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In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother's Unceasing Quest for the Truth

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  2,361 Ratings  ·  222 Reviews
In this new true crime book, New York Times bestselling author Rule investigates the case of a woman whose supposed suicide may not be what it seems.
Hardcover, 404 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Free Press (first published May 4th 2010)
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Mar 10, 2016 Kavita rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a fan of Ann Rule as such, though I did like her first ever book. But that's about the only one. Every true crime fan claims they are a big fan of Ann Rule, so I keep giving her yet another chance, every single time. Well, no more! She tends to insert herself into her stories continuously that is very distracting. She is also extremely biased. In the few books I have read, she quickly made friends with one of the survivors and then everything is written from that person's viewpoint. Thi ...more
Gail Katz
I am so disappointed in this book. It really ( in my mind, at least) had a lot going for it: written by Ann Rule right there was a biggie. Love her books ( this one being an exception…) and know that she has an excellent track record. Secondly, I am finally living here in the Pacific Northwest and might actually have been to many of the locations she cites. AND I think I even remember some of the news reporting about the case she chronicles. SO, no brainer. This had to be a winner, right?

Sorry C
Lois Duncan
Oct 21, 2010 Lois Duncan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been closely following the Ronda Reynolds case for years, ever since Ronda's mother, Barb Thompson, asked me to post Ronda's unsolved case on our Real Crimes Web site at Now my good friend, true crime author, Ann Rule, has presented a brilliantly written and fascinating account of this terrible story and the multiple people involved. In my own mind, I thought I had figured out who the killer was, based on correspondence with Barb over all these years and the man ...more
Aug 08, 2011 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
5-star story, 1-star writing. A policewoman from the pacific northwest was killed, or killed herself (that's the basic question, resolved by a jury ultimately as homicide, but who killed her remains unclear at the end) in the late 90s. Her Mom never believed it was suicide and relentlessly pursued the case with assistance from a private eye, an attorney, etc.

The forensics (e.g., would her hands have both been under the blanket if she'd shot herself?) and tangled motives (stepson who hated her?
Mary Ronan Drew
Apr 13, 2011 Mary Ronan Drew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My only run-in with the law was a parking ticket in 1975. True crime books, especially stories of murders, have a fascination for people like me. Those of us who can’t imagine slapping a child are chilled at the very idea of taking another life.

But once we get over the initial distaste, true crime becomes enthralling, as we learn the details of the crime, the search for the kidnapping victim, the slow, detailed work of the detectives who search for the perpetrator.

One of the finest writers of t
Jul 12, 2011 Ariel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
This is not my favorite Ann Rule book, that would be Small Sacrifices. This book was rather strange for me because this is the first one that she wrote that I can remember where the killer is not in jail when the book is written. In fact no killer is identified at all though several suspects are explored. The true story revolves around a young former state trooper named Ronda Reynolds who is rather unlucky in love. When she is thirty three and newly married to and on the verge of divorce with hu ...more
Jan 19, 2012 Indra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I found this fascinating, not least because I knew Ronda. I worked with her for a short time and when she was killed all of us who had been her co-workers knew it was not what the police called it-suicide. Thank you Ms. Rule for speaking for her and not allowing it to be forgotten! The story is a grim one, but well told. The seperate threads are discussed, and many facts I was not aware of are brought to light. Justice may never be reached here on this earth, but the scales will be balanced even ...more
Before picking this up, I'd only ever come across Ann Rule as a talking head on some of the many crime and investigation shows that I seem to be addicted to, and I'd never come across the strange death of Ronda Reynolds. The case is a fascinating one, the writing only so-so.

