The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule

The Stranger Beside Me, Ann Rule, 1980 (non-fiction)

My favorite quote: Well, this is the one that hooked me: “If, as many people believe today, Ted Bundy took lives, he also saved lives. I know he did, because I was there when he did it.”

Notable characters: Ann Rule, the author; Ted Bundy, her friend, the serial killer

Most memorable scene: It’s hard to break this book down the same way I’ve been doing with fiction books. The Stranger Beside Me is real … and it’s terrifying. So, as for memorable scenes, there isn’t a single one. There can’t be. What stands out to me most, though, is how many women crossed paths with Bundy and survived simply because they listened to that little voice in the back of their mind that told them something was wrong

Greatest strengths: The prose. Ann Rule knows her way around words and if she hadn’t made it as a true crime writer, she could have thrived as a mystery/thriller novelist

Standout achievements: This book has a rare ability to compel, disgust, exhaust, teach, and terrify all at the same time

Fun Facts: There was a 2008 update of this book (which is the one I read) that includes more stories from women who contacted Ann Rule after the release of this book with (mostly substantiated) claims to have come into contact with Bundy and survived 

Other media: The 2003 made-for-TV film of same name starring Barbara Hershey and Billy Campbell 

What it taught me: This is the book that taught me just about everything I know (and everything there is to know) about Ted Bundy

How it inspired me: I lock my doors every night now. While I certainly would never have qualified as Bundy’s preferred victim type, I was astounded by how many of his crimes were only a matter of opportunity — by how many times he chose his victim simply because her door was unlocked and he was able to walk in

Additional thoughts: There is one thing that bothered me about this book: Ann Rule’s continued friendship with Bundy, long after it was obvious to her (and everyone else) that he was guilty. The way she suspended judgment on him just never sat well with me

Haunt me:

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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