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Every Breath You Take: A True Story of Obsession, Revenge, and Murder

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  5,455 Ratings  ·  223 Reviews
"If anything ever happens to me...
find Ann Rule and ask her to write my story."

In perhaps the first true-crime book written at the victim's request, Ann Rule untangles a web of lies and brutality that culminated in the murder of Sheila Blackthorne B
Paperback, 681 pages
Published December 1st 2002 by Simon & Schuster Pocket Books (first published December 31st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kimberly Rahi
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
Now I will perhaps get quite a bit of backlash for rating this book so low. I have nothing against the story. It was tragic, unnecessary, and senseless, like most killings. Shelia Blackthorne Bellush just wanted a normal life and after separating from her abusive husband, Allen Blackthorne, she attempted to have just that. Jamie Bellush, her new husband, tried hard to give her a sense of normalcy. Sheila had two children with former husband, Allen. She was the mother of his two beautiful girls, ...more
Sandra Stiles
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult
Every Breath You Take is the story of the life and death of Sheila Bellush and the road to bring those responsible for her murder to justice. Sheila had a tumultuous marriage to Allen Blackthorne. Violent and controlling, she finally found the courage to leave him. After her divorce to him he proceeded to create trouble for her and their two daughters Stevie and Daryl. Long after Sheila had married Jamie Bellush and they had quadruplets, Allen did his best to disrupt their lives. He used her nei ...more
Aug 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Basically a good read if you like to follow true crime. However it's a novel that could and maybe should have been written with half as many pages. Rule gives far too many quotes and snippets from all sides of the families, legal teams and accused to make it a pleasure to read. It drags as we are burdened by a sea of facts,dates and her insights.
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I must say that for a nonfiction book, this read like a novel. I was intrigued and disgusted by the case, and I wanted justice done! A very good book. I will definitely read more of Ann Rule in the future.
Dec 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
I think this is the one book that I could not finish. I like Ann Rule's books and she is a great writer but there is only one word to describe Allen Blackthorne and that is evil. He made me sick and it got to the point that I didn't care any more. He deserved whatever this life gives him because I know he will pay for his sins dearly when he passes over.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: true-crime
If Ann rule wants a simple story of right and wrong, then she should pick a simple story in which there is clearly a victim and clearly an evil person and there is no overlap. If she chooses to pick a more complex case, like this case, then she should have enough respect for the intelligence and analytical thinking skills of her readers to represent the details of the complex case as such. Rule chooses murder cases that I am interested in. Despite the fact that she is a profoundly terrible write ...more
Jacks Wife
Feb 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This poor woman,who became famous for a brief time,after having quads,and began the talk show circuit talking about having so many babies after taking a fertility drug,failing,and then seeing another doctor who ended up making her pregnant and all the babies surviving to full term,only after she had escaped an incredibly abusive ex-husband.She was Sheila B., who had 2 beautiful daughters with this Alan B., who were caught in the middle.
There are neighbors who get involved,and go against Sheila,a
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was the most interesting true-crime book I had ever read. Not only did the victim in this situation ask the author to write her story (she was a big fan of Ann Rule), but the way that Ann Rule tells Shelia Blackthorne Bellush's story makes it feel like Ann Rule and the victim were the best of friends, like they had known each other since they were kids. The details about both Shelia's and Allen's lives were crystal clear and laid out like they were common knowledge for everyone.

Another thin
Sep 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Perhaps I am beginning to suffer from Ann Rule fatigue, this is the third audiobook, I've blazed through in the same amount of weeks, but I didn't find this story overly compelling. Maybe it was because I already knew how it would end when I picked it up, it was a foregone conclusion. I'm still amazed that such seemingly smart people will do such dumb things like Allen "cartoonishly evil made-up last name" Blackthorne did by hiring men to beat up/kill his ex-wife and not expecting them to immedi ...more
Jul 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes true crime
When I checked this book out from the library, I had no idea what it was about until I began reading it (I picked it because I love Ann Rule). When I began, I couldn't believe that it was about the Blackthorne/Bellush murder. I lived in the area where the plan was hatched, drove by the countryclub almost every day where he played golf, my husband was a firefighter in the suburbs where Allen Blackthorne lived and actually had been in his mansion to do a fireplan. Not only that, the actual murdere ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a disturbing book to read. Not because it was not well written and a page turner, for it was all of that. I had decided about 50 pages or more not to finish, I found it so distressing. I could not stop thinking about those four poor babies, unattended for hours, walking in the blood of thier mother. It was soooo depressing. Then days later, I reminded myself that this mother actually chose Ann Rule to write her story, if in fact her husband killed her. It was a great book and the pictur ...more
Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: true-crime
The book was repetitive and dealt too much with the muder plot than the murder itself. Ann notes extensively the family history of the nurdered woman and the killer devoting several chapters - translating to many hours of book reading time - to the kind of parents the murderer had. I understand that her attempt was to show the ultimate motives for the murder, but it just took me way off track. She could have mentioned as she wrote about the murderer that his mother was abusive, father hated him, ...more
Debbie Rauch
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of murder mysteries and courtroom drama. The fact that this was based on a true story made the book that much more fascinating. It did read like a "Who's Who?" in spots...with names and dates that I have already forgotten. However, the author did a good job of giving the reader enough background to really understand...or try to understand...the complex character of the man who orchestrated the murder of his ex-wife. All in all, it is a very sad true story and a pretty good read.
Jul 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ann Rule's books are very well researched and written. She certainly knows how to hold her reading audience captive. Every Breath You Take is no exception. Usually the outcomes are already known due to publicity surrounding the cases which end up in Rule's true crime books, but that does not detract from or lessen the intrigue. My only desire now is to know that Sheila Bellush's children are doing well and living fulfilling lives after the horror they lived through as young teens and toddlers.
Jun 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I've read almost all of Ann Rule's true crime books, and they are always gripping -- even if you already know the outcome of the story. The key is the psychological portrait she draws of each character, especially victim and murderer. Guarantee: whenever I start an Ann Rule book, I won't be able to put it down. This book was no exception.
Jessica Feist
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it