Set to divorce her 2nd husband of little under a year and to fly back to her family for Christmas, instead of stepping off a plane, Ronda was discovered in a closet in her home, underneath an electric blanket, dead of a gun s
Nov 03, 2010 Jane rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
I'm afraid that this book was written as a duty by a lady who may just be tired of writing. It was so disjointed and unfocused and the writing so poor that it didn't even resemble Ann Rule's typical writing. I had the feeling that she made an attempt to pull together reams of information and research, and the attempt, while noble, failed her usual standards.
Dec 23, 2015 Wanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Ronda had served 8 years as a Washington state trooper before resigning from the force. She had been the youngest female cadet ever hired and life seemed to be turning out just as she’d hoped. She soon met up with several misfortunes in life and after her disappointing resignation from the Patrol she started working in a store security for Wal-Mart. Ronda’s life seemed to be crashing down around her. Her first marriage had ended in divorce, and now her second marriage, that had lasted less than
J.H. Moncrieff
Impressive investigation of a very in-depth case. It's frustrating that no one was ever charged with Reynolds' murder (unless that has changed in subsequent years).

While very readable, this book was much longer than it had to be, and I could have done without all the gushing about how gorgeous the victim and her mother are. Does it matter? Are only beautiful murder victims worthy? That said, I've rolled my eyes whenever Ann Rule describes someone as beautiful ever since I read Small Sacrifices.
I am an avid reader of Ann Rule's books and eagerly await each of her new releases. Because I am such a fan of Ms. Rule I can always find positives even if those books that are not my favorites of hers. In the Still of the Night was no different.

From a novice writer In the Still of the Night would be a passably good true crime selection. From Ann Rule, author of the flawless Small Sacrifices, Stranger Beside Me and her True Crimes Files series,among others, it's a bit of a disappointment. For o
Lynda Kelly
Oct 09, 2013 Lynda Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
Another interesting case from Ann Rule and one I'd not heard of till I picked this book up. I am staggered at the mistakes made and the way everyone took a husband's word for it that his wife had killed herself and thereafter pretty much refused to make a proper investigation !! The fact one of the sheriff's investigators moved the gun involved before photographing it in situ is one of the biggest schoolboy errors I've ever read in true crime stories. Just shocking he would do that. Also letting ...more
Jan 06, 2013 Laren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
I love Ann Rule's true crime books. She writes about crimes which have been solved, often taking the journey with law enforcement and prosecutors as they handle the case. She delves into the backgrounds and psyches of everyone involved in the story, telling stories in a more neutral way than many true crime books do. Because of that, her books are always on my must read list.

Sadly, this book didn't deserve such a spot. For one thing, this is a crime that has not yet officially been solved/closed
Linda Stock
This was probably my least favorite of all the Ann Rule books I've read. She chose to write about a murder that still has not been solved. I felt frustrated and upset when I finished it, since basically I feel I know who killed Ronda Reynolds - I think anyone who reads it will know who killed Ronda Reynolds - but it still hasn't been proven. This murder happened in an "old boy network" type of community, in which incompetence of a coroner was covered up year, after year, after year - and when th ...more
Feb 15, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a departure from the norm for Ann Rule - the tragic heroine was a lovely young woman whom many believed to have taken her own life. The court battle was not to convict the bad guy but to get a beloved daughter's cause of death changed. And the book actually ends before the story was fully played out.

Once again, Ann Rule presents us with a compelling story of true crime. She gives the reader a true sense of the grief Ronda' s mother felt after losing her daughter... and of the sheer
Jan 02, 2011 Jeannie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: true crime buffs, Ann Rule Fans and anyone intereseted in a great story
Shelves: i-own
I love Ann Rule and I eagerly await each new book she puts out. She never disappoints me!! This book is a jewel, it's very personally written, it seems to me from her heart. I just know you will end up loving Ronda too and hoping and praying that the person/persons responsible for her death are brought to justice. Honestly, I don't believe that will ever happen, but it's clear that the bungling of this case by law enforement calls for heads to roll!! She pulls no punches on placing the blame for ...more
Valarie Kinney
This was an interesting read, though multiple minor editing errors dimmed my enjoyment of it somewhat. The case is unique and though I wished there had been a better ending, I understand in non-fiction sometimes that just cannot be so.
Dec 29, 2014 Cassiel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Local color- Deviant ex spouse and step children, stupid law enforcement. Sad ending for a nice young woman who couldn't stay in "her place".
Jan 23, 2011 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read every Ann Rule book there is! They are all still in print. She is the very best True Crime writer that ever way. This book is very good and not to give anything away, but I do not beleive the story is quite over just yet. Unlike a lot of true crime books that have a lot of gore etc, Ann Rule does not have that kind of writing style. Her style of writing really makes you beleive you know the victims and the families. Once you start reading an Ann Rule book you just can't put it down! ...more
Aug 21, 2015 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On December 16, 1998, Ronda Reynolds died from a gun shot to the head. All the evidence pointed to homicide, but for whatever reasons, the Lewis County Police Department refused to see otherwise, and deemed her death a suicide.

