In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother's Unceasing Quest for the Truth

( 170 )

Overview

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 ...

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In the Still of the Night: The Strange Death of Ronda Reynolds and Her Mother's Unceasing Quest for the Truth

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Overview

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594203674
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 10/12/2010
  • Pages: 404
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann  Rule

Ann Rule is the author of thirty New York Times bestsellers, all of them still in print. Her first bestseller was The Stranger Beside Me, about her personal relationship to infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. A former Seattle police officer, she knows the crime scene firsthand. For more than two decades, she has been a powerful advocate for victims of violent crime. She lives near Seattle. Visit her at AuthorAnnRule.com.

Biography

Ann Rule has always had an insatiable interest in why people do the things they do. From devouring true crime books when she was a girl to pursuing a career in law enforcement as a Seattle policewoman, to achieving blockbuster success as a true crime author, Rule has dedicated her life to uncovering the dark motivations inside the minds of the criminals who live among us.

The majority of Rule's books have hit the New York Times bestseller list, including six Crime Files series volumes: A Rage to Kill, In the Name of Love, the #1 bestseller A Fever in the Heart, You Belong to Me, A Rose for Her Grave, and The End of the Dream.

...And Never Let Her Go is her chilling account of the nationally renowned case of wife killer Thomas Capano; Bitter Harvest covers the case of Debora Green, a physician and mother driven to murder; the #1 bestseller If You Really Loved Me tells the true story of a millionaire's murderous alter ego; Everything She Ever Wanted is the story of a sociopathic Georgia socialite and her fatal attractions; Small Sacrifices is Rule's heartbreaking account of a woman who slaughtered her three young children. Perhaps her best-known and most compelling work, The Stranger Beside Me, is the fascinating tale of Rule's growing terror as she realized her friend and coworker, Ted Bundy, was a serial killer. Finally, the #1 New York Times bestseller Dead by Sunset tells the story of a charismatic killer and the women who loved him.

Generous and civic-minded when it comes to sharing her expertise and insights, Rule has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee and often speaks to law enforcement agencies, including the FBI Academy. She also served on the U.S. Justice Department task force that set up VI-CAP -- the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program now in use at the FBI to trace and apprehend serial killers.

Good To Know

Rule's early jobs included being a caseworker for the Washington State Department of Public Assistance and a police officer.

Rule's interest in criminology seems to run in the family: Her grandfather and an uncle were sheriffs, another uncle was a medical examiner, and her cousin was a district attorney.

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    1. Hometown:
      Seattle, Washington
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 22, 1935
    2. Place of Birth:
      Lowell, Michigan
    1. Education:
      Creative Writing Program, University of Washington

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 170 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(54)

4 Star

(31)

3 Star

(35)

2 Star

(26)

1 Star

(24)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 171 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 4, 2010

    Very disappointing

    I am a big Ann Rule fan,and this book does not deliver. Her style,as usual is stellar,but I expect resolution by the end of the story she has told. There is not only no resolution,but it is also extremely frustrating, because we know Ronda Reynolds' murderer and we know that he or they are walking free. I for one,do not want to read another story like this from Ann Rule unless there is closure at the end. Ann,I still love your writing and your meticulous research,not only of the main characters,but of every nuance of the story; the backdrop where the story takes place,the individuals' backgrounds,etc.There is no one better at what you do.Please give us closure in the next book!

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2010

    I would recommend this if you are an Ann Rule fan

    I was intrigued with the story and Ann Rule's writing, as usual, was great. But she usually ends her books with some kind of closure or verdict. I am a huge Ann Rule fan, but it left me a bit unsatisfied because we do not have an answer, verdict or closure in the end.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2012

    Usual Good Writing by Ann Rule - Disappointed by Ending

    Ann Rule, as usual writes another very good true crime story. I was very surprised to find out by the end, that closure was not obtained fully by the mother. Very disappointing, but will continue to read Ann Rule, as long as her next novel has a wrap up.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2011

    M axxmkko

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 28, 2011

    Another Ann Rule classic!

