If You Really Loved Me
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If You Really Loved Me

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  4,609 ratings  ·  114 reviews
There was only one way to please her father: Murder his wife....

David Brown was the consummate entrepreneur: a computer wizard and millionaire by age thirty-two. When his beautiful young wife was shot to death as she slept, Brown's fourteen-year-old daughter, Cinnamon, confessed to killing her stepmother. The California courts sentenced her harshly: twenty-four years t...more
Paperback, 608 pages
Published April 1st 1992 by Pocket Books (first published May 15th 1991)
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In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
Best True Crime
51st out of 385 books — 604 voters
In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleThe Manson File by Nikolas SchreckThe Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
True Crime
26th out of 345 books — 394 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jim Thomsen
This is a first-rate offering from Ann Rule's "golden era" of the 1980s, in which she was a) tremendously prolific; b) tremendously comprehensive; and c) showed tremendously discerning taste in subject matter.

The story: Talented but erratic ne'er-do-well David Brown lives in Southern California with three women — his wife, his teen daughter and his wife's teen sister. Using every tool in the sociopath's kit, he induces one to kill the other and take the blame so he can conduct a sick affair wit...more
Michelle Robinson
This is a terribly sad story of one man who was able to manipulate three vulnerable women.

I read this book years ago and could only come away from it feeling terribly sad about the havoc Brown was able to create and his total lack of remorse for any of the women involved.
While I hardly ever feel sympathy for people who take the life of other people, I find Cinnamon to be almost as much of a victim as her step-mother.

Ann Rule was one of my automatic reads when I spent time reading this genre of...more
Lori
Ann Rule's "If You Really Loved Me" is the sad, sick, twisted story of David Brown, who loved power, prestige and money so much that he was willing to manipulate his teenage daughter into killing his young wife, in order that he might collect insurance money on his dead wife, buy a nicer, larger home and conveniently marry HER younger sister (his sister-in-law). David Brown has got to be one of the most despicable individuals Ms. Rule has ever written about - - not only did he instigate the murd...more
Barbara Tiede
One of Ann Rule's best. The true story of David Brown, 36, a wealthy computer whiz and psychopath, who persuades his 16-year-old sister-in-law, Patti (whom he’d started grooming for sex from the age of 11) and his 14-year-old daughter, Cinnamon, to rid him of his 22-year-old 5th wife, Linda, mother of baby Krystal. (Supposedly Linda was insisting that he get rid of the two teenagers, who'd lived with them for several years; actually Linda dead was worth a million dollars in insurance proceeds.)...more
Luciano
I always enjoyable to read books who's plots are anchored in the same area where I grew up. It gives more credence to the plot as it unfolds. "If You Really Loved Me" is a chilling re-inactment of the infamous Linda Brown Murder from the early 1980's. The author describes in detail the entire sordid crime, from its inception to its final conclusion. Many of the landmarks that are depicted in the book are places I have personlly seen or visited, so it make the story that much more interesting.

Rul...more
Jessica
The beginning was good, but the trial portion towards the end became repetitive of what was already discussed. A great true crime book.
Qianna
Made me think you never truly know someone even if that person is your husband or long term lover!!
Heather
I loved this book! It's now one of my all time favorites! David Brown is one of the most twisted, sick characters ever in a book. But, oh wait, he's REAL! And, this story is REAL! That's what hooked me! The story itself and the people involved make for some fantastic reading and knowing that it's a real life story just amps up the quality of the story. Ann Rule is hands down my favorite true crime author and I had the pleasure of meeting her at a booksigning many years ago and asked her if she k...more
Ida
Ann Rule's true crime books are always interesting and this was no exception. They never fail to evoke feelings of anger and disgust at the inhumanity and depravity of the killers about whom she writes. David Brown, computer expert and master manipulator, was one more example of a perverse sociopath who preyed on teenage girls to get his thrills and do his bidding. This is another shocking account of a bizarre murder that involved teenagers who were sacrificed to satisfy the sexual needs and gre...more
Helga Soenimanggar
nice,, tragic,,oh my God,, u can't believe it untill you read it about after who put his own daughter into jail for what he did. and he is really psycho but briliant in same time. about his crime,, wow,, unpredictable that you can do it to someone you love,,, he killed his wife and blame it to his daughter while he free and having fun with his sister in law. but it's reality. someone can love very unconditionally . and this feeling can be our weaknesses,that can make your heart, soul and mind co...more
Janet Sowell
Great Read

