Tuesday, 16 February 2010

One down in February!

OK, so one down, many more to go! I finally finished The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule, which was a bit of a mission as it was a big book!

Here is my review:

Yes, I did - ordered it from Green Met but hasn't arrived yet :wails: Hopefully it will come today.

I've just finished The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule (kindly recommended by Frankie) and this was my review.


Description: Ann Rule was a writer working on the biggest story of her life, tracking down a brutal mass-murderer. Little did she know that the young man who was her close friend was the savage slayer she was hunting. Ted Bundy was everyone's picture of a natural 'winner' - handsome, charming, brilliant in law school, successful with women, on the verge of a dazzling career. On January 24, 1989 Ted Bundy was executed for the murders of three young women; he subsequently confessed to taking the lives of a least thirty-five more young women, coast to coast. This is his story - the story of his magnetic power, his unholy compulsion, his demonic double life, and his string of helpless victims. It was written by a woman who thought she knew Ted Bundy, until she began to put all the evidence together, and the whole terrifying picture emerged...

REVIEW: The Stranger Beside Me is a work of non-fiction by acclaimed crime writer Ann Rule. Much of her work depicts real life crimes that she has been commisioned to research and write about. This book was massively different to her other works, as she actually knew the subject committing the crimes, the infamous Ted Bundy, who confessed to killing over 30 young women across 5 cities in America.

Ann Rule met Ted Bundy whilst working on a crisis line in Seattle, and then became firm friends. As Rule points out at regular intervals in the earlier chapters, Bundy was not the kind of person she could ever imagine committing the crimes he did. Bundy was the voice behind the crisis line, saving lives on occasions, which is eerily ironic considering he was reported to have possibly killed over 100 women. This book flits between chapters of Rule's relationship with Bundy, his childhood and life prior to the killings, and the details surrounding the disappearances and discoveries of the deceased women. Eventually the two are tied in together with Rule talking about the communication she had with Bundy whilst in was in jail waiting to go on trial/sentenced and her mixed feelings about supporting an old friend.

I enjoyed reading this book, as I didn't know much about Bundy prior to seeking the book out. Ann Rule is very good at putting you in Bundy's world to the best of her ability and there is a lot of descriptions of the legal fights Bundy took on when he defended himself and subsequent pleas of retrials to avoid Death Row. It was interesing to read how an accomplished, intelligent and attractive young man was able to lead a perfectly "normal" life beyond his crimes and his interactions with every day people.

Ann Rule doesn't profess to be a psychiatrist or psychologist and doesn't make wild assumptions about the reasoning behind Bundy's mental state, although she does speculate as to why he was lead into a life or murdering towards the end of the book.

I would recommend this book for anybody wishing to studying murder, or indeed serial murder, or those that are interested in how someone seemingly normal can be anything but.


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