Title: Practice to Deceive Author: Ann Rule Publisher: Gallery Books (October 8, 2013)) Format: Hardcover; Pgs 352 Genre: True Crime
When I first started reading this book, I was confused. I thought I had picked up a large print book by accident. No, it was just a publisher trying to stretch a two hundred manuscript into a full-length book.
Repeated information, repeated descriptions, repeated conversations and truly unnecessary information are what fill this book. Why would the murder of a first spouse that happened prior to the birth of the later convicted accessory to a murder matter? No facts were shown, or even hinted at, that would make this a contributing factor. Just another way for Ms Rule to run up the page count.
On Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound of Washington state, Russel (yes, that is how his name is spelled) Douglas is found with a single bullet hole to his head. Though he and his wife are having apparent marital issues, the authorities cannot put his wife there. Ten years later the case comes to trial with a rather twisted reason for the murder. Two people that have had little to no contact with the victim decide that he must die based solely on possible hearsay.
A “she said, she said” scenario with a conniving dominating woman, a beguiled man and a wife that swears she knows nothing about it yet is the only one to benefit.
Ms Rule lays no foundation and very little fact in her book. There are very few true interviews of substance and from my perspective, only half a job was done. I remember her earlier books that came across to me as well researched and questions answered before the book was published.
To me the oddest part, which is sad because it is the only thing that stands out, there is a photo in the book of Ann Rule with the prosecuting attorney and the sheriff that looks like her head and face were photo-shopped in.