Published by Pocket Books on January 1st 2001
Genres: True Crime
Source: Owned Audible Book
MORE THAN 20 MILLION COPIES OFANN RULE'S BOOKS IN PRINT! In this unnerving collection drawn from her personal crime files, "America's best true-crime writer" (Kirkus Reviews) Ann Rule brilliantly dissects the convoluted love affairs that all too often end in violence.
Expertly analyzing a shocking, headline-making case, Rule unmasks the deadly motives inside a seemingly idyllic marriage: a beautiful young wife, a rising star in America's top-ranked computer corporation, and a prosperous husband, the scion of a family building business. With an adorable son and a gorgeous home, the couple seemed to have it all. But a furtive evil permeated their days and nights, dragging them into a murky world of drugs, sordid sex, and con operations. In this realm, one of them would prove to be a virtual innocent, the other a manipulator with no conscience. Sudden, violent death brought their charade of a fairy-tale romance to a tragic end -- with a brutal crime that might never have come to light were it not for the stubborn detectives and prosecutors whose fight for justice spanned an entire decade.
Empty Promises recounts several other cases where the search for love brought only lies and betrayal -- a cautionary primer, perhaps, for those who trust too much too soon. Powerful because they strike so close to home, the cases in Empty Promises will leave readers shaken by the realities of love gone terribly -- and fatally -- wrong.
I love audio books. In the author’s notes on the audio version of Joe Hill’s NOS4A2, he talks about how the first stories we learn are read to us. I listen to audio books when I’m in the car, shopping, and playing Candy Crush Soda Saga or Trivia Crack.
In typical book blogger fashion, I already have a tbr shelf just for audio books. Reviewing them is a bit more difficult, because I don’t take notes and I don’t always know how to spell the characters names. So these reviews will be a little different from my book reviews.
It occurs to me that I probably already read this book back when it came out in 2001. I went through a brief but prolific period in high school reading a lot of true crime. I’m still interested in it, and I watch the ID channel and Criminal Minds all the time, but it’s hard for me to read about because a lot of true crime glorifies the crime and the blood and gore. I just want the monsters to be caught.
Ann Rule did too. She was a tireless advocate for victim’s rights, a staunch supporter of law enforcement (although not blindly so), and she did her best to prevent future crimes.
Ann died July 26, 2015, and the world is worse off for not having her around. But we still have her books. Empty Promises had been on my Audible stack since 2014, so after I was done mourning, I decided to give it a listen.
Like her other Crime File books, there’s a main case that takes up the majority of the time, and then short case stories to round it out. One of those smaller cases is the one that inspired Ann Rule’s fiction book Possession, about a woman subjected to a very intense Stockholm Syndrome situation. Even though most of the cases featured here are from decades ago, it never fails to surprise me how evil and dangerous some people are, and how love can lead to murder.
My favorite, if you can call it that since this is a book about killers, is Young Love, about a young man unable to accept that his high school sweetheart no longer wants to be with him. She goes off to school, and he shows up with explosives to woo her over.
I’m going to miss Ann Rule, and I’m sad that her last year of life was marred with ill health and family issues (her sons were stealing money from her). I don’t know how much I’ll be reading True Crime in the future, but I’m sure I’ll be re-reading The Stranger Beside Me (Ann was friends with Ted Bundy- they worked together on a suicide hotline before he was unmasked as a serial killer), Small Sacrifices, And Never Let Her Go, and Dead By Sunset.
If you like true crime, but don’t want to focus on the investigation and the fight for justice, than Ann Rule is the writer you seek.
Laural Merlington is a new to me narrator, but she’s done a lot of books! I’m sure I’ll come across her narration again, and I won’t hesitate to buy it!