David's Reviews > In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds

In the Still of the Night by Ann Rule
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's review
Aug 08, 2011

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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? husband who was about to leave her to go back to his ex-wife and wanted to collect on her life insurance?........) are fascinating. There's a very good 200-page book in here, but it's unfortunately ensnared in another 200 pages of nonsense. A photo of the author with victim's mom with caption explaining why the author was having a "bad hair day", an explanation of what "dope" is (marijuana, for those of you not as well-versed in cutting edge street slang as I am), dozens of reminders that the author and the victim's mom became friends and that the author does not believe it was a suicide, and on and on.

The only book I ever wrote was a co-authored textbook published by a large New York company, and at the time I know I resented the number of eyes that had to review every single sentence before it made the final bound copy, but reading books like this one makes me appreciate the importance of having someone with clout aside from the author read everything and pressure the author to drop self-indulgent stuff that takes up space without advancing the story.
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