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Empty Promises and Other True Cases

(Crime Files #7)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  2,499 ratings  ·  96 reviews
Librarian's note: There is an Alternate Cover Edition for this edition of this book here.

MORE THAN 20 MILLION COPIES OF ANN RULE'S BOOKS IN PRINT! In this unnerving collection drawn from her personal crime files, "America's best true-crime writer" (Kirkus Reviews) Ann Rule brilliantly dissects the convoluted love affairs that all too often end in violence.

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Paperback, 524 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Pocket Books
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In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteHelter Skelter by Vincent BugliosiThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann RuleThe Devil in the White City by Erik LarsonColumbine by Dave Cullen
Best True Crime
1,153 books — 1,696 voters
In Cold Blood by Truman CapoteMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John BerendtSecret Successful Heist by DTxYmeA Long Way Gone by Ishmael BeahThe Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
True Crime-Read
94 books — 9 voters

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  2,499 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: True crime readers.
Compilation of true crime stories from Ann Rule whom I have read so much of. All the stories are tragic. The story of Jamie Hagel was searingly brutal and was the first one I read and also seemed one of the longest.

I miss Ann. I have not loved all her books but nobody can deny she does so much research on all the cases she chooses to right about and her writing pulls the reader in to tragic and unforgettable stories. You'll not forget this one if you choose to read it.
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am starting to wind down with my true crime kick. I think I need to mix it up a bit, because reading about cases like this so much is a bit much for me right now.

These volumes always have a longer story that Rule focuses on and then some shorter true crime stories. The long one in this one is "Empty Promises" that follows the disappearance of Jami Hagel Sherer. Rule gives us great insight into a woman who is abused and what a toll it takes on her and those around her over time. She also gives
Abel Reed
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Pretty good. I've read enough of her books to recognize a specific pattern. The people who've committed the heinous crimes depicted are, well, heinous. But Ann tends to depict the victims as being almost 'too' good. She also gives prodigious praise and goes into a lot of detail about investigators and police officers in the cases - without whom I guess she wouldn't have much of a career. I'm not dismissive of the investigators, but I have a friend who was a fire-fighter/ paramedic for many years ...more
SheriC (PM)
Ann Rule’s 7th crime files book is a little heavy on the hyperbole, but there’s an important theme running through these true crime stories that women should pay attention to. There is a pattern of behavior we should be wary of in our intimate relationships. It may be subtle at first, then escalate until we find ourselves trapped in a cycle of damage and self-destruction. It may begin as a masquerade of devotion and protectiveness. But the demands escalate. The control tightens. The isolation is ...more
Alexandra Kelly
Jul 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
A really well written Ann Rule book. Enjoyed it a lot. Steve Sherer deserves to rot in prison for what he did to poor Jami. Most of the stories break your heart.
Angie crosby
Oct 20, 2009 rated it liked it
I just don't like the crime file books as much as the full length books. There are some good stories in here, and some boring ones as well. ...more
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love me some good true crime. And Ann Rule delivers. The main story had one hell of a creepy villain. No one ever wants to get entangled with him romantically as they may not survive. The last story has been reconstituted on Forensic Files so I already knew the outcome.
Nov 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rupesh Goenka
Jul 21, 2016 rated it liked it
An interesting collection of true crime cases with deep insight into the mind of a predator. FRIGHTFUL...
Brenna Sydel
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Ann Rule is a true crime queen.

Some of what is written in this book is a little bit dated but not so much that it loses its value or interest.

