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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

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,941 Ratings  ·  159 Reviews
An idyllic Hawaiian wedding held the promise of a wonderful future for handsome, athletic Chris Northon, an airline pilot, a confirmed bachelor-turned-devoted family man; and Liysa, an acclaimed surf photographer, loving mother, and aspiring Hollywood screenwriter. But few, including Chris, had seen Liysa's other side -- her controlling behavior and dark moods, her insatia ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Pocket Books (first published October 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisette Brodey
Oct 17, 2010 Lisette Brodey rated it really liked it
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
♥ 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
Jackie
Jan 02, 2009 Jackie rated it it was ok
Shelves: true-crime
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
Sheri
Oct 30, 2010 Sheri rated it really liked it
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
Felicia
May 20, 2015 Felicia rated it it was amazing
This is my first Ann Rule book. If you don't know she writes true crime stories. I have this book 5 stars because she has a way a writing about something that truly happened and not taking sides. It was a this is what happened and you make up your own mind. She also follows through with 'where they are now'. which I admit I like to know what happened after.
I don't like to say what the story was about because for me it ruins it as a reader. I like to know if you though it was good, poorly writte
...more
Larry Bassett
Feb 13, 2012 Larry Bassett rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime
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
Dec 14, 2008 Beverly Meehan rated it really liked it
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
Jan 22, 2012 Lizpeveto rated it liked it
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
Aug 24, 2012 Doreen rated it really liked it
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
Jul 03, 2009 Lori rated it liked it
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.
ABC
May 05, 2009 ABC rated it liked it
Shelves: teens-and-adults
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
Feb 20, 2014 Suzanne Strack rated it liked it
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
Riley
Apr 14, 2015 Riley rated it it was ok
I liked several of Ann Rule books very much, but this one is boring. There's way too much biographical and geographical detail, long before you get to what happened. By p.70 the psychopathology is obvious and repetitious. There's no suspense.
Chaisen Petrino
Jan 07, 2016 Chaisen Petrino rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tiffy
Dec 13, 2008 Tiffy rated it really liked it
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
Jul 20, 2010 Jim Thomsen rated it liked it
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
Feb 24, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it
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
Rebecca
Sep 17, 2014 Rebecca rated it liked it
This is book about a murder that happened in 2000. It is a third hand account, it is a long book. It is interesting to hear this story with its twists and turns. It talks of Liysa Northron and her relationships. There are definitely 2 sides to every story. This book was long with some good material but very repetitive . and did not need to be over 400 pages. Ann Rule is a good author but a bit long winded and very thorough. I do not think anyone could tell the story better. It is good for true c ...more
Nancy Wilson
Jan 11, 2015 Nancy Wilson rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoyed all of Ann Rule's books. It might not of been as detailed as most of her other books but I think it was pretty cut and dried who was the real victim in this story from the very beginning. If the trial had played out to the end it might of been more interesting to hear Ellen Duveaux's second testimony and also hear what else was found on the computer.
Trish
Apr 05, 2012 Trish rated it liked it
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
Dec 11, 2012 Kim Higgs rated it really liked it
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
Jacque
Jul 30, 2015 Jacque rated it really liked it
This is one of the best Ann Rule books I've read. The few before this I wasn't that impressed with but this one reeled me in. Something about it really gave me the creeps. It wasn't even a stranger murder, yet I had chills and was a little freaked out to be home alone. That is so not normal for me. Really glad I picked this one up!
Wanda
Mar 14, 2013 Wanda rated it really liked it
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
Lynda
Apr 23, 2016 Lynda rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Oops, I was one hundred and some pages off on my last update. I hate typing with arthritic fingers.

This was a difficult book to read because it was the most controversial of Ann Rule's books. Ann Rule actually sued one reviewer for slander However, if you read the book objectively, there is no doubt that justice was at least partially fulfilled.

Lynn Rueff
Sep 24, 2009 Lynn Rueff rated it really liked it
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
Carol Harvey
I really love Ann Rule's books. The only problem I had with this book in particular is it took me until half way through to actually be able to get into it. I feel that it is quiet hard to get into it in the first half of the book. But that is just my opinion.
Neida
Feb 18, 2016 Neida rated it liked it
I think I need to get away from the true crime genre for a while. I've read a couple of other books from this author and I've always left with the impression that the victim is always perfect and the criminal is always 100% evil. This one was no different.
Julie
Aug 21, 2010 Julie rated it really liked it
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
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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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