By Ann Rule
Pocket Star, August, 1997 (1983)
ISBN: 0-671-52788-6 $5.99
Setting: Lake Chelan, Washington (Cascade mountains/wilderness)
Reviewed by: Cherie Jung (8/28/97)
A 3 hour and fifteen minute boat ride on "The Lady of the Lake" brings Danny and Joanne Lindstrom to their destination--"the middle of nowhere" as Danny puts it. He is a deputy, practically married to his job. Joanne, his wife, thinks a backpacking and camping trip in the wildnerness of the Cascade Mountains is just what he needs to relax. He reluctantly agrees to go along. Soon, the quiet serenity of the mountains will be broken and Joanne will be in peril, left to rely on a stranger's knowledge of the forest to save her.
The first thing you need to know about this book is that it is a reprint. Originally published in 1983, it has Ann Rule's style (That's a good thing. I'm not complaining about the writing. I love Ms. Rule's writing style.) but feels stale. Back in 1983, it was more exciting, more fascinating, and more disturbing. No one else was telling stories like this back then, or at least I hadn't read any of them.
Now, it feels like the pop culture saying, "been there, done that" and it isn't fair to Ms. Rule. She wrote an absorbing and haunting tale, years ago, before everyone jumped on the band wagon. The publisher should not market this book as a new book because it is not. I've already heard disparaging remarks from several readers about the content having been done to death. Well, it wasn't "done to death" when this book was originally written and I think the publisher should have clarified the history of the book and tailored the marketing to promote the book for what it is...Ms. Rule's first novel written over 10 years ago. It would be a welcome addition to any Ann Rule fan's collection. And if put in its proper perspective, would be an enjoyable read for those very same fans.
I, for one, would love to see Ms. Rule continue to write fiction. I am drawn to her writing. Over the years, she is the one author I have continued to read, no matter what the book. Her insights about criminals, both real and imagined, that walk these city streets with us, are both fascinating and disturbing.
I do recommend this book for readers who enjoy a journey into terror and suspense, and for Ms. Rules regular fans, just remember, this book was written a long time ago. And yes, you have probably read incidents similar to this in other books, just not the way Ms. Rule would write them.
Ms. Rule is probably most known for her numerous true crime books. In many bookstores, she has her own shelf of titles... Any or all of them are a good choice for reading if you are attracted to true crime accounts with a look at why the crimes were committed as opposed to those books that just want to shock you with the goriness of the details of the slaughter.
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