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Fatal Friends, Deadly Neighbors and Other True Cases

(Crime Files #16)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,106 ratings  ·  164 reviews
#1 New York Times bestselling author and queen of true crime Ann Rule’s sixteenth volume in her True Crime Files series, Deadly Neighbors delves into the unsolved case of a billionaire’s son mysteriously falling off a balcony to his death and more.

In July 2011, billionaire Jonah Shacknai’s Coronado, California, mansion was the setting for two horrifying deaths only days ap
Paperback, 544 pages
Published November 27th 2012 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,106 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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jv poore
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, non-fiction, own-it
Because Ms. Rule understands the big picture, and all its moving parts, her writing covers the crime from all aspects. It's like being on the sidelines, but having an expert beside you, to answer all your questions.
Maudeen Wachsmith
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Ann Rule is an auto- buy for me. I've been reading her books for many years. However this latest left a lot to be desired. I was most interested in the Susan Powell case after seeing so much of it on the news and having grown up in the Puyallup area. However I could have written this. There was nothing new and I got the impression Rule was simply fulfilling her promise to the Cox family. The other stories were simplistic to downright boring and included an arson and an apologetic rapist -- stori ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Reason for Reading: It's been years since I read this type of true crime. I used to read it a lot. I had been wanting to get back into reading something like this and who better to start with than Ann Rule. I read a couple of her books waaaay back at the beginning of her career, but I had never read one of her crime file collections before.

The publisher's summary and information on the book itself is quite careful in not letting the reader know which cases are discussed in the book, except the P
Apr 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-2017
This was just an okay read from beginning to end.

I think the issue is that the first two cases were pretty much unsolved mysteries. So you can guess at what happened, but you don't really know. After that, I didn't get the reason why some of these cases were included in this volume. The last two were just sad and by the end of the book I ended up feeling worse when you read about how little time some of the guilty actually do get.

I think the main problem is that after a while Rule writes in su
Kris - My Novelesque Life
(Review Not on Blog)

I have always wanted to read Ann Rule but have been scared off by the subject material. While I have always watched true crime shows, the thought of reading it made it seem "too real". After dipping my toe into a few true crime books over the past few years I was finally ready to try an Ann Rule book. I picked this one up from the library as it was a new paperback so I thought it was meant to be. I enjoyed Ann Rule's writing but also her compassion for the vict
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was an absolutely fascinating read. The first few cases are gut-wrenching, and I had to google after several because I was so curious as to whether there had been new developments. These are true crime stories but written to keep you on the edge of your seat. Well researched and it's clear a lot of care was taken to remain respectful to families and friends involved. Couldn't put it down. I will definitely be looking out for more books in this series.
♥ Marlene♥
Ann Rule was one of the first true crime authors I've read back in the days cause not many books were translated in Dutch and back then I only read Dutch. I did find afew books of her that were translated and I did enjoy them.

Now more than a decade later I am appalled as to how she treats her readers. Apparently she thinks her readers are dumb and can't think for them self which is why she constantly, early in every sentence, has to tell us how dumb, how ugly, how childish the supposed and proba
Dec 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
These true crime files collected by Ann Rule are always different and many of them are fascinating. This particular collection includes a majority of what had been unsolved crimes in the 1970s, but which with some new technology and canvassing, became closed cases. The one story in this volume that especially got to me was one that involved a billionaire owner of a pharmaceutical company who owned a vacation home in Coronado, CA. In the early years of the current century this man (who lived with ...more
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
I will start off by saying how dissapointed I am with the Publisher. My copy was missing about 50 pages. It was very dissapointing to read the story and to get into it, and all of a sudden have the final part of the story go missing.

With that, I will say that I enjoyed the book. I am glad that the 2 main cases that made me pick up the book so fast when it first came out (Coronado Suicide & Powell Case) had all of the pages in tact. I learned a lot of things on both of the cases that I did n
Rebecca Huston
Not the best collection of Ann Rule stories. Several of these tales bothered me quite a bit, especially the first two, which chronicle two very recent crimes, while the others occur mostly in the 1970's. Still, a so-so Ann Rule book is better than most other true crime books, but I would only recommend this one to those who really enjoy her work. Photos and an excerpt from her next book, Practice to Deceive, due in October 2013. Somewhat recommended.

For the longer review, please go here:
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-books
This was my book club’s pick-the only way I could get it from the library was on audio. I have not read a book this way before and probably won’t again-I may be just reacting to the narrator’s voice but I found this method less involving. The author, Ann Rule, is a former newspaper reporter and a well known true crime author. It seems as though, in this book, she was cleaning out her desk and scooped up some cases from the 1970s which were largely unsolved. The first two cases were novella lengt ...more
I mostly chose this book because of tgecRebecca Zahau case that was recently in the news because of a civil case filed by her family. That plus I usually enjoy Ann Rule even if she can be biased at times. This collection of short crime stories differs from the rest. There is not one but two novella length stories and there is no story that has the same name as the title of the book. That being said let's dig into these stories. It begins with the first novella Fire and Ice which tells the story ...more
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
I usually enjoy reading true crime books by Ann Rule who I consider to be one of the best in the genre. However, she is at her best when she writes books about one particular crime or criminal rather than a series of vignettes. Some of the vignettes were interesting and did grab my attention but others not so.

