Heart Full of Lies: A True Story of Desire and Death
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Heart Full of Lies: A True Story of Desire and Death

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  2,340 ratings  ·  129 reviews
In perhaps the most profound character portrait she has ever drawn, America's bestselling true-crime writer, Ann Rule, asks, Can the female really be deadlier than the male? In Heart Full of Lies, she answers that question in one of her most intriguing tales ever -- a riveting story of seduction, betrayal, and murder.
Liysa and Chris Northon seemed the epitome of idyllic...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published October 14th 2003 by Gallery Books (first published October 1st 2003)
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♥ Marlene♥
While I was looking for this book on my shelf because this was the one where I noticed how biased Ann Rule started to write and I use it a lot as an example,I discovered I had forgotten to register it on Goodreads.
Checked bookcrossing where I am not active anymore and bingo.

Here is what I wrote about this book back then.

Journal Entry 4 by CrazyDutchwoman from Heemstede, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Hi,I am at around page 80. It was a nice surprise for me to see it were...more
Lisette Brodey
This is the second Ann Rule book that I've read, and remain impressed with the massive amount of work and research that goes into such a project. As the story of Liysa Northon, currently in prison for killing her husband Chris, is widely available, I'm not going to spend any time summarizing it.

I have read some reviews that state that the language and context in this book is repetitive. While in one sense that is true, the list of people involved in this story is massive -- there are several pa...more
Sheri
Heart Full Of Lies (Ann Rule)
True crime. The story of Liysa and Chris Northon. Chris was found shot in the head in his sleeping bag and his wife Liysa is the prime suspect. She claims to have been the victim of domestic abuse and that she had to do this to protect her family. A little bit repetitive and a lot of names to remember, but overall this was a good read. I love the work of Ann Rule she brings her books life and digs deep in investigations and finding the facts. I recommend to true crim...more
Jackie
This is Ann Rule's account of Liysa Northon's murder of her airline pilot husband. I became interested in her story after reading that Liysa sued Ann Rule for defamation over the book. According to the article I read, the court basically decided that the reputation of an inmate convicted of murder is so bad that it is impossible to damage it (I haven't read the opinion myself). After finishing the book, I was pretty convinced that Liysa was a nut, but I became absolutely convinced after reading...more
Larry Bassett
When I finished reading Blood Meridian, I started Heart Full of Lies. Talk about whiplash! Although this is my first Ann Rule book, I did know that I was embarking on something completely different than Cormac McCarthy. Like Cormac, Ann Rule took me into the lives of a strange assortment of people but with Ann it was like a voyeuristic vacation whereas Cormac’s scenery and characters were more like Apocalypse Now. I needed a break from books that require brain power to something more obvious. An...more
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
Very sad.....This is the very first time that Ann Rule came across as judgmental to me. I have read other reviews where other readers have said that she made the victim sound too perfect..... Thats kind of the feel I got out of this story. I do feel bad for Chris' family being that he is not here to defend himself from the abusive allegations that were brought on by his wife.

If what is written is true then this Lyisa lady is one nut job!
Beverly Meehan
I usually find Ann's books a bit haunting as I live here in the northwest and most are set nearby. This one is proving to be particularly so. I was in the airport and saw Hawaii Airlines everywhere I looked.
It is so sad to think about the terrible loss for the Northon's and especially the children. Liysa's desires and the lengths she was willing to go to, including the lies to people who genuinely cared for her...it really makes me appreciate the people I care about.
There were some things I wo...more
Lizpeveto
I have not read all of Rule's books and am not sure why she chose this story and murder as I never saw it in the headlines. The frightening thing about her books is the history which she uncovers thru meticulous research about the murderer. When you see the whole picture, how can you ever doubt their guilt. However, most juries, defense attorneys, media, even personal friends and family are never able to piece together such a complete picture of the murderer. People like Liysa interact or inters...more
Doreen
Ann Rule knows how to write true crime stories! I wasn't sure about reading true crime, because it could have gone in so many directions. Boring, gory, educational, like you were in class dredging through a textbook.(Ok, I know that goes along with boring.) This book was not that way at all. She delivers the story, (pictures included), well documented without putting the reader to sleep. I was surprised that the murderer in this story was the wife. (No spoiler, since if you read the jacket it te...more
Lori
This book proved to me that I set a very high bar for Ann Rule, who is my favorite true crime author. Written by anyone else, it would probably be a good enough book. But "good enough" just doesn't cut it, in my opinion, when it comes to Ms. Rule.

