha, and I'd like to read more of the stories about Pitt and Charlotte - the woman who left her social strata for a policeman she loved.

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  12. I've never been huge on murder mysteries (or thrillers, for that matter, we prefer horror and comedy of course), but like you, I think I'd prefer Perry's style and time period/location to Rule's. Plus, when I read, I want to read fiction, to escape in somewhere/something that's pure imagination. I'm not huge on true stories, especially when they're grisly rapes/murders.

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    1. Yes, I agree. Those true crimes aren't something I read a lot. I prefer the mysteries as well. They seldom use chainsaws to get rid of a body, usually it's poison a knife, or a gun. . .

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  13. I do love mysteries and thrillers. I read half of one of Anne Rules' books once. I wasn't in the mood for the story though and stopped reading it.

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    1. I understand why. . it's like an in-depth newspaper look at the slimy side of life.

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  14. Mysteries are so much fun. I love reading closely to pick up the clues, and especially love when I can't figure out who the killer is! Thanks for the reviews! :)

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