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Kiss Me, Kill Me: Ann Rule's Crime Files Vol. 9 Mass Market Paperback – November 30, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rule's true-crime books are cautionary tales, police procedurals, character studies and guilty pleasures. This ninth installment in her Crime Files series features a haunting collection of 10 cases, most of which took place in Washington and Oregon in the 1960s and '70s. They are stories about love and obsession turned deadly, and they remain relevant today, especially in the light of the Scott Peterson trial. The title entry, about the murder of a pregnant young wife, was finally solved after 36 years thanks to DNA testing. Drawn out for 133 pages, it loses some of its impact because it also encompasses other cold cases that were eventually solved through advances in forensic science. Another story depicts the first modern-day serial killer, who preyed on aspiring starlets in 1950s Hollywood, and explains how the detective who cracked the case went on to create a nationwide tracking system to apprehend serial killers. If there's a running theme, it's that most of the victims are women who were acquainted with their killers but had no fear of them; three cases involve husbands murdering their wives. Rule displays immense empathy for the slain women without flinching from describing the often brutal assaults on them. Few true-crime authors write as thoroughly and sensitively as Rule, whose work is simple and straightforward yet as compelling as a good novel.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Ann Rule is the author of thirty New York Times bestsellers, all of them still in print. Her first bestseller was The Stranger Beside Me, about her personal relationship to infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. A former Seattle police officer, she knows the crime scene firsthand. For more than two decades, she has been a powerful advocate for victims of violent crime. She lives near Seattle. Visit her at AuthorAnnRule.com.
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Product Details

  • Series: Ann Rule's Crime Files (Book 9)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (November 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671691392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671691394
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #869,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am an author of true-crime books, and I'm now working on my 25th and 26th: NO REGRETS and TOO LATE TO SAY GOODBYE. I have lived in the Seattle Area for many years. Before that, I grew up in Michigan and Pennsylvania, and lived in Texas, Oregon, and near Niagara Falls, N.Y. I always wanted to be a police officer--because my grandfather was a sheriff in Michigan. I joined the Seattle Police Department when I was 21, worked a year and a half, but then I couldn't pass the eye test. After five years of rejection slips, I finally sold my first article for $35! Soon, I found my niche when I began writing for the fact-detective magazines like TRUE DETECTIVE in 1970, and I wrote more than a thousand homicide cases, and went to hundreds of trials. My first book, THE STRANGER BESIDE ME, was about Ted Bundy, but, amazingly, I had the book contract to write about an unknown killer six months before Bundy was identified as the "Ted Killer." And I had known him all along, and didn't realize it; he was my partner in the all-night shift at Seattle's Crisis Clinic! Oddly, I started out writing humor, but unless you are Erma Bombeck, Garrison Keillor, or Fanny Flagg or Dave Barry, it's hard to make a living. Now I write humor for fun and for my friends.

I graduated in Creative Writing from the U of Washington, with minors in criminology and psychology. I also have an AA degree in law enforcement, taking classes in crime scene investigation, arrest, search and seizure, crime scene photography and forensic science. I've lectured in seminars all across America to detectives, prosecutors, and even at the FBI Academy. My subjects have been serial murder, high profile offenders, and women who kill. I write two books every year--one hardcover single-case book, and one Ann Rule's True Crime Files original paperback. Although people tend to think I write only about the Northwest, I go wherever the cases are most interesting. I've written about murder cases in Florida, Georgia, New York, Kansas, Texas, Hawaii, and California, too.

I raised five children on my own--starting out with articles for baby care magazines, Sunday features, true confessions, and then "slicks" like Cosmopolitan, Ladies' Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and Reader's Digest. Now, my children are grown.

I like to keep in very close touch with my readers, and I'm able to do that with a weblog and a guestbook on my website pages at www.annrules.com This also gives readers a chance to talk with each other, and its' a pretty lively spot--as I'm sure this page will be.

To choose a book subject, I weed through about 3,000 suggestions from readers. I'm looking for an "anti-hero" whose eventual arrest shocks those who knew him (or her): attractive, brilliant, charming, popular, wealthy, talented, and much admired in their communities--but really hiding behind masks.

I'm a reader myself, and I always have several books going at once--one upstairs, downstairs, near the bathtub, in my car, and beside my hammock (in the summer, of course!)