Maybe I just didn't connect to the persons in this book but I didn't feel invested in the story at all. I read the book in its entirety but more so out of dedication to Ms. Rule than the merits of the book.

Definitely her weakest true crime effort.
Kirei
Well, this is my third Ann Rule book and so far they have all followed the same pattern. Some poor sap marries someone who ends up being a cruel killer.

It was interesting and I didn enjoy it. I couldn't help but wonder if Ann Rule skewed the book a little to make Chris Northon saintlier than he really was, but basically I agree with her conclusion that his wife premeditated his murder and most likely was not abused.
Suzanne Strack
I went through a phase a few years back where all I was reading was true-crime. I then picked up my first John Grisham book and realized that I enjoyed fiction much more. Since then I have been phasing out the true-crime books. However, I had this Ann Rule book on my shelf, so I started reading it. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. This book wasn't as dry and repetitive as some of the true crimes books that I have read. It also seemed to have a lot of information on the front-end, sett...more
Tiffy
This was a little different from the Anne Rule books I usually read, this one was about a female killer. Generally her books are about male predators. Still very interesting. Kept my interest the whole way through.
Jim Thomsen
Good but not particularly distinguished true-crime fare from Ann Rule. The case itself — an attractive women who probably murdered her husband in front of their child — is interesting. The merely serviceable way in which the facts are rendered, colored as always in latter-day Rule stories by her own fuzzy theories on how killers and victims behave, is less interesting.

The story: Chris Northon is a fun-loving pilot, a confirmed bachelor who changes abruptly when he meets the athletic, attractive...more
Teresa
Every now and then, police and investigators are thrown a curve ball: a case not as cut and dry as it first appears on the surface.

In "Heart Full of Lies," Ann Rule relates just such a bizarre tale of murder, abuse, and a woman's overly active fantasy life. She writes about the murder of Chris Northon at the hands of his wife Liysa while on a camping trip in Oregon's picturesque Wallowa County.

This is a twisted tale, full of murky back stories meant to set the stage for what was supposed to have...more
Trish
3 stars/Non-Fiction; True Crime

There are two sides to every story, but Liysa seemed to be so manipulative of those around her that it is hard for me to believe any of her accusations of abuse at Chris' hands.

She knew what she wanted and was darn well going to get it by any means. It is just so sad that she robbed both her own son and the rest of the Northon family and friends of a seemingly good man in the process.