One of the main problems I note with Ms. Rule's writing is that she inserts all the names of the policemen, forensic specialists and prosecutors involved in a case. It is not likely that t
The Loopy Librarian
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have been an Ann Rule fan for decades. Crime stories have always interested me, but I'm careful about which true crime authors I read. I have made the mistake of picking up books that focused on the gruesome details of the crimes themselves with little empathy for the victims or the families. Ann Rule is steadfast in her support of and respect for victims and their families. She also supports law enforcement and, having once been a cop herself, has an innate understanding of the job and the pe ...more
Maria Yohana
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
this is my first ann rule's book. I don't know much about the writer technic that she use to write, but this book is just really fascinating.

the chapter that really caught me the most is the first case : Fire and Ice
I cried so badly even tough I read it in my workplace. I couldn't imagine how such a tragic life that the two children have to go through. And a few minutes later I got so angry about all of the factor that caused the death of the 2 innocence. Especially for the police and law inst
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This Ann Rule lived up to it's name.
FIRE AND ICE: The Powell family tragedy.
TWO STRAGE DEATHS IN CORONADO: The Rebecca Zahau and Max Shacknai deaths. I still say this one smell like old fish.
DOUBLE DEATH FOR A PHILNATRIPIST: In August 1978 Burle and olive bramhall were killed by thier 23 year old next door neighbor.
FIRE: About the Edmon Meany Hotel fires in Seatle 1974.
AN OBSESSION WITH BLONDS: Marci Brunswick and Nadine Jermer rape by Ernest Leroy Donadelli in 1976. Sentenced to 20 years.
I just finished the first long story in this collection, which is about Susan Powell. Although I was familiar with the story, I wasn't aware of a lot of details. Definitely very interesting. The second novella was also pretty good, but not quite as good as the first. I enjoyed the shorter stories as well. Overall, a good, interesting read.
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
This is the newest installment in Ann Rule's series of short true crime stories. In this, there are rapes and murder, and the strange, sad case of Josh and Sarah Powell. This book includes an excerpt from a longer book she is writing called "Practice to Deceive." As is usual for Ms. Rule's books, this one is hard to put down and as interesting as any of her many other works.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Ann Rule does this true crime thing best. Though I'm always disappointed in the cases that continue to be unsolved.
Annie Booker
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Not as enjoyable as Ann Rule's other books though it held my attention most of the time.
Vicki Tyley
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
True crime writing at its best, especially the in depth research and insight with the Powell case.
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book!

The writing style is good and I could tell that author put in a lot of time and research into each case. I will definitely be picking up some more books by Ann Rule.
Tracey Gibbs dipietro
Aug 16, 2012 marked it as to-read
Can't wait for it to come out!!!!
Jul 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Good with more than one story, but did wish that so many ended without being resolved, feel sorry for the famillies of those who never know.
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Chilling stories about horrible people. Beware, folks. Choose partners with care and deliberation.
3.5 stars. SO behind on my reviews.
Oct 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mine, nonfiction, 2014
I always enjoy Ann Rule's books. I like them best when the cases are solved. These cases were pretty sad! Just not up to her usual standards.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read the Susan Powell Cox story, it was very sad how it ended for all of them.
I'm a big fan of reading Ann Rule's books I've read the Ted Bundy case, Diane Downs, Bitter Harvest, Dead by Sunset & Small Sacrifices but the Josh and Susan Powell case I don't remember I guess it slipped past me. Susan Cox Powell was dealing with a narssicit husband, if he would have been checked out by a psychiatrist and not a psychologist they would have figured out what was wrong with him from the beginning.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ann Rule is excellent at detailing a crime story without being boring or droning on. She adds her professional insights as well as details what spéculation surrounded each case. This book was especially interesting because it involved two involved crimes at the beginning, both of which gripped the nation. First there is the disappearance of Susan Cox Powell. Ann Rule details Susan’s fraught relationship with both her husband and his father. Sadly, her remains have yet to be found and her husband ...more
Savanah Rae
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click 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

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)
  • Empty Promises and Other True Cases (Crime Files, #7)
  • 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)
“When grown children fall in love and choose someone to marry, we hope that person will be good to them. Sometimes we can see trouble ahead, but the more we find fault in whom they’ve picked, the more likely they are to cling to them. Our eyes are not blinded by infatuation or love, and we can see personality traits that give us cause to worry when we know in our bones that our beloved children may end up with broken hearts and broken marriages. But, again, we keep our mouths shut and hope for the best.” 0 likes
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