cover image A Rose for Her Grave & Other True Cases

A Rose for Her Grave & Other True Cases

Ann Rule. Pocket Books, $7.99 (528pp) ISBN 978-0-671-79353-1

The centerpiece of this chilling collection is the history of Randy Roth, a ``modern-day Bluebeard'' who specialized in marrying women and then killing them for insurance and Social Security benefits. Rule ( Everything She Ever Wanted ) traces Roth's crimes thoroughly and does an equally complete job of providing information on the investigative side of the story, such as the difficulties of being a female prosecutor. The remaining shorter cases come from Rule's ``archives'': a rapist returns after eight years in prison to kill the woman who put him there along with her daughter and a neighbor; a jilted husband hires a female ``hit person'' to kill his estranged wife; a 13-year-old girl disappears after tending to the mobile home of a friend on vacation; a sadistic killer murders a woman, chops her up and disposes of her dismembered body in a slough; and a young, single woman is strangled by a neighbor pretending to be her protector. In a brief introduction to each, Rule discusses the effect of the individual case on her feelings about capital punishment and other issues, and her unwavering voice presents even the most gruesome details rationally. (Aug).