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Written in Blood

3.58  ·  Rating Details  ·  195 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
An army brat-turned-marine, he saw combat in Vietnam, and returned a decorated soldier. An avid reader, his dreams of being an acclaimed novelist came true. His desire to find love was fulfilled when he married brilliant executive Kathleen Atwater, the first female student accepted at Duke University's School of Engineering. The Petersons seemed the ideal academic couple- ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 1st 2005 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
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Feb 24, 2009 Brendan rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
♥ Marlene♥
Aug 09, 2014 ♥ Marlene♥ rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
who is who?
What is it with the name Peterson and murder?

I recall that when I read this book at around the same time there was another guy also called Peterson who also murdered his wife. But there was also another Peterson who murdered his young pregnant wife.

I am trying to find out if Fatal Vows is a book I might buy. If that book is about the same case.

Fatal Vows is about Drew Peterson who killed his wife Kathleen and Stacy.

Then you have a Scott Peterson who killed his wife Lacy. Lacy Stacy. S
Jul 03, 2012 Tracie rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
First - what is it about the last name Peterson and highly publicized cases of men accused of their wives' murders? Scott Peterson, Drew Peterson and Michael Peterson are all prime examples of men who have "erased" inconvenient wives as documented in Marilee Strong's book _Erased: Missing Women, Murdered Wives_. So much true crime documents the phenomenon of husband-on-wife murder, and Written in Blood is a good, solid entry in that particular niche. Author Diane Fanning does a good job laying o ...more
Feb 24, 2010 Seán rated it did not like it
This is the only book I've ever purchased in a Duane Reade.

It caught my eye because I had recently watched Jean-Xavier de Lestrade's documentary "The Staircase," a fascinating investigation of the Michael Peterson case but told largely from the defense's point of view. DA Jim Hardin and his posse seemed like a collection of small-brained hacks (ADA Mike Nifong would go on to infamy in the 2006 Duke University rape case scandal), but de Lestrade didn't have much access to the prosecution or Kathl
Madison Grace
Jul 24, 2015 Madison Grace rated it liked it
I'm new to true crime books, though true crime shows have always been favorites. This book is the story of a case that I was already familiar with, and perhaps for that reason, it wasn't a great "first" true crime book as I knew the outcome. The building suspense meant little me as I knew the answers to most of the questions.

That said, it's a very emotional, yet informative book. I was personally more interested in the case of Liz Ratliff than that of Kathleen Peterson, but considering the latte
Mar 10, 2016 Lynette rated it liked it
These stories are always interesting to me because they are true accounts of people who do not behave like normal people, with the same motivations and angers and frustrations that make most of us tick. Or that is, they go beyond what is accepted as normal, and I find this to be fascinating. It adds to one's knowledge of what it means to be human. So Written in Blood was interesting from that aspect. But Fanning also looks at our justice system and finds it lacking. She is certainly not the firs ...more
Maryann MJS1228
Jan 17, 2016 Maryann MJS1228 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
If, like me, you saw The Stair Case on Sundance (or even before, on ABC) and found yourself wanting to know more, your options are Fanning's book or a much slighter effort by Aphrodite Jones. Both books suffer from not being informed by the defense's point of view. (Did the Peterson camp have an exclusivity agreement with Maha?*) And both books were written relatively quickly - not quite insta-books but almost. Still, I found Written in Blood worth reading and applaud Fanning for uncovering tell ...more
Eddie Snipes
Nov 15, 2010 Eddie Snipes rated it really liked it
If you are a true crime fan, Written in Blood is a good read. Diane Fanning has a very clear and thorough writing style.

Michael Peterson was a very successful novelist. As the drama of two suspicious deaths unfold, people begin wondering if Peterson’s ability to spin a story also applies to his real life dramas.