    This book really puts you in touch with victims families but also adds all aspects of everyone involved. Another good read by my fav "Ann". :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2011

    love it

    im a big ann rule fan. the only thing that kind of sucked was the ending. i totaly get why she wrote the book just wish there was more to the story. someone is responsible for the murder and i hope one fay her family will get justice.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2010

    Worth Reading

    I have read all of Ann Rules books and did not like this one as much as any of the others. Just wasn't suspensful. I do understand why she wrote the book, so everyone will know Rhonda Reynolds story and I believe it needed to be told.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2012

    One of my favs

    I really couldnt put this book down ann rule did it again!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2012

    $17.99 for an e-book!!!

    I don't think so! Especially for a book with the so-so ratings of this one. Sorry, Ann Rule.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2011

    Poorly researched

    For an Ann Rule book, short on facts long on emotion. Poorly written and belongs on the fiction shelf.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2011

    Not an ending?

    Is the ending left open? By a previous review I suspect I do not want to read the book. I love Ann Rule for bringing closure to all these horrible crimes. I gain satisfaction in knowing that there was justice. She also sometimes updates us on her website years later on her truth-based characters. I hope to see some more good reviews to convince me to buy.

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    Great story - I couldn't put it down

    I got so involved with the story of this mothers' struggle to find the truth of her daughters death that I didn't want to put my Nook down! Ann Rule is such a gifted writer and she makes all of her True Crime books read like novels. I want to know the 'end' of this story...who did kill Ronda???? Her mom deserves to know and justice must be served in this case.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2011

    Highly recommended

    If you are a true crime buff you won't want to put your Nook down. I have read just about everything that Ann Rule has written and, as usual, she didn't disappoint. She always delivers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2011

    Not every story has a happy ending

    I am very glad Ann wrote this book to help Barb Thompson gain a larger audience in her unending quest for justice for her daughter!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    While this book may not have had the ending that readers expecte

    While this book may not have had the ending that readers expected, the book gives insight into the terrible case of Ronda Reynolds murder. Rule is compassionate in telling the story and gives justice to Ronda and her mother Barb even if the case hasn't been finished quite yet. I hope that Ann Rule will be able to finally set the record straight about the death. Moreover, I hope Barb gets the justice she deserves. Perhaps then Rule can finish the story that has captivated readers for the past 14 years. A+

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2013

    Disappointment

    If you like true crime then Ann Rule is your girl. I have read several of her books and found them riveting. But this one. not so much.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 21, 2013

    I you are a fan of Ann any of her books are "must reads&q

    I you are a fan of Ann any of her books are "must reads"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Interesting story

    Not my favorite but decent. It's amazing to "hear" Ann's voice as she recounts the mysteries so I feel as if I'm a detective on the case.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Disappointing

    I have read all of Ann Rule's books. Usually it is a safe bet that the book will be interesting, informative and a bit educational. This book did not even have a point. I understand that Ms. Rule felt bad for the victim's mom, but that is not sufficient reason to write a book, hardcover no less. I pre-ordered the hardcover edition and was looking forward to a great read. Not only was I disappointed, I was angry. I had spent about $30 on a book that, at best, should have been a paperback. In the future I will not pre-order Ms. Rule's books. I will wait until they are published, go to the bookstore and read several chapters before I decide to invest the money.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Ann Rule question

    I'm new to nook and have VERY limited funds to buy e-books, so could someone please tell me if Ms. Rule's e-books contain pictures. The reason I ask is because seeing the victims & detectives on the case just helps me to better get to know them, which helps me become "invested" in the story. So if pictures aren't included I will buy the paperback and save my credit for other books. I trully love Ann Rule's books, but I just want the "full" experience, in which ever way allows me to.
    Thank you in advance for any help you can give :)

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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