Synopses & Reviews
If anything ever happens to me, promise me that you will see that there is an investigation....And find Ann Rule and ask her to write my story," Sheila Blackthorne Bellush told her sister after she divorced multimillionaire Allen Blackthorne. Now, in perhaps the first book ever written at a victim's request, America's Number One bestselling true-crime writer, Ann Rule, untangles a horrific web of lies that culminated in Sheila's savage murder more than ten years after she left Blackthorne.
When beautiful, blond Sheila married the charming, handsome Blackthorne, she was convinced she had found her perfect soul mate, and helped him reach his goal of living the privileged life of the country club set. But behind Allen's smooth facade, she discovered a violent, controlling sociopath -- a liar, a scam artist, a sexual deviant. When she finally fled with their two young daughters, she was skeletally thin, bruised, and beaten.
Although Sheila recovered, remarried, and was starting a new life and family, she still felt she was doomed. Joyously pregnant, she and her new husband expecting quadruplets, Sheila still feared Blackthorne, who had sworn to her he would monitor her every move and "every breath you take." And, in fact, Blackthorne inevitably tracked her down, as did her killer, who left her in a pool of blood marked by the tiny footprints of her two-year-old toddlers. The questions remained: Could the authorities ever link Sheila's murder to Blackthorne himself? Was his true obsession high-stakes golf and his extravagant pink mansion -- or was it to destroy Sheila?
Following a trail of deception from Oregon and Hawaii to Texas and Florida, Ann Rule gained complete access to Sheila's family, friends, and neighbors, as well as to the detectives and prosecutors on the case. With "Every Breath You Take, " Ann Rule has written a heart-pounding account of obsession, revenge, and murder that will enthrall readers from beginning to end.
"As only the most adept crime stories do, Every Breath You Take manages to absolve its readers from the guilt of reading about such gruesomeness by engaging us in higher-minded, rubber-gloved investigations into the fault lines lurking in the human psyche and the American landscape. Rule digs up details about Allen Blackthorne's disturbing childhood and early adult life that form a case study of the classic American con man crossed with the more exotic strains of the sociopath. It is an affecting, tense and smart true-crime story." Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post Book World
"A sober, nonsensational account of Sheila's murder, the mind-boggling series of events preceding it, and the nail-biting sequence of twists and turns in the investigation of the crime and the eventual prosecution of her volatile, violent ex-husband. As usual, Rule excels at painting psychologically perceptive portraits of all the characters in this stranger-than-fiction but nevertheless real-life drama." Booklist
"Rule, in classic form, meticulously re-creates the prosaic lives of her characters, charting one woman's pleasantly humdrum existence undermined by a man bent on making a fortune through defaulting on bank loans and pedestrian cons, such as swindling family members." Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Ann Rule is the author of eighteen New York Times bestsellers, all of them still in print. A former Seattle police officer, she knows the crime scene firsthand. She is a certified instructor for police training seminars, and lectures frequently to law enforcement, prosecutors, and forensic science organizations, including the FBI. For more than two decades, she has been an active advocate for victims of violent crime. She has also testified before U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittees on victims' rights and on serial murder in America, and was a civilian adviser to the VI-CAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) Task Force that set up a computer program to track and trap serial killers. Ann Rule lives near Seattle, Washington. She can be contacted through her Web page at www.annrules.com