Peterson was a decorated Vietnam veteran, multi-published author, father, and respected member of the community. When his wife has a tragic accident, the pieces don’t add up, and soon a s
RJ McGill
Nov 01, 2007 RJ McGill rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in: true crime, murder/mystery, criminal justice
Shelves: reviewed
There's More To The Story & It's Written IN Blood

Not once, during either of two frantic calls to Durham 9-11 did Michael Peterson mention the blood...and there was a lot of blood. During the early morning hours of December 9th, as Kathleen lay dying on the stairs, police and rescue personnel rush to the home on Cedar Street.

Connecting the complex sequence of dots that convinced a jury of his peers that Michael Peterson was indeed guilty of murder would have been the easy part, because the e
Feb 15, 2015 Krista rated it it was ok
Shelves: true-crime
A recap of the Michael Peterson trial from a very pro-prosecution standpoint. (For good reason: He's guilty as sin, but still.) Not as fascinating as the documentary, "The Staircase."
Jan 21, 2016 A.r. rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
I have seen The Staircase documentary which was interesting, so I will put this on my list.
Jan 02, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it
I searched out this book after watching "The Staircase", a riveting legal documentary about Michael Peterson, a best-selling author who was tried for killing his successful engineer wife in Durham, North Carolina. The documentary left many unanswered questions about the trial and I was hungry for more information. "Written in Blood" was a thorough account of the lengthy trial and bizarre twists and turns of this fascinating case. It also reinforced that every crime leaves many victims in its wak ...more
Aug 20, 2007 Carrie rated it it was ok
Shelves: truecrime
Ever since seeing the mini-series documentary about this murder case, I've been fascinated. There's probably not a whole lot of new things I will learn, but I have the end-of-summer true crime jones, so I'm reading it!

Ugh, this author has many true crime books under her belt, even though her writing is all over the damn place. I'm not a big grammar nerd, but there were so many glaring typoes, I wanted to mark the book up in red pen.
Aug 22, 2010 Sue rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
Story line was confusing. People are kidnapped and the main character, who is dating a police officer, chooses not to tell the authorities about key evidence. Instead she tells those people who even the most naive reader would know were the key suspects. DUH!!! A disappointing read.
How can I say it was disappointing? I had virtually NO expectations. But seriously is it too much to ask to have it not gag me? Pretentious flowery language, icky icky icky. Not well written at all. But what do you want for a one-night-stand?
Dec 07, 2013 Chad rated it really liked it
A good book to be read in conjunction with "The Staircase" documentary by Lestrade. A quick read that is written like a novel. Worth the time for anyone interested in learning more about the Michael Peterson trial despite its slant.
Jan 20, 2013 Lynda rated it really liked it
Since I live in Durham, NC, I followed this case in the newspaper and on Court TV. It was a big deal here! It was nice to get a different perspective from someone that didn't know Michael Peterson.
Jul 14, 2011 Violet rated it liked it
I am learning a lot from this book: in part, that if you want to kill more than one person, it's best to choose separate means of dispatching them, to avoid being caught.
Mar 09, 2008 Martha rated it it was ok
Not particularly well-done book about the Michael Peterson murder trial. This is the Durham, N.C. murderer who killed his wife Kathleen.
May 26, 2013 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting but poorly written. It concerns the death of Kathleen Peterson and the conviction of her husband Michael Peterson.
Jul 21, 2012 Veronica rated it liked it
Really glad I didn't marry a guy with Peterson/Petersen a a last name...those wives seem not to fair too well. :-/
Jul 18, 2011 Jennifer rated it did not like it
Abysmal writing, though the story itself was worth reading about to learn more about the case.
Jan 09, 2009 Cyndi rated it did not like it
I bet this could be a good story but it is so poorly written
Johanna Kurz
Jul 29, 2010 Johanna Kurz rated it really liked it
One of Diane's great true crime stories.
Nov 10, 2007 Pam marked it as to-read
Shelves: true-crime
11/10 rec via bookmooch
Jennie rated it it was ok
Jun 22, 2016
Nizam uddin
Nizam uddin rated it liked it
Jun 20, 2016
Caroline marked it as to-read
Jun 16, 2016
Michelle marked it as to-read
Jun 03, 2016
Angela rated it really liked it
Jun 03, 2016
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