A Book Review: Ann Rule’s Green River Running Red

“…the story of the Green River Killer, who murdered more than forty-nine young women. The quest to discover the most prolific serial killer in American history has been an intimate part of Ann Rule‘s life, with some of the corpses found only a mile or so from where she lived and raised her own daughters. She did not know the killer, but he apparently knew her and attended many of her book signings.

For twenty-one years, the killer carried out his self-described “career” as a killing machine, ridding the world of women he considered evil. His eerie ability to lure his victims to their deaths and hide their bodies made him far more dangerous than any infamous multiple murderer in the annals of crime.”

This is a rarity. I despise critic-ing other people’s work because of the obvious ‘Who am I?’/ ‘Can I do a better job and if so why don’t I get on with it instead of wasting time with someone else’s work’. (As you can tell the only critic-ing I’m interested is criticizing). However, I feel like something productive must come out of the two days I spent battling to finish this book. I saw it in the back of my car and immediately gravitated towards it because it was bookage, then I realised it wasn’t my type so decided to let which ever friend had forgotten it there find it when they came back…then I learned that the friend had brought it specifically for me. To be fair, I did psyche myself up to enjoy the book, after all, they had gone to all that trouble…but:

IT’S MISLEADING. It’s not about the “Green River Running Red” at all; it’s more like an ode to the victims of the GRK, the victims’ families, and the task force allocated to reigning him in. We are not given a fair picture of the killer so that we can make our own decisions on how repelled or fascinated we are; matter of fact in a 400+ page book about the GRK, all of about 20 pages are dedicated to exploring his life, the rest are about the victims. I would not be ranting if the book had been titled “Green River Victims”. But even the writing about the victims themselves leaves a lot to be desired. She can’t quite decide whether to write chronologically, or write each victim’s story as a segment, from start to finish. The latter is better in her case because it is really annoying to read about Patty on page 43 and get really involved with her story and think it’s done, only to be brought back to it on page 103 when you have read 20 other stories of 20 other girls, now you are wondering “who the hell is she again?”, then if one can be arsed they have to flip through the pages looking for Patty to connect the dots–half the time I wasn’t..to be honest, more than half the time..ok ALL the time.

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