Customer Reviews

That does pull the vignettes together, but for the most part they are just too skimpy.
Virginia Allain
If they have been tried and convicted then their real name should be used, even if they have done their time and have been released.
The Real Mermaid
Have loved most of Anne Rule's books, but this on is definitely not up to her standards.
Joyce A. Cardon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By ardnam VINE VOICE on January 16, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am an Ann Rule fan but these Crime Files books become more and more disappointing. While I like that there is a collection of stories in these books, of late I find that the main story drags on and that some of the shorter stories are stories that Ann has previously written about. If I am paying the price of a new book I don't want to read old fodder. I understand that Ann has a background in police work (making it near and dear to her heart) but I think there is too much focus on the detectives in the stories. I don't want to see photo after photo of detectives and D.A.'s. I'd much rather see photos that support the real life impact of the victim who was a real person. I do, however, appreciate that Ann avoids graphic and gruesome photos. I like how Ann tries to make the victim come to life but I often think she goes overboard in relating how absolutely beautiful, intelligent, generous, and vivacious each victim is. If you have not read very many of Rule's books then I recommend this one; if you have already read several then I would recommend passing. Although the book is truly entertaining you probably don't want to reread something she already wrote about--especially when there is no update to the story. Also, in Ann's defense, she wrote about some old, cold cases but they have recently been solved due to DNA evidence. I can't fault her for writing about these cases. Indeed, I applaud the diligent people who brought the psychopaths to justice.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By The Real Mermaid on February 21, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read and loved all of Ann's books, even her Crime Files series. This one however was very disappointing. If feels as if it were thrown together just to get it on the market. Another thing was the fact that so many of the names were fake. I understand why that is necessary in certain instances but to give fake names to the killers is in my opinion demeaning to the victims. I like to do research on certain cases and it is very time consuming to research for the killer's real name first. If they have been tried and convicted then their real name should be used, even if they have done their time and have been released. IMHO
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Allain on May 6, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I count on Ann Rule to really detail the criminal's background and develop their motives, plus give in-depth coverage of the detective work and trial and profile of the victim.

In this collection, the emphasis is mostly on the crime. You get the feeling that she couldn't find enough to build her usually thorough coverage and that's why they are collected together. Without the other aspects, there is too much description of blood spattered crime scenes and the harrowing last minutes of the victims.

All the crimes relate to the theme of love, albeit warped and murderous relationships or situations. That does pull the vignettes together, but for the most part they are just too skimpy.

"The Highway Accident" was maybe the best developed of the accounts in this collection. It's an old case that parallels the more recent Mark and Lori Hacking case.

The early part of the book puts closure to some old, cold cases through the use of DNA breakthoughs, but still it lacks the drama of her usual police work descriptions.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rhonda Altonen on November 29, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I too am a fan of Anne Rule, and grab up her Crime Files as soon as I see them on the bookstore shelves. But I have to say this volume was a bit dissapointing and confusing. The first story which the title comes from felt disjointed. It seemed to bounce from one killing to another and was missing her usual seemlessness. The transistion from Sandy to Ted Bundy by page 29 threw me off completely.

All in all it wasn't a bad read, but certainly not to the same standard that I am sure all Ann Rule fans are familiar.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Colleen McMahon VINE VOICE on May 10, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is #9 in Ann Rule's True Crime Files series and it follows the formula of all the books: a longer length, multichapter story that is either recent (but not enough for book length treatment) or a major updating of an older story, followed by a selection of reprints of stories Rule wrote for True Detective back in the 1960s and 1970s. These focus heavily (as do many of Rule's books and stories) on the theme of victimized women who encountered bad men in their lives. This can get a bit tiresome at times but since that was a lot of the fodder of the True Detective genre, that's what she has to work with.

Rule is always a sympathetic narrator of these women's tales and injects her own voice and views judiciously in the introductions and conclusions to the stories, telling how she felt about a particular case or perhaps how her thinking changed over the years (and sometimes, how the case changed her). This is, I think, one of Rule's strengths as a true crime writer and one of the reasons that she is at the head of the pack in this genre.

My main disappointment with this book was the scattershot structure of the main, longer story. It seemed like Rule wasn't sure what she wanted to do with it--is the theme the solving of one long ago murder, or is it how DNA testing and cold case squads have allowed many murders to finally be solved? The narrative begins by focusing on a newlywed teenage girl who was murdered in her apartment in 1968, then digresses all over the place to a series of other crimes that had various perpetrators, and how ultimately DNA evidence has solved many of the crimes.
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