In all fairness, I went to Liysa's website (prior to reading this book) to see wh...more
Kim Higgs
As I have always said, Ann Rule really goes so far to provide you with every little detail possible which I love. This case is very disturbing in the fact that the man that was killed was so into life and loved every minute of it. He went out of his way to avoid conflict and this psycho killed him because she did not care for him and he was in the way of what she wanted. What makes this case even more disturbing is the lies she continues to spout and her new husband who attacks Ann Rule for maki...more
Wanda
I live in the area(s) that this non-fiction book was written about (where the murder occurred), so it was interesting to hear the reader tell the story. I could visualize the scenery where this crime was committed. I listened to the audio version of it and every time I got into my truck to travel, I was very captured by the story and a couple of times I lingered in my truck as I just didn't want to stop the story at that very moment. It is amazing to me that she could be so selfish and cruel to...more
Lynn Rueff
This true crime story took place in Bend, Oregon and Hawaii. A young mother of two is accused of shooting her third husband in the head and while they were on a camping trip in Oregon. The prosecution had an easy time of proving the Liysa Northon was guilty because she left her murder plan on her personal computer. The computer was reported stolen but in fact the computer had been taken by friends and not destroyed. At this point Liysa Northon is spending twelve years in prison without parol and...more
Katharine
I picked this book on CD up shortly after reading a story in our local paper about Liysa Northon's release date from the Oregon prison this April and how she was a battered wife and accused of killing her husband and it mentioned Ann Rule's book, which chronicles this real life murder story. I felt sorry for Liysa after reading the newspaper article but, after the book I have doubt about Liysa's character and accusations. This book I listened to on CD on a recent trip to Seattle and I didn't wan...more
Julie
I really enjoy true crime stories, and Ann Rule is one of the best-known writers in this genre. The story takes place in the Pacific Northwest, where a lifeless body is found in a remote riverside campground. Rule begins to reveal a detailed account of this man, and the woman he was married to at the time of his death. Rather than just examine the facts of the death scene, it is important to understand the details of the victim's life, and the life of the accused (and confessed) killer. There ar...more
Melyssa Dawn Michaels
I absolutely love Ann Rule. She has a way with each of her books to present every piece of evidence, both sides of a story or more if there is any, and do so with respect paid both to the victims and their families, but also to the person accused as well.
This story was confusing to say the least, with both sides weighing in on the couples marriage, it was hard to figure what was true to what was made up in terms of the woman in the story but as always Ann put it all together in such a way that...more
Jill
It's rather ugly to say this is my favorite, since she writes non-fiction crime, but it is my favorite. It's a different side of things, since "the female of the species is more deadly than the male." This is another comparatively quick, but fascinating read. It's somewhat repetitive, and there are bits where I feel like the author tries too hard. It's definitely biased, but I still can't help but feel it's a fairly accurate portrayal. The strange thing is that I never heard about this case befo...more
Summer G
this was a really good book. it was really interesting right from the beginning. it is also very sad to know the victim beyond just his name:( tragic but interesting true story
Stephanie
I kept getting a sense of deja vu reading this, and realized that I have read another book about this same wacko woman and the way she went through life.

I wanted to know more about the families (WHY was her father apparently fired from being a college Pres.? and what was the story about her mother and the "abuse" that Lisa/Liysa may or may not have suffered?)

This is classic Ann Rule. Fast read, just enough creepy details about the crime without gagging you, etc.

Perfect for a holiday afternoon.....more
Angi Hurst
Ann Rule's true tale of a single murder. I loved her analysis of the main character (as always). Not enough questions were answered though, I thought. I wanted to know what the experts had to say about their analysis of crazy-ass Liysa, and there was very little of that.


My scale (since the speed of my listening is directly proportional to how well I like the book):

1 - couldn't get through it
2 - actually got through it but it took months
3 - listened to it fairly consistently on the train (too...more
Heather Moss
I really love a good true crime book, and this one didn't disappoint. Liysa is creepy and a master manipulator. When I finished reading it I googled her and found that someone has put up a blog for her. I guess she must tell them what to put on it from prison. She disputes just about everything in this book, but I have no doubt that Ann Rule got most of the facts straight. (It really makes no difference if Liysa's brother was born in Missouri or Wyoming -- one of the facts she apparently got wro...more
Sarah
Overall it was another one of Rule's gripping and well researched stories of murder. However having in an abridged audiobook was an absolute disservice to the author. I had no idea if the segments I found haphazard or confusing were due to Rule's writing or to someone taking an axe to her book. Lisa Northon emerges as a terrifying and disturbed woman, prone to believing her own fiction over reality time and time again. The idea that she only got 12 years in prison for the horrifying and demonstr...more
Shelley
Oct 23, 2012 Shelley rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ann Rule fans
Although I always enjoy Ann Rule's books, this one seemed to drag a bit for me. I'm not really sure why this was as it was an interesting case, but yet it felt like the same stories were getting repeated over and over. But I do think that Ann was trying to show all the different tales that were told to all the different people she knew and so in some respects we were reading a lot of the same things over and over.

I got interested in this story when I saw the news report that Liysa had been rele...more
Erin
Ann Rule needs a good base story to be good (see Small Sacrifices, or Never Let Her Go). If not, you get this. I understand why she wanted to cover the story, since it's set in the Pacific Northwest (her home) and the parts that aren't are in lovely Hawaii (nice tax write-off for her research trip), but the story was lackluster and relatively uninteresting.
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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 If You Really Loved Me And Never Let Her Go: Thomas Capano: The Deadly Seducer

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