October 6, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: October 6, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

In the Still of the Night
by Ann Rule
Publication Date:  October 15, 2010
Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble): 

FROM TRUE-CRIME LEGEND ANN RULE comes this riveting story of a young woman whose life ended too soon—and a determined mother’s eleven-year crusade to clear her daughter’s name.

It was nine days before Christmas 1998, and thirty-two-year-old Ronda Reynolds was getting ready to travel from Seattle to Spokane to visit her mother and brother and grandmother before the holidays. Ronda’s second marriage was dissolving after less than a year, her career as a pioneering female Washington State Trooper had ended, but she was optimistic about starting over again. "I’m actually looking forward to getting on with my life," she told her mother earlier the night before. "I just need a few days with you guys." Barb Thompson, Ronda’s mother, who had met her daughter’s second husband only once before, was just happy that Ronda was coming home.

At 6:20 that morning, Ron Reynolds called 911 and told the dispatcher his wife was dead. She had committed suicide, he said, although he hadn’t heard the gunshot and he didn’t know if she had a pulse. EMTs arrived, detectives arrived, the coroner’s deputy arrived, and a postmortem was conducted. Lewis County Coroner Terry Wilson, who neither visited the death scene nor attended the autopsy, declared the manner of Ronda’s death as "undetermined." Over the next eleven years, Coroner Wilson would change that manner of death from "undetermined" to "suicide," back to "undetermined"—and then back to "suicide" again.

But Barb Thompson never for one moment believed her daughter committed suicide. Neither did Detective Jerry Berry or ballistics expert Marty Hayes or attorney Royce Ferguson or dozens of Ronda’s friends. For eleven grueling years, through the ups and downs of the legal system and its endless delays, these people and others helped Barb Thompson fight to strike that painful word from her daughter’s death certificate.

On November 9, 2009, a precedent-setting hearing was held to determine whether Coroner Wilson’s office had been derelict in its duty in investigating the death of Ronda Reynolds. Veteran true-crime writer Ann Rule was present at that hearing, hoping to unbraid the tangled strands of conflicting statements and mishandled evidence and present all sides of this haunting case and to determine, perhaps, what happened to Ronda Reynolds, in the chill still of that tragic December night.


I absolutely adore Ann Rule.  She is my favorite true crime writer.  I worship at her temple (or at least at her computer and by her shelf at the bookstore).  As far as I'm concerned, she simply cannot turn her books out fast enough.  I suspect you will all know where my happy self will be on October 15.

What's your Waiting on Wednesday pick this week? 


1 comment:

Jenny Girl said...

Oh gosh, I'm waiting on lots of stuff, and mostly the waiting is on me to get to it!
Heard of Rule but never read any of her work. I'll add her to the list. Thanks :)