Friday, February 20, 2009 By: Suzanne

Every Breath You Take

Every Breath You Take: A True Story of Obsession, Revenge, and Murder by Ann Rule is exactly what the title says: A true story of a brutal murder. I'm not generally into true crimes novels, that's usually my mother's genre. She loves them and loves to watch those true crime television shows too. I enjoy them sometimes, but after awhile, everyone begins to look like a cold-hearted-B out to kill their mom, dad, son, daughter, wife, husband, or neighbor. It really makes you feel hopeless about the human race!

This is another I picked up through Paperback Swap to give me something to listen to on my long commute. From the Simon and Shuster Website:

If anything ever happens to me, promise me that you will see that there is an investigation....And find Ann Rule and ask her to write my story," Sheila Blackthorne Bellush told her sister after she divorced multimillionaire Allen Blackthorne. Now, in perhaps the first book ever written at a victim's request, America's Number One bestselling true-crime writer, Ann Rule, untangles a horrific web of lies that culminated in Sheila's savage murder more than ten years after she left Blackthorne.

When beautiful, blond Sheila married the charming, handsome Blackthorne, she was convinced she had found her perfect soul mate, and helped him reach his goal of living the privileged life of the country club set. But behind Allen's smooth facade, she discovered a violent, controlling sociopath -- a liar, a scam artist, a sexual deviant. When she finally fled with their two young daughters, she was skeletally thin, bruised, and beaten.

Although Sheila recovered, remarried, and was starting a new life and family, she still felt she was doomed. Joyously pregnant, she and her new husband expecting quadruplets, Sheila still feared Blackthorne, who had sworn to her he would monitor her every move and "every breath you take." And, in fact, Blackthorne inevitably tracked her down, as did her killer, who left her in a pool of blood marked by the tiny footprints of her two-year-old toddlers. The questions remained: Could the authorities ever link Sheila's murder to Blackthorne himself? Was his true obsession high-stakes golf and his extravagant pink mansion -- or was it to destroy Sheila?

I was impressed by Ann Rule speaking at the beginning and the end of the audiobook about Sheila and how this apparently lovely woman knew something could happen to her and she needed to have her story told if possible. This story seems to have affected Rule unlike any other book she has written since Ted Bundy. If there is anyone out there, like me, that did not know that Rule knew Ted Bundy and considered him a friend before it was known he was a murderer, well, now you do. This was very surprising to me because one of her books is about him. I wonder what it would be like not only to know a murder (because I have) but to then have to write about him! I can't imagine living in the story of that person for the time that it takes to write a book about him. It might just drive me crazy!

Another thing that impressed me was the story of Sheila herself. How such a strong person can let herself become enveloped so much in an abusive relationship no longer surprises me. Anyone who says it would never happen to them has simply been lucky. What surprises me is that she was able to get out with her two children and remake her life. She returned to the strong person she was before this relationship.

Ann Rule writes in such a way that you forget this is a true story. You forget that most of the people in the story are actually living somewhere in this world having to deal with the consequences of this murder. I was sucked into the story and only afterward was I reminded that this is not fiction. It breaks my heart that this family has been so completely torn apart.


Anonymous said...

I never thought about trying one of these as an audio book. I'll heve to get one my next trip to the library. Thanks for the recommendation :)