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Practice to Deceive [Hardcover]

Ann Rule
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: 16.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 Oct 2013
One wintery night on quiet Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington, Russ Douglas spent Christmas with his estranged wife, Brenna. She agreed to let him visit his children even though they were headed for divorce. He left Brenna Douglas's home in Langley on the morning of December 26, 2003 to run some errands. But hours passed and Russ didn't return home as he'd promised his children he would. Nor did he come back during the night. On the afternoon of December 27, a couple walking down a rural road noticed a vehicle in the driveway of a cabin. Since many of the places were vacant during the winter, neighbours kept an eye out for strangers. Curious, they walked up the cabin's driveway to check inside. They saw a man in the front seat, dead from a single gunshot wound to the head. They immediately put in a call to the Island County Sheriff's Office. The dead man was easily identified; it was Russell Douglas. But what came next in this homicide case surprised law enforcement and captured the attention of the entire town when the suspects included an aging beauty queen, her guitar-teacher lover, and Russell's widow, Brenna, owner of the local beauty salon. With her trademark aplomb, Ann Rule unravels the fascinating story of a murder, a small town, and a number of potential killers.

Frequently Bought Together

Practice to Deceive + Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors (Ann Rule's Crime Files) + In the Still of the Night
Price For All Three: 27.02

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: ATRIA BOOKS (24 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416544623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416544623
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.1 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 379,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Ann Rule, a former Seattle police officer, has published twenty-six international bestsellers, all of them still in print. A certified instructor for police training, she has twice testified before the U.S. Senate on victims' rights and serial murder. She lives near Seattle, Washington.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practice to Deceive 10 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ann Rule is, of course, the undisputed queen of true crime - but it has been some years since she has written a full length crime book. Although I have enjoyed her true crime 'files', it is good to have another more in depth read. This book begins on Whidbey Island, Washington. Home to sixty thousand residents, the island is a popular holiday resort and also houses a huge duty station for naval personnel. Much of the island is idyllic and the crime rate low.

Two days after Christmas on 2003, a man's body was found in a car. The body had a single gunshot and was thought, initially, to be a possible suicide - as the holiday period is difficult for many. However, it was quickly established to be a homicide and the man identified as Russel Douglas. Russ has been visiting his estranged wife and two children for the holidays and, when the detectives visit her to inform her of the murder, they were surprised at her lack of reaction. The reaction of Brenna Douglas was the first strange occurence in a long and difficult investigation which would take many years to come to a conclusion.

The author walks her readers through every step of the case - from the discovery of the body of Russ Douglas, through to a detailed description of every involved person, whether suspect or not, and asks who lured Russ to that isolated spot to kill him? All the way through the case, there were so many different opinions about the victim that the detectives felt they were dealing with more than one man. Hampered by a lack of evidence and a lack of motive, it would take years before some physical (rather than circumstantial) evidence would appear. This is Ann Rule at her best, with a detailed look at a crime and the tenacity of those involved in solving it to do so, against the odds.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointed reader 21 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i cannot finish this book, and i was a huge Ann Rule fan. I find it hard to believe this is her work, .This is the most i have ever
paid for one of her books and would not buy another..I think she is all written out,and at her age it is time she bowed out.
she gave me many hours of interest and pleasure and for that i say thank you, no one did it better when she was younger.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why bother 28 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Poor almost formulaic story does not eve feel like an anne rule. No idea why she bothered to write this. Sure similar account must have been reported in newspapers
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected. 27 Feb 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very disappointed with this book. I expected a lot more from Ann Rule. Prefer her earlier books. There isn't even a proper conclusion to the story
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure! 28 Nov 2013
By Mr mime
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very bitty I thought - nothing like the detail and clarity of her earlier books. Good story but a bit disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a Tangled Web We Weave 17 Dec 2013
What a tangled story of tragedy and crime this was! Not exactly what one expects from Rule, no tale of a serial killer or a brutal mass slaying or even an horrific crime of passion. Here we have an assassination style style murder of a regular Joe that took ten years to solve. The victim was an ordinary guy, loved by most, lead a normal life and hardly anyone had anything to say against him. Unfortunately, because of this we don't get to know much about him; the book is most certainly about the weird, tangled lives of the killer (s). Rule's investigative reporting uncovers a trail of tragedy for the Stackhouse family beginning with the brutal rape and murder of the mother of six young children and ending with the devious connivings of a step-daughter of that family decades later. The book reads like a novel and was quite the page turner. I don't usually read this type of crime preferring the ones I mentioned at the beginning, but there were just so many twists and turns with this investigation, and the lives of the people involved in the crime were so soap-opera like that if it weren't real it would hardly be believable in a novel. I'd never heard of this case before, so I had the added advantage of not knowing how things were going to turn out, causing an element of suspense. I love Rule's writing. She tells these true crime tales so well, with respect to the victims and their families and though this is not one of her best books it is an incredible read of a tangled web that left authorities frustrated for an entire decade.
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