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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have been an Ann Rule fan for decades. Crime stories have always interested me, but I’m careful about which true crime authors I read. I have made the mistake of picking up books that focused on the gruesome details of the crimes themselves with little empathy for the victims or the families. Ann Rule is steadfast in her support of and respect for victims and their families. She also supports law enforcement and, having once been a cop herself, has an innate understanding of the job and the people that must investigate these crimes. Over the years, I have read almost all of her books.
Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors is particularly chilling because most all of the cases involve victims and perpetrators that lived near each other or who had some familiarity with one another. We all know to be wary of strangers, but seldom do we suspect that our friendly neighbor or friend could be capable of doing us harm. We tend to trust them. The cases in Ann Rule’s latest crime files demonstrate just how misplaced that trust can sometimes be.
The last case in the book is particularly frightening for parents. But, it serves as a valuable warning. Parents are always careful to teach their children about stranger danger, but the sad fact is most children are molested or harmed by someone that is familiar to them.
Not only are the cases of Ann Rule interesting, but more often than not they serve as cautionary tales. I’m not suggesting we all walk around paranoid, but we should be aware of the potential dangers in this world and make our children aware as well. Sometimes knowledge is the best protection of all.