cover image You Belong to Me and Other True Crime Cases

You Belong to Me and Other True Crime Cases

Ann Rule. Pocket Books, $7.99 (480pp) ISBN 978-0-671-79354-8

Rule (Everything She Ever Wanted) upholds her title as maven of the murder tale in this riveting second volume in her anthology series. Like A Rose for Her Grave, this collection consists of one book-length treatment and five shorter case histories from her true-crime files. Meticulous in her coverage, Rule demonstrates her signature, compassionate re-creation, when describing the numerous lives affected when Florida highway patrolman Tim Harris obsessively stalked his wife and then raped and murdered a female driver near I-95. Operating on many levels, it can be read as the psychological profile of a man for whom a wife was simply another possession or as a wonderfully detailed police procedural, complete with frustrating false leads and a brilliantly inspired interrogation scene. In each of the subsequent cases, Rule shifts the focus slightly, concentrating on an entangled forensics puzzle in one, on a two-year missing-person search complicated by a psychic goose chase in another. Rule's considerable reporting skills and hindsight analysis make her a gifted cautionary guide through the hazards of human folly. Yet, as she admits in the chilling ``Black Christmas,'' when a picture-perfect family can be brutally murdered due to an absurd misunderstanding, all the little red flags in the world may mean nothing. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Sept.)