The first part of the book is hard to read because of so much detail into the pasts of the people in the book. After about 70 pages or so Is when you get roped into the true crime story of a beautiful mother murdered in front of her children at the hands of a killer hired by her crazy obsessed ex husband. This is so hard to put down and so incredibly sad.
Johnny Williams
Oct 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book was published a number of years back -- but it is still gripping and Rule draws out the details in such a compelling and artful way that you are able to actually experience the terror and manipulation of this bizarre but true story -- Ann sticks to the facts and provides an accurate account of this story
Kimberly Hicks
May 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Sticking with the true Ann Rule fashion, once again, she has outdone herself with this true story. I couldn't put this book down! I wish Ann Rule would write something new, but then, for that to happen, would mean, that someone has to be a victim, and I don't advocate that, but she is the best true-crime writer of this century!
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: true-crime
I loved this book and wanted to see justice for her children so bad......the only down side, that I have noticed about this author, Ann Rule introduces way too many people to the story. I understand getting to know the people you are reading about but I really could careless about a sisters best friends aunts nephews great grandmother!...Other than that this was an awesome read.
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was out of my normal reading zone, but started in a moment when I needed something to read and this was the only book available. I was fascinated by the police work, saddened by the death and destruction Allen Blackthorne left behind him, and disgusted by Blackthorne and his fourth wife. What a piece of work they were. All in all it was a quick, interesting read.
Dec 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Can you believe it another scumb bag... I can't believe how someone can muder their ex-wife, lie and try to get away with it.. Leave his 2 teenage daughter. I hope the Kid and Jamie are doing well. I hope in time they can move on in thier lives.

I love Ann Rule book but have come to the conclusion that I will never move to the Oregan or Washington area. This is where the crazy live...
Lindz Milligan
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was more shocked at the crime scene photo of shelia's body laying on the floor, than the tale behind the murder. He irritated me, but abusive men do.

I agree that less time could of been spent on the back ground and more on the horrific murder of a mother in her own home with her young children with her.
Sep 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
The tragic murder fo Sheila Bellush by Allen Blackthorne is creativly written by Ann Rule. Ann Rule does a wonderful job describing the findings that lead up the the arrest of Sheila's ex-husband Allen Blackthorne and why he wanted her murdered through the detectives on the case.
Ellen Mandly
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good straight forward account of a horrible crime. I didn't realize she wrote the Stranger Beside Me, the story of serial killer Ted Bundy which I read in high school! She's got a slew of other true life crime books out there and I'll definitely try another one.
Jul 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I still think about the characters in this book sometimes. Ann Rule is the best true crime author out there. This book, as are all her novels, is chilling and will time and again have you shaking your head in disbelief at the depths of depravity some human souls can sink to.
Jan 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Another good one from Ann Rule. A story of a man who couldn't bear to lose and would stop at nothing to get revenge. I'd give this five stars except for there seemed to be way too much family history going back several generations.
Jul 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
My advice to you: don't read true crime books where you share a name with the victim. *shudder*

This was a bit long in spots, but I got a little frustrated every time I had to set it down and get off the train or whatever, which is the mark of a well-written book.
Mar 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the type of book that will make the reader become very emotionally envolved with the characters. At points it made me angry at some of the characters and cry at others. The saddest part about the whole story is that it's a true story. =(
Tanya Hallam
Mar 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
I normally like Ann Rule but I could not get through this story. A Florida murder, I should be captivated but the narrative is just a hot mess. I felt like I needed to take notes as I read the book just to keep track of everything. Sadly I wasted money on the hardcover.
Jun 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Way too much information is mindlessly repeated through out the book. Also, as the story is slow to develop and it finishes too fast without a lot of closure.
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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
More about Ann Rule...

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