Ronda's mother knew that her daughter would never commit suicide and has made it her mission in life to seek justice for Ronda.

In 2009, a jury overturned the coroner's decision that Ronda's death was a suicide.

The prime suspects remain Ronda's soon-to-be estranged husband
Jan 26, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story
The book was okay. 1. I felt like it didn’t really have an ending. She warned the readers up front, at least, that there had been no resolution, that it was unclear who the murderer was. 2. It was like she knew she didn’t really have enough for a book, but had committed to getting something in print, so she was just putting stuff in as filler. She put in every little bit of gossip about people, whether it was relevant to the story or not. 3. It was clearly a biased viewpoint. It was clear all th ...more
This book was written too soon. The case isn't quite over, with unanswered questions remaining. Granted, this novel is about Barb's quest to have "suicide" removed from Ronda's file and that task was completed. However, the story ends with a recap of all the suspects and the work currently being done to bring closure to the case. Personally, I think Ann Rule should have waited for more closure before publishing this novel.
Jul 15, 2015 Jerica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was a major disappointment! I don’t know about anyone else, but when I see the words “#1 New York Times Bestselling Author” on a book cover, I expect a lot of its content. This book is the first one that I have read by Ann Rule and according to the other reviews it wasn’t her best; unfortunately for me it wasn’t even good enough for me to want to read anything else by her. Based on the numerous grammatical errors and the writing style as a whole, I’m guessing that these books are not b ...more
Jun 18, 2016 Cassie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ann Rule seems to have lost her touch in this one. The crime was interesting and mysterious enough, but some areas of the victim's, and victim's family's, life were dwelt on too long, and descriptions so cumbersome, I often felt I was just slogging through it.
I got this book for free from XOXO After Dark.
Barb is expecting her daughter, Ronda Reynolds, for a visit but instead she gets a message to call a Sheriff's Department. She did not call until her daughter didn't get off the plane. She calls and they tell her that her daughter committed suicide. She does not believe it.
It seems the police botched the case from the very beginning. There is a lot of unnecessary information and often some is repeated. Ronda's husband moved his ex-wife into the house
Doris Jean
Jan 19, 2014 Doris Jean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who can endure the lack of a proper ending.
This is not a spoiler because no one knows what happened. Unsolved. There are no convictions. Here is my opinion: Ronda became a cop, married a cop, didn't work out, divorced. She received money in a divorce settlement.

A young man had married his high school girlfriend who became an addict. He became a high school principal. They had three teenaged boys. They divorced. They had an on-again off-again relationship.

Ronda married the divorced principal, bought a house, she paid the down payment and
The introduction had me questioning the book, so I did the obvious thing and re-read the jacket and looked at the pictures. One picture convinced me she didn't commit suicide. What os the narrative after that? I don't need an entire book to convince me that the small town resources failed. There's no story here.
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Ann Rule was a popular American true crime writer. Raised in a law enforcement and criminal justice system environment, she grew up wanting to work in law enforcement herself. She was a former Seattle Policewoman and was well educated in psychology and criminology.

She came to prominence with her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, about the Ted Bundy murders. At the time she started researching th
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“Reynolds was thirty-three and healthy and beautiful when she died on December 16, 1998.” 0 likes
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