Reviewed by The Fourth Tuesday and Mystery Book Club
We all have a book on a bookshelf that is collecting dust. It calls to us, and we want to pull it down and read it. A variety of reasons keep it on that shelf. We have been too busy, we have to read something else, or we are just too tired to read right now… maybe tomorrow. Our club decided to dust off those books and share with others what we finally found.
Ann Rule is famous for writing about true crime. Her two most well known books tell of her work with the police in her backyard of Seattle, Washington. Her personal knowledge and contact with the serial killers in both cases makes her books very personal accounts. This book presents the facts and emotions around the “Green River Killer,” perhaps the most prolific serial killer in history. He is serving 48 life sentences in prison. This serial killer recently took part in an interview with the media admitting that he has killed nearly twice as many women as are now credited to him over a period of nearly two decades.
The author dedicated a large portion of the book to the young women that the Green River Killer murdered. This means that the reader must spend a great deal of time learning about dozens of the Green River victims. Rule describes their lives, included the rejection, the abuse, and often the sadness that drove most of them to prostitution. A missing or murdered prostitute does not create as much urgency in a community that another type of murder might.
Although the book jumps back and forth between the victims, creating accounts that are somewhat confusing, the author deals with each individual–both victim and perpetrator—fairly. It is sad and amazing that such a horrible killing machine actually existed. This book is eye opening in many ways and an interesting true crime read. I would recommend it. (4.5 of 5)