Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors

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Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors

Ann Rule's Crime Files Volume 16

Ann Rule is probably one of THE best true crime writers getting published today. None of her books have ever been a disappointment, and her newest collection of true crime stories – Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors – is just another book in which she excels as a true crime writer. I am a huge fan of Ann Rule and have enjoyed reading her books (as well as those of her daughter) so I was very excited at the opportunity to review her newest book. Some of these stories were heartbreaking – such as what happened to Susan Powell and her children, as well as two other stories where children were either raped or murdered – but I am glad their stories have been told in this book. There were so many things I did not know about certain cases as well as knowing about certain cases themselves and I am grateful that Ann Rule took the time to write about these people who are no longer with us.

The nine cases in this book are stories when people we thought we could trust, even love, turn around and commit terrible crimes. There is the Josh and Susan Powell case, as well as cases of jealous or angry boyfriends and ex-husbands exacting revenge on former significant others or people they come across. There’s also some unsolved cases in this book, though readers are given so many clues and exact quotes that one can’t help but drawing conclusions on one’s own. The first two cases in this book are quite lengthy, but definitely worth reading. I am glad that Mrs. Rule went through with telling such a long story. She leaves no stone unturned and her skills as an investigative reporter really show as she unravels the cases from start to finish.

Reading some of these stories was like getting caught up in a good mystery, though just when I thought I had something figured out, a surprising twist came about and the story became all the more shocking and gripping to read. I really could not put this book down. If you enjoy reading true crime or want to read stories where a trusted friend or neighbor lives up to the saying of how “you never really know someone,” then definitely check out this book. Reading it to the end would make a reader think twice before trusting certain people so easily.

Book Blurb for Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors


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 sixteenth all-new 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 façades of Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors.

Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2013 5.00