Practice to Deceive by Ann RulePractice to Deceive by Ann Rule

Practice to Deceive

byAnn Rule

Hardcover | October 8, 2013

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#1 New York Times bestselling author and Queen of True Crime Ann Rule delivers another gripping true-crime story—this time a shattering case of Christmastime murder off the coast of Washington State, with a shocking amount of drama, greed, sex, and scandal and no shortage of suspects.

With more than 50 million copies of her thirty-four books in print, from The Stranger Beside Me, her chilling personal account of knowing Ted Bundy, to fourteen hardcover books— including Small Sacrifices; Green River, Running Red; and Too Late to Say Goodbye—and sixteen collections in her #1 bestselling Crime Files series, Ann Rule is without a doubt “America’s best true-crime writer” (Kirkus Reviews). In Practice to Deceive, her first book-length investigative chronicle since In the Still of the Night, Rule unravels a shattering case of Christmastime murder off the coast of Washington State—presented with the clarity, authority, and emotional depth that Rule’s readers expect. It’s a case with enough drama, greed, sex, and scandal to be called “The Real Housewives of Whidbey Island,” but this was not reality television. This was murder: pure, cruel, ugly, and senseless. And someone had to pay the price.

Nestled in Puget Sound, Whidbey Island is a gem of the Pacific Northwest; accessible only by ferry and the soaring Deception Pass Bridge, it is known for its artistic communities and stunning natural beauty. Life there is low-key, insular, and the island’s year-round residents tend to know one another’s business. But when the blood-drenched body of Russel Douglas was discovered the day after Christmas in his SUV in a hidden driveway near Whidbey’s most exclusive mansions, the whole island was shocked. A single bullet between his eyes was the cause of death, but no one could imagine who among them could plot such a devious, cold-blooded crime. At first, police suspected suicide, tragically common at the height of the holiday season. But when they found no gun in or near the SUV, Russel’s manner of death became homicide. Like a cast of characters from a classic mystery novel, a host of Whidbey residents fell under suspicion.

Brenna Douglas was Russel’s estranged and soon-to-be-ex wife, who allowed him to come home for a Christmas visit with their children. The couple owned the popular Just B’s salon. Brenna’s good friend Peggy Sue Thomas worked there, and Brenna complained often to her that Russel was physically and emotionally abusive. Peggy Sue’s own life has been one of extremes. Married three times, hers is a rags-to-riches-and-back-again tale in which she’s played many roles: aircraft mechanic, basketball coach, the “drop-dead gorgeous” beauty queen as a former Ms. Washington, Las Vegas limousine driver, million-dollar horse breeder, wealthy divorcée. But in 2003, her love affair with married guitarist Jim Huden led the two Whidbey Island natives to pursue their ultimate dreams of wealth and privilege—even at the expense of human life.

Unravel the tangled web woven by Russel Douglas’s murder in Practice to Deceive, the newest heart pounding true-crime tour de force from Ann Rule.
Ann Rule was born on October 22, 1935 in Lowell, Michigan. She was surrounded by family following careers in law enforcement. Her grandfather and uncle were sheriffs in Michigan, another uncle was a medical examiner and a cousin was a prosecutor. She spent her summers with her grandparents doing volunteer work in the local jail. She ev...
Title:Practice to DeceiveFormat:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:October 8, 2013Publisher:Gallery BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1416544623

ISBN - 13:9781416544623

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Customer Reviews of Practice to Deceive


Rated 3 out of 5 by from I'm a fan, but... I love most of Ann Rule's books but this one seemed a bit disjointed or something. It did not captivate me like her other books have.
Date published: 2017-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating I enjoyed this book the entire time
Date published: 2017-04-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Meh. I enjoy reading Ann Rule books but this one I found disappointing it felt unfinished
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Typical Ann Rule. Factual, Detailed, Engaging. Ann Rule you have succeeded again in writing about a crime in a way that gives the reader a view into the minds of its cast of characters.
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointing I have been an Ann Rule fan for years and have enjoyed all of her full-books, not so much a fan of the short stories she tells. (The short true-crime books tend to be published for the purpose of promoting sales, rather than developing and telling a story.) This most recent book, Practice to Deceive, was a disappointment from the first chapter. In fact, it does not seem to even be written by Ann Rule herself. The writing is "off", sentences seem fragmented, character development is minimal, and the story itself told with transitions from one moment to the next with no fluidity. Honestly, I am questioning if this book was truly written by Ms. Rule ... I would not recommend it at all.
Date published: 2014-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I've learned to appreciate several other true crime authors, but Ann Rule, well, rules! This is one author that has the inside track when she researches her stories. This story is unique in the complexities of its players, and Ann comes through with her well-rounded look into the lives of each pertinent person. As a forensics psych RN, I am always fascinated with the ways in which human beings think and behave. I've learned that Ann gives her all when she writes, and this story doesn't disappoint. Keep it coming, Sis, and know that there are many of us already waiting for your next book!
Date published: 2014-01-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What a Tangled Web We Weave What a tangled story of tragedy and crime this was!  Not exactly what one expects from Rule, no tale of a serial killer or a brutal mass slaying or even an horrific crime of passion.  Here we have an assassination style of murder of a regular Joe that took ten years to solve.  The victim was an ordinary guy, loved by most, lead a normal life and hardly anyone had anything to say against him.  Unfortunately, because of this we don't get to know much about him; the book is most certainly about the weird, tangled lives of the killer (s). Rule's investigative reporting uncovers a trail of tragedy for the Stackhouse family beginning with the brutal assault and murder of the mother of six young children and ending with the devious connivings of a step-daughter of that family decades later.  The book reads like a novel and was quite the page turner.  I don't usually read this type of crime preferring the ones I mentioned at the beginning, but there were just so many twists and turns with this investigation, and the lives of the people involved in the crime were so soap-opera like that if it weren't real it would hardly be believable in a novel.  I'd never heard of this case before, so I had the added advantage of not knowing how things were going to turn out, causing an element of suspense.  I love Rule's writing.  She tells these true crime tales so well, with respect to the victims and their families and though this is not one of her best books it is an incredible read of a tangled web that left authorities frustrated for an entire decade.
Date published: 2013-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Practice To Deceive As usual, another Masterpiece! Slightly more expensive than her past books but well worth it. A lot of research went into this one and it contains several chapters. Great job!
Date published: 2013-11-17