Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.
Here at the end of the semester, I can't bring myself to read anything challenging or demanding, so I seem to be sticking with audio listens and re-reads of very familiar and beloved old books and new books that are simple and fast reads with very little complexity of plot. It's all I can manage while I try to finish all my projects and papers. I've promised myself several good books over the Christmas break along with digging out my new flowerbed and getting my finances better organized.
So Heart Full of Lies is the second true crime I've read over the last couple of weeks and I never fully appreciated Anne Rule's talent until I read this practically back-to-back with Shattered. She certainly has a formulaic approach, but it's a formula that works very well. Rather than a straightforward recounting of the timeline with known facts, she starts with the crime itself, or at least the discovery of the crime, building a little mystery and tension as the police manage the crime scene and begin to investigate. As details come to light in the investigation, she backtracks and begins to reveal the history and personalities of all those involved, including the victims, the suspects, the witnesses, the investigators and the prosecuters. She creates a strong sense of setting and character, throwing in little touches of foreshadowing, and ultimately ties up all the little loose ends. Her research is thorough, and her interest in people shows.