‘The Stranger Beside Me’ by Ann Rule

The Stranger Beside Me

Former police officer Ann Rule met a charming and charismatic young psychology student at a Seattle crisis clinic, unaware that he would become one of America’s most notorious serial killers. This is the story of their friendship and how it developed and changed between 1971 and 1989, when Ted Bundy was executed. Charting the murderer’s early life and relationships, this book tells the two sides of Ted Bundy, exploring how and why he became a killer.

The is the second book I’ve read by Ann Rule, though it was the author’s first published book (originally pub. in 1980, this edition 2018). Ms Rule has a talent for writing in a very readable way that allows the reader to have a clear picture of her subject, creating a vivid portrait of Bundy that is easy to read but no less detailed for all that. From his early life, she details Ted Bundy’s relationships, his attempts to better himself, and his re-emergence as a smart, handsome man who was able to lure young women to their deaths.

Ann Rule is astonishingly open about her friendship with Bundy, but also never fails to question her own motives in detailing the case as a true-crime writer, as well as the difficulties she faced as the truth of Bundy’s horrendous crimes became known to the world.

A thoroughly absorbing and very scary book.

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