Enjoyed th Orange County California setting too. Rule knows the questions you have and the answers before we ask them.
Diana
I always enjoy reading Ann Rule but found this book rambled more than her other books. But despite that the story was captivating and sad.
Zarina
May 24, 2009 Zarina is currently reading it
Anne Rule really knew what she's writing about. This novel is about a man who's very manipulative which I think brainwashed/drugged her own daughter into thinking that she murdered her own step-mum. This is still a guess since I am only getting through the first half of the novel. Reading about a man named David Brown sometimes makes you wonder whether such a guy does really exist in this world. Anyway this is a true story. I wish Ive gotten to know/read Anne Rule much earlier. I think I am gonn...more
Aimee
In interesting case study of a sociopath. It held my interest and was often so twisted that I couldn't put it down. True crime is tough to rate because if you don't like the characters, or the ending, it's not the authors fault! You have to try to rate it on the authors skill as a writer, the presentation of the facts, etc. I gave it 3 stars because it was well written and, I think, told from an unbiased point of view. It was mildly disturbing at times, but true crime is, at least, true and not...more
M
Not Ann Rule's best, but another great True Crime story of a man who betrayed his own wife and daughter. Linda Brown was shot as she slept. Her sister and step daughter were in the house at the time. Her husband, David Brown, displayed real grief when informed of her death. Only one of the three was convicted of the crime, but two detectives believed some questions were still unanswered. Their investigation ended up exposing the truth behind Linda Brown's death, and it was a horrible, gut wrench...more
Maria
Sep 05, 2010 Maria rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Maria by: Sherry
I chose this book as my summer beach read, and it was a terrific choice. Easy-to-read true crime which was riveting the entire time: through the crime, investigation, and trial. Although you know the main character is guilty from the very beginning - and you frustratingly wonder WHY anyone would be taken in by this manipulative little man - there are twists and turns that keep you hooked. There were some irritating grammar mistakes (ugh, not another split infinitive!) and sometime the build up w...more
Sarahfina
I know true crime is a genre loved mainly by people who move their lips as they read. But I love it too - and I can chew gum and read at the same time.
This true crime book here is a goodun'. These kinds of books are mainly about sociopaths, people who, in my estimation, are not really human. The sociopath in this book, David, is a walking nightmare of selfishness. I can't say too much without giving away the twists and turns the story takes. But if you are my goodreads friend and you trust my o...more
P
A 500 page book about crimes committed by one person. I thought I'd yawn my way through the last 200 pages, but not so. Ann has a knack for keeping the story interesting.
Lyn Richards
This guy was the apex of narcissism. Sad story, but true.
Molly
I've really learned how to spot a socia-path a mile away.
This is a true account written by a crime writer with
great experience with Police work. Ann Rule has written
many true crime accounts and weaves an interesting perspective into the life of the ever evolving Brown family.
Its amazing what Cinnamon Brown had to go through just because she was born into a screwy family. After reading this my family of origin seems incredibly normal and boring.
a must read account of what a really disturbed perso...more
Esther
The story is gripping, and Rule does an excellent job of creating it for us out of what seem to be fairly dull fragments. She ought be accompanied by a soundtrack, though.
Phoenix
This was an interesting true crime story about a girl who was arrested and charged with the murder of her stepmother, but it appeared that her father orchestrated it and her stepsister may have committed it so that after the girl committed it, the stepsister and father could be together. At least that's how I think it happened . . . years after she was in jail, the detectives finally got her to fess up and jailed the father. Interesting bit of detective/police work and the father was just gross....more
Stacy
I really enjoyed this story. It was difficult for me to read about a father doing such terrible things to every member of his family, but that was also what kept me turning the pages.

Ann Rule can be repetitive in the way she tells her stories. I suppose she tries to write in some mystery and surprise, but it usually results in 20 pages that could have been covered in 5. However, that didn't bother me in this book . . . I guess the story overcame the verbose writing.

I recommend this book.
Tracey
I love Ann Rule's true crime murder stories. As a former Seattle detective, she has good insight into crime investigations, and she digs into all the parties involved in the crime, in the investigation, in the jail/prison and the courtroom. I find her books the best for travel; they are sort of brain candy to me. I checked this one out at the Claremont branch of the Los Angeles County Library for our Christmas vacation to my mom's in Tucson. I wasn't disappointed.
Cassie luellman
Very interesting and sad story.
Gina
Really fascinating read. Having read a few books by Ann Rule already, I definitely see some similarities in her main characters--the similarities of the sociopath, but somehow each book remains fresh. Maybe it is like Tolstoy said: "Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." I love the humanity of her books, even as they explore people who have essentially silenced theirs.
Kathy Rogers
I had read this book before, but when I picked it up to glance through I couldn't put it down. Ann Rule does such a good job of delineating the characters of the people she writes about and does an excellent job with following the line of investigation. This story was horrifying when you realize what a monster this man was (is). In my opinion, a classic in the true crime genre.
Sue Harris
I enjoyed this book, but got a bit bored at the end because it seemed to be going over everything. A true story of a man manipulating women to do murder. Not so much a story as a reporting of events. Told in 4 Parts, The Crime, The Investigation, The Arrest and Death List and The Trial. If you like true stories you will probably enjoy this.
Tara
I dragged through this book, part of me wonders if it is because it was a collection of short stories. I found the history of forensics from the 1950s to present day interesting. I had no idea about how cold cases were handled. I could see myself reading more Ann Rule books, but perhaps they will be full length studies as opposed to short stories.
Janne Uusitalo
Tämä oli tosielämän murhatarina. Tosin oli tuttu jo Youtuben murhamysteereistä. Kiehtovaa luettavaa, loppu lässähti kyllä vähän, kun olisin halunnut tietää mitä kaiken tämän jälkeen tapahtui. Hassua, että edes törmäsin tähän kirjaan, lainasin tämän työpaikkakirpparin asiakkaalta. Nyt pitäneekin katsoa, onko saman kirjailijan kirjoja kirjastossa.
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So what are your thoughts? 7 37 Mar 31, 2013 03:50PM  
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Ann Rule is a popular American true crime writer. She came to prominence with her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, about the Ted Bundy murders.
At the time she started researching the book, the murders were still unsolved. In the course of time, it became clear that the killer was Bundy, her friend and her colleague as a trained volunteer on the suicide hotline at the Seattle, Washington Crisis...more
More about Ann Rule...
The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy The Shocking Inside Story Small Sacrifices: A True Story of Passion and Murder Green River, Running Red: The Real Story of the Green River Killer--America's Deadliest Serial Murderer And Never Let Her Go: Thomas Capano: The Deadly Seducer Every Breath You Take: A True Story of Obsession, Revenge, and Murder

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