Rule has a real knack for writing and capturing details. She humanizes the victims so well and captures the horror and shock of the crimes.
Nov 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Some of the mini cases were so captivating and appalling. I wish one of the mini cases had been chosen for the longer case instead of Steve and Jami Sherer's story! Unfortunately, this one missed the mark for me and I typically love Ann Rule books! ...more
Erin Kelly
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ann Rule, as always!
Katherine Addison
*"Empty Promises": Bellevue WA 1990: murder of Jami Hagel Sherer by her abusive stalker husband Steve
*"Bitter Lake": murder of woman and her toddler son by her stalker ex-boyfriend
*"Young Love": teenage boy threatens ex-girlfriend with bomb, but blows himself up
*"Love and Insurance": gay man murdered by his roommate (lover? close friend?) for a $500,000 insurance policy
*"The Gentler Sex": woman and her girlfriend murder her husband for the insurance money; another woman attempts to hire a hit ma
Dec 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Not bad. I feel so sorry for the women in these books who fall victims of men who are so obviously wrong for them. I guess hindsight is 20/20, and it's easy to read about a crime and think you'd never fall for it or you'd never believe the criminal's lies, but I guess it's harder to see how someone really is when you're blinded by love. I wouldn't know -- I'm much too cynical for that! But this was a good collection, and one of the stories was about a crime against a gay man, which was a bit unu ...more
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I found this book very interesting but disturbing at the same time. I just don't see how people can go out and kill others especially children but here shows just a few that did and I can say Washington state is one that must have a lot of these people in it for this is where all these happened
Jan 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazingly well-written book. It was very dark at times, but what else can one expect from a book of true murder stories. The feature story completely pulled me in, and I also loved being able to get through the shorter stories in just one evening. I would highly recommend this :)
Michelle Muench
I dont usually read books like this i but really enjoyed it! This book really shows how complicated the mind of human beings really are. I will never understand how some people work no matter how hard i try. I found this book suspenful and exciting. I would deffinatly reccoment it.
Oct 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Ann Rule is the best True Crime writer. If you enjoy this will enjoy all her books.
Nov 20, 2009 rated it liked it
Eerie true murder stories that women in this century should be aware of. Very quick read that makes me want to take a break from dating.
Jun 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Ann Rule is such a talented crime writer that I find it hard to get interested in other books after I've read something she wrote. Excellent collection of former cases. ...more
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've always enjoyed Ann Rule's true crime stories - this book includes 10 tales from the northwest US and involves some pretty hair raising events... ...more
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Always creepy to read Ann Rule. In another life I plan to be work in criminal justice.
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Such horribly twisted killers. So many innocent victims. Such good writing.
Karen Thompson
Mar 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Ann Rule does it again - another great one!
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved I do all her books
Michael Greer
Nov 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who has ever thought about it will realize that the social mechanism is a sorting mechanism. Just like the coffee industry, arabica beans are sorted from robusta beans, no matter one individual's sense of taste. The English spent many years in India cultivating a wide variety of teas, sorting them according to their taste and growing requirements. The Chinese have thousands of years of tea cultivation and sort them accordingly. So how did Steven Sherer and Jami Hagel Sherer "sort themselv ...more
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Empty Promises and other True Case Crimes is part of Ann Rule's Crime Files series. Each book is a stand alone though. I was getting burnt out on reading a bunch of historical novels so I switched to true crime for a while.

I really enjoyed the first half of Empty Promises since it was about one case but after that I lost interest in some of the cases. They were shorter stories and some were interesting while some were not. Ann Rule is a tight writer who clearly does her research and has an extr
Kimberly Almaguer
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
This was my firs true crime novel I’ve read. I’m an avid fan of true crime and I’m usually plugged into true crime and mystery channels on YouTube. Going into this book I wasn’t prepared for these cases to hit me so hard. Watching documentaries and reading more detailed accounts are completely different. I enjoyed my first run into the book world of one of my favorite genres. I’ll probably just wait a while before I dive into my next one.
Anne Brown
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm a huge fan of true crime and Ann Rule is the ultimate true crime writer...but this book wasn't among my favorites. I liked the main story but wasn't as fond of the short vignettes of true crime at the end. Definitely not her signature writing aa I enjoy it more when she delves totally into a case. ...more
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

as always, Anne Rule's books are well-written, exhaustively researched accounts of some shocking true crime cases - I'm so sad she passed away - she was the queen of this genre. "Empty Promises" will not disappoint fans of Ann Rule & true crime.
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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

Other books in the series

Crime Files (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • A Rose for Her Grave and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #1)
  • You Belong to Me and Other True Crime Cases (Crime Files, # 2)
  • A Fever in the Heart and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #3)
  • In the Name of Love and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #4)
  • The End of the Dream: The Golden Boy Who Never Grew Up (Crime Files, #5)
  • A Rage to Kill and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #6)
  • Last Dance, Last Chance and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #8)
  • Kiss Me, Kill Me and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #9)
  • Worth More Dead and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #10)
  • No Regrets and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #11)

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